Arachnophobia app tackles spider phobia
Reduced to a trembling wreck by the mere sight of a spider? Never fear - a new app believes it can help
An new iPhone app is hoping to help people combat arachnophobia, by showing pictures of spiders every day.
Virtually Free's new Phobia Free App aims to help arachnophobes through an interactive 'systematic desensitisation', initially using an unrealistic cartoon of eight-legged 'Itsy'. This is followed by a series of cartoon spiders that steadily become more realistic and therefore 'scary'.
Created with the help of a specialist psychiatrist, users begin with desensitisation sessions one to three, before progressing to pictures of a 'low fear spider'. By session seven, the user is faced with an image of a tarantula in augmented reality, "which looks and behaves like the real thing".
In the final session, the user is expected to take pictures of real spiders using their phone or iPad. The app also allows users to engage with other people who share their fear.
Using cartoons to cure a severe phobia may seem far-fetched, but NHS England have reviewed and endorsed it.
The app promises: "Systematic desensitisation deals with your fear of spiders by teaching you to be relaxed and then getting you to progressively closer to the spider until you are able to touch it without fear.
"It sounds impossible but this technique has been successfully used in therapy for many, many years now."
And for those who find looking at the animated arachnids a tad distressing, the Phobia Free 'Stress app' is thrown in for good measure.
Arachnophobia is an acute and persistent fear of spiders and affects approximately one in six people around the world.
Life & Style blogs
When did the Eiffel Tower open to the public? Six things you didn't know about iconic structure
Google Maps Pacman: company offers chance to play arcade classic on streets around the world
Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
American Apparel gets another ad banned by advertising watchdog for sexualising children
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has 30 years of ex...
£27000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing cloud based I...
£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...
£22500 - £30000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking for experie...