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London Zoo Offers Friendly Spider Program To Help You Face Your Fears

11/19/2015 03:52 EST | Updated 11/19/2015 03:59 EST
ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
CHANGCHUN, CHINA - NOVEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) A spider climbs on Tian Jiashi's hands on November 18, 2015 in Changchun, Jilin Province of China. 33-year-old dancing teacher Tian Jiashi has been fascinated and fed scorpions, vipers, centipedes, lizards and spiders at home for seven years in Changchun. Tian sometimes performed swallowing these poisonous creatures onstage even being bit for hundreds of times. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)

A fear of spiders is one of the most common phobias out there, but experts say arachnids are for the most part completely harmless.

Still, in the United States, one in 10 people suffer from phobias, and 40 per cent of those phobias are related to bugs and arachnids, IFL Science reports.

And women are four times more likely to suffer from arachnophobia than men. Symptoms of arachnophobia include excessive sweating, clamminess, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, nausea and dizziness.

With that in mind, the Zoological Society of London has created a program that aims to help people face their fears. According to the London Zoo, the Friendly Spider Programme is an afternoon course that uses a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy to make people feel more comfortable around spiders.

The course, which costs £135, slowly builds participants' confidence over a few hours until they are comfortable with catching house spiders on their own. According to the zoo, more than 80 per cent of those who participate in the course say they are more calm and confident when they come across a spider, as opposed to anxious and/or terrified.

The next available date for those interested in trying out the program is April 2, 2016.

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