Fear of spiders
Fear of spiders is common. If the fear of spiders is excessive, we call it spider phobia, or arachnophobia (from the Greek word 'arachne', meaning 'spider').
Spider phobia is the most commonly treated fear at Kindt Clinics. The success rate is 90%.
On this page you can read more about the characteristics of the fear of spiders and its treatment. People who have been treated for their spider phobia also share their experience.
Spider phobia symptoms
Although almost everyone is startled when a spider suddenly appears somewhere, for people with a spider phobia it goes beyond just being scared. The heart rate increases, breathing speeds up, often someone sweats or shakes. The body responds as if there is great danger.
Although someone rationally knows that a spider is not life-threatening this does not matter the moment the fear strikes. The threat predominates. In order to remove that feeling, often either the spider or the person himself has to leave the situation.
A phobia of spiders often means that you are so afraid of spiders that it preoccupies you almost every day especially in the spider season. You may also want to check every space and avoid every place where you might see a spider.
Because spiders can never be avoided with certainty in everyday life, a spider phobia is often very debilitating.
Would you like to know more or a non-binding intake?
If you have a fear of spiders, plan an intake interview without obligation to learn more about the treatment.
Why do so many people have a spider phobia?
It is estimated that around 3 to 6 percent of the population has a spider phobia. This phobia usually develops in childhood. Some people naturally overcome their fear as adults, and in others the phobia persists.
Relatively little is known in science about how and why phobias arise. Sometimes there is a clear reason, like a bad experience with a spider, or a father or mother with a spider phobia, but more often than not, the cause is unknown. In some people the fear of spiders even seems innate.
A popular theory to explain the large number of people with spider phobia is that this is evolutionarily determined: Our ancestors with fear of spiders would have a higher chance of survival than ancestors without that fear.
For the treatment at Kindt Clinics it doesn't matter how your fear of spiders started.
Experiment: congenital spider phobia?
Researchers of the MPI CBS did an experiment. They showed 6-month-old babies pictures of all kinds of animals. As it turned out, the babies' pupils were significantly larger in images of spiders (and snakes) than in images of all other animals and things.
So pictures of spiders create an automatic stress response And at the age of 6 months that cannot be a learned response. So this experiment is consistent with the theory that the fear response to spiders is biological; a leftover from evolution.
It is not always clear how you develop a fear of spiders, but more important is: how do you overcome it?
Treatment for fear of spiders
At Kindt Clinics we treat the fear of spiders with the help of the Memrec method. The discovery of the method generated a lot of attention in the scientific world at the time, and fortunately we have been achieving the same results for years in practice. More than 80% of the treatments succeed in one go, and another 10% the second time. And also important: the effect is lasting.
Although the treatment is short (we'll confront you with a spider once), it is not an easy treatment. The most important success factors are: we must be able to activate the fear properly, and then you need to be willing and able to immerse yourself in that fear, and so for once resisting the tendency to flee. Of course we help with that.
Because the motivation to overcome the fear is important for treatment to be successful, the intake interview at Kindt Clinics is without obligation. This way, a conscious choice can be made for the treatment.
Does the fear of spiders hinder you? Then sign up for a no-obligation intake interview.
The intake interview follows after registration. We do this via Skype or similar software, or at our clinic. The intake is without obligation, and intended to determine whether the Memrec method is suitable, and whether or not you want the treatment.
Treatment usually consists of one treatment session. In this we confront you with a spider. What exactly that confrontation looks like differs per treatment and per person. After the confrontation, you take the pill (a beta blocker) and stay with us for another 2 hours.
You will return for the test one or a few days later. We start the confrontation again, and you immediately notice whether the treatment has had an effect. We take all the time to practice so that you can trust the fear will not come back.
Watch the treatment of another phobia
If you suffer from spider phobia, you may prefer not to view images of spiders. That is why this page contains an excerpt from Canadian documentary program The Nature of Things. Last year they were at Kindt Clinics to interview Merel Kindt and to film a number of treatments.
In this episode you see fragments of the vertigo treatment from Eva and the chicken phobia treatment from Mirjam.
Experiences of others
Gwen - Fear of spiders
“I've had a spider phobia for as long as I can remember and as I got older, my reaction seemed to get worse too - from screaming and fleeing to crying and hyperventilating when confronted. Although it was hard to imagine that this treatment, which is quite short, would help me get rid of my anxiety, it was precisely the short duration that appealed to me.
Rather short and intense than a long-term treatment spread over weeks or months, with an uncertain outcome.
My ultimate motivation to face this fear was also that my young daughter started to adopt my behavior and I want to show her that this fear is irrational - something I knew, but my body and brain reacted unconsciously anyway always very violent on spiders.
Merel and Maartje put me at ease, both during the treatment itself and in all the communication around it. It felt familiar, despite the enormous tension I felt beforehand. The first confrontation was intense and emotional, but after that I was calm and calm again quite quickly. I was relaxed prior to the test session and second showdown and I still can't believe I had a spin running over my head in a relaxed state. Who would have thought! That was a turning point for me, on which I now - shortly after the treatment - already dare to say that my fear has really gone. I would never have dreamed that I am now even looking forward to encountering a spider to 'practice' with picking up and bringing it out. I am eternally grateful to Merel & Maartje for this, what a liberation! ”
Denise - Fear of spiders
“I got to a point where I realized I no longer wanted to be led by my fear of spiders. When I looked at it 'rationally' that fear was really ridiculous and too far out of hand anyway. Via Google I came across Kindt Clinics and I read that you could get rid of your anxiety with 1 treatment. That appealed to me: bring it on, I thought! ...
I especially looked forward to the freedom it would give me to get rid of this fear. I could go to work very quickly, which is nice once you have made that decision. Still a bit skeptical and with the necessary tension I started the process, but Merel guided me with fantastic patience and understanding. The confrontation with the fear is very short and was therefore really doable. ”
On the way to the test session I could only half imagine that I had really gotten rid of my fear, but yes… that spider was not as scary as before. It was a bizarre sensation to work with that same spider and then suddenly not feel a fear response at all in your body. Step by step I became more familiar with that spider, so familiar in fact that touching was no longer exciting at all. Mission accomplished!
What a relief and how happy I am that I dared to take this step. Thanks Merel and Maartje for the nice contact, reception and pleasant guidance during this process. ”
Bird spiders or house spiders
Every spider phobia is different. One is already afraid of a hay wagon, and the other only has it with tarantulas. For some, the fear is mainly about spiders moving quickly, and for others it is about their looks, and dead spiders also evoke fear. Fast thin spiders or slow fat spiders; arachnophobia comes in many forms.
With the Memrec treatment, we ask many questions about the fear during the intake interview, to ensure that we include all aspects of it during the treatment.
Do we use a tarantula during the treatment, but are you also afraid of house spiders, or vice versa? If it is good the effect of the treatment generalizes to all types of spiders. We will of course test this with you.
Is Memrec suitable for my fear of spiders?
You may have doubts whether the Memrec method is suitable for your fear. Please feel free to contact us to share your situation. All our employees are psychologists, so you will be immediately contacted by someone who can answer your questions.
Or register immediately for an intake interview without obligation. Based on this interview, we know whether Memrec is suitable for you, and you can decide whether or not to opt for the treatment.