Archives for Arachnophobia


Anxiety Society: Jenny’s Fear of Spiders and Fear of Therapy

 Spiders. Do they bug you out?

Last week, we met Jenny Whalen. She's afraid of spiders -- really afraid of spiders, actually. In the first part of our interview, she told us the story about how she once jumped out of the driver's seat of her car while driving through a construction zone...all because she'd spotted a spider crawling around inside her vehicle.

S: Have you ever tried therapy or any exposure techniques to lessen your fear? If so, what worked and what didn't?

J: In high school, I took an elective course in Psychology.  There was a spider in the room one day, and my reaction to it caused the teacher to segue into a unit on phobias and to use me as a guinea pig.

We tried a gradual exposure technique and over several weeks, the idea was that I would look at a dead spider in a jar, work up to holding the jar, and eventually take the spider out of the jar, then hold the spider itself.

If I made it to that point, we’d do the same steps with a live spider.  I was never able to get past the dead spider being outside the jar.
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Anxiety Society: Meet Jenny and Her Arachnophobia

Meet Jenny Whalen. She's a Rutgers graduate who lives in New Jersey with her husband, Patrick, and their cat, Dr. Watson.  She works a day job in a corporate office but keeps busy the rest of the time creating and selling handmade products for pets.

She loves art, music, cooking, and writing.  Jenny enjoys reading and her numerous bookshelves are filled with art books, classic literature, and true crime works about serial killers.  She is outgoing, loves meeting new people, and is always up for an adventure.  Jenny hates close-minded people, disrespect, and Ugg boots.

Oh, and she hates -- hates -- spiders.

Summer: So, I understand you're afraid of spiders. Is the word "afraid" an understatement?

Jenny: In most situations, I would definitely say yes.  If I see a spider when I’m not expecting it, my reaction is complete uncontrollable panic.
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