This is a response I wrote for a Facebook friend. I thought I would share it with you.
Wow, you have had an interesting journey. I’m glad I didn’t send you a photo of one of my spider phobic clients. About four months after I spoke to him, a rather large huntsman decided to climb up him. He is quite bald and the photo is of this insect sitting on his head. I could not have paid anyone to have supplied me with a better photo of a recovered phobic. As you quite rightly put it, the spider is in control, not you.
Phobias, regardless of their origin and whether they are reasonable in your case or not, are debilitating. In a strange way, phobias of any description place a number of often hidden limitations on us. Something like a spider phobia, or any phobia for that matter, isn’t just about the spider, the height, the clown, the bird. It then becomes the ability to go outside, the ability to be alone in the house. It is about walking along a path into a house at night time. It is what happens when you just see a spider web. It then becomes all of the compromises that you have to make. Events with family and friends that cannot be attended. Places that you dare not go just because you might come face to face with your phobia. It is the special travel arrangements that have to be made. The list of hidden things that go with it is truly quite amazing.
Please understand that everyone has phobias of some description. I personally dislike sitting with my back to a crowd. The question is can it be fixed the answer is, totally! Most therapies are not that successful simply because they work on information and desensitisation. The one thing you are unable to do at the point of exposure to your phobia is to think rationally. The moment adrenaline hits the system, forget thinking rationally. It is a bit like stopping the light from coming out of the bulb after you have flicked the light switch. It’s not going to happen.
By using Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) it is possible to totally rewire the mind so that the switch can be flicked and the electricity will just be going to a completely different part of the brain. The treatment is so complete that many of my clients actually have a type of amnesia to the original phobia. Meaning that they may not even remember having an issue at all.
Just as a side note, people who have fully developed phobias generally do a great job of passing them onto their children. I would have to say six out of every seven phobia clients actually inherited their phobia. Thanks, Mom. Phobia.