Fear of spiders, or arachnophobia, is an intense or irrational fear of spiders and/or other arachnids, such as scorpions.

People suffering from this type of phobia will go to extreme lengths to avoid situations where they might encounter a spider or other arachnid. This avoidance will frequently impact on the person's personal life by avoiding tasks like hanging up or taking down washing, constantly checking for spiders in clothes, or worrying excessively about the possibility of encountering a spider. Encountering a spider by chance could lead to intense fear or even feelings of panic.

Luckily, effective treatment is available. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help us reengage with these situations and teach us specific skills and strategies to cope with the anxiety.

Programme structure

Pre-programme assessment: Phone or Skype assessment with a clinical psychologist.

Session 1: Psychoeducation, physical management strategies

Session 2: Review, cognitive therapy strategies

Session 3: Behavioural strategies and hierarchy development

Session 4: Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy

Session 5: In-session exposure and skills practice

Post-programme assessment: Check-in, follow up, questionnaires