A serious case


I have a friend who is afraid of spiders. This isn't very unusual; a lot of people are afraid of spiders. I don't really like spiders much myself. I don't mind them if I see them outside in the garden, as long as they're not too big. But if one comes in the house, especially if it's one of those really big spiders with furry legs and little red eyes, then I go 'Yeeucch' and I try to get rid of it. Usually I'll use a brush to get rid of the spider, but if I feel brave then I'll put a glass over the top of it, slide a piece of paper under the glass and then take it outside.

This is quite normal, I think. But my friend isn't afraid of spiders in any normal way. She isn't just afraid of spiders, she is totally, completely and utterly terrified of them. When my friend sees a spider, she doesn't just go 'Uurgghh!' or run away or ask someone else to get rid of the horrible creepy-crawly. No, she screams as loud as she possibly can. She screams so loud that her neighbours worry about her and think about calling the police. When she sees a spider, she shivers all over and sometimes she freezes completely she can't move at all because she is so terrified. Sometimes she even faints.

But my friend had a surprise for me when we met for coffee last week.

'Guess what?' she asked me.

'What?' I said.

'I've got a new pet!'

'Great,' I said. 'What is it? A dog? A cat?'

'No.'

'A budgie?'

'No.'

'A rabbit?'

'No.'

'What then?'

'I've got a pet spider.'

'I don't believe you!'

'It's true! I decided that it was time I did something about my phobia, so I went to visit a doctor, a special doctor. A psychiatrist. This psychiatrist specialises in phobias helping people who have irrational fears to get better and live normally. He told me I suffered from "arachnophobia".'

'It's an irrational fear of spiders,' he said. 'About one in fifty people suffer from a severe form of arachnophobia. It's not very uncommon.'

'Thanks,' said my friend. 'But that doesn't help me much ...'

'There are lots of different ways we can try to cure your phobia,' said the psychiatrist. 'First, there is traditional analysis.'

'What does that mean?' asked my friend.

'This means lots of talking. We try to find out exactly why you have such a terrible fear of spiders. Perhaps it's linked to something that happened to you when you were a child.'

'Oh dear,' said my friend. 'That sounds quite worrying.'

'It can take a long time,' said the psychiatrist. 'Years, sometimes, and you can never be certain that it will be successful.'

'Are there any other methods?'

'Yes some psychiatrists use hypnosis along with traditional analysis.'

My friend didn't like the idea of being hypnotised. 'I'm worried about what things will come out of my subconscious mind!' she said. 'Are there any other methods?'

'Well,' said the psychiatrist, 'there is what we call the "behavioural" approach.'

'What's the behavioural approach?' asked my friend.

'Well,' said the psychiatrist, 'it's like this ...'

The psychiatrist got out a small spider from his desk. It wasn't a real spider. It was made of plastic. Even though it was only a plastic spider, my friend screamed when she saw it.

'Don't worry,' said the psychiatrist. 'It's not a real spider.'

'I know,' said my friend. 'But I'm afraid of it just the same.'

'Hmm,' said the psychiatrist. 'A serious case ...' He put the plastic spider on the desk. When my friend stopped screaming, the psychiatrist told her to touch it. When she stopped screaming again the idea of touching the plastic spider was enough to make her scream she touched it. At first she touched it for just one second. She shivered all over, but at least she managed to touch it.

'OK,' said the psychiatrist. 'That's all for today. Thanks. You can go home now.'

'That's it?' asked my friend.

'Yes.'

'That's all?'

'Yes, for today. This is the behavioural approach. Come back tomorrow.'

My friend went back the next day, and this time the plastic spider was already on the doctor's desk. This time she touched it and held it for five minutes. Then the doctor told her to go home and come back the next day. The next day she went back and the plastic spider was on her chair. She had to move the spider so she could sit down. The next day she held the spider in her hand while she sat in her chair. The next day, the doctor gave her the plastic spider and told her to take it home with her.

'Where do spiders appear in your house?' asked the psychiatrist.

'In the bath, usually,' said my friend.

'Put the spider in the bath,' he told her.

My friend was terrified of the spider in the bath, but she managed not to scream when she saw it there.

'It's only a plastic spider,' she told herself.

The next day the psychiatrist told her to put the spider in her living room. My friend put it on top of the television. At first she thought the spider was watching her and she felt afraid. Then she told herself that it was only a plastic spider.

The next day the psychiatrist told her to put the spider in her bed.

'No way!' she said. 'Absolutely not!'

'Why not?' asked the psychiatrist.

'It's a spider!' replied my friend.

'No, it's not,' said the psychiatrist, 'It's a plastic spider. It's not a real one.'

My friend realised that her doctor was right. She put the plastic spider in her bed and she slept there all night with it in her bed. She only felt a little bit afraid.

The next day, she went back to the psychiatrist. This time, she had a shock a big shock. Sitting in the middle of the doctor's desk there was a spider. And this time it was a real spider.

My friend was about to scream and run away, but she didn't. She sat on the other side of the room, as far away as possible from the spider, for about five minutes, then she got up and left the room.

'See you tomorrow!' shouted the psychiatrist to her as she left.

The next day she went back, and this time the psychiatrist let the spider run around on his desk. Again, my friend stayed about five minutes, then left. The next day she stayed for ten minutes, and the day after that, fifteen. Eventually, the psychiatrist held the spider, the real spider with long furry legs and little eyes, in his hand. He asked my friend to come and touch it. At first she refused, but the doctor insisted. Eventually she touched the spider, just for a second. The next day she touched it for a few seconds, then for a few minutes, and after that she held the spider in her own hand.

Then she took the spider home and let it run around in her house. She didn't feel afraid. Well, OK, she did feel afraid, but only a tiny bit.

'So now I've got a pet spider!' she told me again.

'Well done!' I said.

'There's only one problem,' she said, and as she spoke I noticed that she was shivering all over. Then she screamed and climbed up on the chair. She was pointing to something on the floor.

'Over there!' she screamed. 'Look! It's a beetle!'

 


Previously Shared Stories, 

Enjoy Reading;


| Bond of Love and the Truth

| The Circle of Good Deed

| The Seven Wonders

| The Frog in Hot Water

| Your Chance of a Greater Good

| The Bridge

| Your Chance of a Greater Good

| Act of Kindness and Goodwill

| Happiness and Sorrow

| Developing a Relationship

| Dont let anyone steal your dreams.

| The Needs and Desires

| The Ant and The Dove

| The Lion and a Clever Fox

| Sometimes Just let it be

| Choose Your Words Wisely

| Hundred Gold Coins & Birbal

| Farmers Well & Witty Birbal

| Tenali Rama and the Brinjal Curry

| How long can you keep hatred in your heart?

| Appreciation of Hard Work

| Little Boys Meeting with God

| 100 Percent Love

| An Old Man Lived in the Village

| A Kings Painting

| This was bound to happen

| Wealth without a Value

| Learn to Appreciate

| Fox and The Goat

| The Golden Egg

| Who is Happy? The Peacock and The Crow

| The Three Questions

| The Old Man and the Three Young Men

| The Bear and The Two Friends

| Think Before You Judge

| Georgie Porgie

| A Wise Old Owl

| Baa Baa Black Sheep

| Beg Your Pardon Mrs Hardin

| A limit of your Kindness

| The Man and The Little Cat

| The False Human Belief

| Making Relations Special

| The Monkey and The Crocodile

| The Wicked Barbers Plight

| The Wooden Bowl

| Smartest Man in the World

| The Little Mouse

| Helping Others

| Fear vs Respect

| Little Boys Love for his Family

| Unity is Strength

| The Pig and The Sheep

| Father Son Conversation

| Whats for Dinner

| The Poor Mans Wealth
| Grandpas Table

| The Lazy Farmer

| Who or What do we love more?

| The Three Types of People

| The Cat, the Partridge and the Hare

| Birbals Wisdom

| The Travelers and The Plane Tree

| Boys Job Appraisal

| Birbal caught the Thief

| Five More Minutes

| The Kite without a thread

| Lesson Learned

| The Wet Pants

| Cycle of Evil

| The Farmer and the Snake

| A Man with a Lamp

| The King and Macaw Parrots

| A friend in need is a friend indeed.

| A Town Mouse and A Country Mouse

| Rose for Mother

| The Praying Hands

| One who read the future

| Always let your boss have the first say

| Crows in the Kingdom

| The Dreaming Priest

| Information Please

| Why Should I feel Bad?

| Two Frogs

| Baby Camel and Mother

| The Eternal Bond of Brother and Sister

| Dont let anyone steal your dreams.

| Always let your boss have the first say

| The Man and the Lion

| The Needy King and a Sage

| The Pot of the Wit

| Wealth without a Value

| The Eagle and the Woodcutter

| The Wild Doves

| The Swan and the Owl

| Zeus and the Potsherds

| The Wise Old Man

| Having a Best Friend

| A Soldiers Story

| Never to Give Up

| Looking at Mirror

| Lazy Donkey

| Controlling Temper

| Gift from Daughter

| Father and the Donkey

| The Seven Ravens

| Rodney Rhino's weekend Plans

| Sunny Days Favourite Sounds

| The Easter Story

| Simple Life Rules

| Ramu and the Mangoes

| Greedy Motu Mal

| The Snowdrop

| The Last Pearl

| The Fountain of Youth

| The Naughty Clock Winder

| The Magic Turtle

| The First Messenger

| The Cold Planet

| The Loss of Treasure

| The Turtle and the Monkey

| The Friend's Pot

| The Loss of Treasure

| Stubborn Goats

| Birbals Khichri (Rice)

| The Fox and the Grapes

| Boys Weakness

| The Rabbit and the Turtle

| The Rabbit and the Turtle

| Pundit and Rich Man

| The Best Practice Ever

| Love is in the Air

| Lost and Found

| The Pet Shop

| The Story of Eklavya

| Greedy Motu Mal

| Kimberly's Acting

| Language Confusion

| Nicole's Drums

| Sean and the Birthday Cake

| What are You Talking About?

| Emily's Secret

|  April's Month

| A Surprise from Australia

| The Clever Student

| Kalpana Sarojs life

|  PUBS AND THEIR SIGNS

| A Silly Science Experiment

| The story of the skyscraper

| Adaptation

| Pea Blossom

| Mistaken Gifts

| Jesus' Twelve Friends

| The Easter Story

| Angus the Tartan Goat

| Yankee Doodle

| The Boy in the Paper Boat

| The First Voyage

| The Golden Bird

|  The cold planet

| Opportunity

| Kimberly's Acting

| In Heaven

|  Act like the Others


 | The Clever Bull

| Too Tiny for Tea

| Foolish Imitation

| The Crow and The Necklace

| How Dave visited a doctor

| Lisa's Fluffy - Golf

| The Clever Crab

|  The Echo








\n

| A serious case

A serious case


I have a friend who is afraid of spiders. This isn't very unusual; a lot of people are afraid of spiders. I don't really like spiders much myself. I don't mind them if I see them outside in the garden, as long as they're not too big. But if one comes in the house, especially if it's one of those really big spiders with furry legs and little red eyes, then I go 'Yeeucch' and I try to get rid of it. Usually I'll use a brush to get rid of the spider, but if I feel brave then I'll put a glass over the top of it, slide a piece of paper under the glass and then take it outside.

This is quite normal, I think. But my friend isn't afraid of spiders in any normal way. She isn't just afraid of spiders, she is totally, completely and utterly terrified of them. When my friend sees a spider, she doesn't just go 'Uurgghh!' or run away or ask someone else to get rid of the horrible creepy-crawly. No, she screams as loud as she possibly can. She screams so loud that her neighbours worry about her and think about calling the police. When she sees a spider, she shivers all over and sometimes she freezes completely she can't move at all because she is so terrified. Sometimes she even faints.

But my friend had a surprise for me when we met for coffee last week.

'Guess what?' she asked me.

'What?' I said.

'I've got a new pet!'

'Great,' I said. 'What is it? A dog? A cat?'

'No.'

'A budgie?'

'No.'

'A rabbit?'

'No.'

'What then?'

'I've got a pet spider.'

'I don't believe you!'

'It's true! I decided that it was time I did something about my phobia, so I went to visit a doctor, a special doctor. A psychiatrist. This psychiatrist specialises in phobias helping people who have irrational fears to get better and live normally. He told me I suffered from "arachnophobia".'

'It's an irrational fear of spiders,' he said. 'About one in fifty people suffer from a severe form of arachnophobia. It's not very uncommon.'

'Thanks,' said my friend. 'But that doesn't help me much ...'

'There are lots of different ways we can try to cure your phobia,' said the psychiatrist. 'First, there is traditional analysis.'

'What does that mean?' asked my friend.

'This means lots of talking. We try to find out exactly why you have such a terrible fear of spiders. Perhaps it's linked to something that happened to you when you were a child.'

'Oh dear,' said my friend. 'That sounds quite worrying.'

'It can take a long time,' said the psychiatrist. 'Years, sometimes, and you can never be certain that it will be successful.'

'Are there any other methods?'

'Yes some psychiatrists use hypnosis along with traditional analysis.'

My friend didn't like the idea of being hypnotised. 'I'm worried about what things will come out of my subconscious mind!' she said. 'Are there any other methods?'

'Well,' said the psychiatrist, 'there is what we call the "behavioural" approach.'

'What's the behavioural approach?' asked my friend.

'Well,' said the psychiatrist, 'it's like this ...'

The psychiatrist got out a small spider from his desk. It wasn't a real spider. It was made of plastic. Even though it was only a plastic spider, my friend screamed when she saw it.

'Don't worry,' said the psychiatrist. 'It's not a real spider.'

'I know,' said my friend. 'But I'm afraid of it just the same.'

'Hmm,' said the psychiatrist. 'A serious case ...' He put the plastic spider on the desk. When my friend stopped screaming, the psychiatrist told her to touch it. When she stopped screaming again the idea of touching the plastic spider was enough to make her scream she touched it. At first she touched it for just one second. She shivered all over, but at least she managed to touch it.

'OK,' said the psychiatrist. 'That's all for today. Thanks. You can go home now.'

'That's it?' asked my friend.

'Yes.'

'That's all?'

'Yes, for today. This is the behavioural approach. Come back tomorrow.'

My friend went back the next day, and this time the plastic spider was already on the doctor's desk. This time she touched it and held it for five minutes. Then the doctor told her to go home and come back the next day. The next day she went back and the plastic spider was on her chair. She had to move the spider so she could sit down. The next day she held the spider in her hand while she sat in her chair. The next day, the doctor gave her the plastic spider and told her to take it home with her.

'Where do spiders appear in your house?' asked the psychiatrist.

'In the bath, usually,' said my friend.

'Put the spider in the bath,' he told her.

My friend was terrified of the spider in the bath, but she managed not to scream when she saw it there.

'It's only a plastic spider,' she told herself.

The next day the psychiatrist told her to put the spider in her living room. My friend put it on top of the television. At first she thought the spider was watching her and she felt afraid. Then she told herself that it was only a plastic spider.

The next day the psychiatrist told her to put the spider in her bed.

'No way!' she said. 'Absolutely not!'

'Why not?' asked the psychiatrist.

'It's a spider!' replied my friend.

'No, it's not,' said the psychiatrist, 'It's a plastic spider. It's not a real one.'

My friend realised that her doctor was right. She put the plastic spider in her bed and she slept there all night with it in her bed. She only felt a little bit afraid.

The next day, she went back to the psychiatrist. This time, she had a shock a big shock. Sitting in the middle of the doctor's desk there was a spider. And this time it was a real spider.

My friend was about to scream and run away, but she didn't. She sat on the other side of the room, as far away as possible from the spider, for about five minutes, then she got up and left the room.

'See you tomorrow!' shouted the psychiatrist to her as she left.

The next day she went back, and this time the psychiatrist let the spider run around on his desk. Again, my friend stayed about five minutes, then left. The next day she stayed for ten minutes, and the day after that, fifteen. Eventually, the psychiatrist held the spider, the real spider with long furry legs and little eyes, in his hand. He asked my friend to come and touch it. At first she refused, but the doctor insisted. Eventually she touched the spider, just for a second. The next day she touched it for a few seconds, then for a few minutes, and after that she held the spider in her own hand.

Then she took the spider home and let it run around in her house. She didn't feel afraid. Well, OK, she did feel afraid, but only a tiny bit.

'So now I've got a pet spider!' she told me again.

'Well done!' I said.

'There's only one problem,' she said, and as she spoke I noticed that she was shivering all over. Then she screamed and climbed up on the chair. She was pointing to something on the floor.

'Over there!' she screamed. 'Look! It's a beetle!'

 


Previously Shared Stories, 

Enjoy Reading;


| Bond of Love and the Truth

| The Circle of Good Deed

| The Seven Wonders

| The Frog in Hot Water

| Your Chance of a Greater Good

| The Bridge

| Your Chance of a Greater Good

| Act of Kindness and Goodwill

| Happiness and Sorrow

| Developing a Relationship

| Dont let anyone steal your dreams.

| The Needs and Desires

| The Ant and The Dove

| The Lion and a Clever Fox

| Sometimes Just let it be

| Choose Your Words Wisely

| Hundred Gold Coins & Birbal

| Farmers Well & Witty Birbal

| Tenali Rama and the Brinjal Curry

| How long can you keep hatred in your heart?

| Appreciation of Hard Work

| Little Boys Meeting with God

| 100 Percent Love

| An Old Man Lived in the Village

| A Kings Painting

| This was bound to happen

| Wealth without a Value

| Learn to Appreciate

| Fox and The Goat

| The Golden Egg

| Who is Happy? The Peacock and The Crow

| The Three Questions

| The Old Man and the Three Young Men

| The Bear and The Two Friends

| Think Before You Judge

| Georgie Porgie

| A Wise Old Owl

| Baa Baa Black Sheep

| Beg Your Pardon Mrs Hardin

| A limit of your Kindness

| The Man and The Little Cat

| The False Human Belief

| Making Relations Special

| The Monkey and The Crocodile

| The Wicked Barbers Plight

| The Wooden Bowl

| Smartest Man in the World

| The Little Mouse

| Helping Others

| Fear vs Respect

| Little Boys Love for his Family

| Unity is Strength

| The Pig and The Sheep

| Father Son Conversation

| Whats for Dinner

| The Poor Mans Wealth
| Grandpas Table

| The Lazy Farmer

| Who or What do we love more?

| The Three Types of People

| The Cat, the Partridge and the Hare

| Birbals Wisdom

| The Travelers and The Plane Tree

| Boys Job Appraisal

| Birbal caught the Thief

| Five More Minutes

| The Kite without a thread

| Lesson Learned

| The Wet Pants

| Cycle of Evil

| The Farmer and the Snake

| A Man with a Lamp

| The King and Macaw Parrots

| A friend in need is a friend indeed.

| A Town Mouse and A Country Mouse

| Rose for Mother

| The Praying Hands

| One who read the future

| Always let your boss have the first say

| Crows in the Kingdom

| The Dreaming Priest

| Information Please

| Why Should I feel Bad?

| Two Frogs

| Baby Camel and Mother

| The Eternal Bond of Brother and Sister

| Dont let anyone steal your dreams.

| Always let your boss have the first say

| The Man and the Lion

| The Needy King and a Sage

| The Pot of the Wit

| Wealth without a Value

| The Eagle and the Woodcutter

| The Wild Doves

| The Swan and the Owl

| Zeus and the Potsherds

| The Wise Old Man

| Having a Best Friend

| A Soldiers Story

| Never to Give Up

| Looking at Mirror

| Lazy Donkey

| Controlling Temper

| Gift from Daughter

| Father and the Donkey

| The Seven Ravens

| Rodney Rhino's weekend Plans

| Sunny Days Favourite Sounds

| The Easter Story

| Simple Life Rules

| Ramu and the Mangoes

| Greedy Motu Mal

| The Snowdrop

| The Last Pearl

| The Fountain of Youth

| The Naughty Clock Winder

| The Magic Turtle

| The First Messenger

| The Cold Planet

| The Loss of Treasure

| The Turtle and the Monkey

| The Friend's Pot

| The Loss of Treasure

| Stubborn Goats

| Birbals Khichri (Rice)

| The Fox and the Grapes

| Boys Weakness

| The Rabbit and the Turtle

| The Rabbit and the Turtle

| Pundit and Rich Man

| The Best Practice Ever

| Love is in the Air

| Lost and Found

| The Pet Shop

| The Story of Eklavya

| Greedy Motu Mal

| Kimberly's Acting

| Language Confusion

| Nicole's Drums

| Sean and the Birthday Cake

| What are You Talking About?

| Emily's Secret

|  April's Month

| A Surprise from Australia

| The Clever Student

| Kalpana Sarojs life

|  PUBS AND THEIR SIGNS

| A Silly Science Experiment

| The story of the skyscraper

| Adaptation

| Pea Blossom

| Mistaken Gifts

| Jesus' Twelve Friends

| The Easter Story

| Angus the Tartan Goat

| Yankee Doodle

| The Boy in the Paper Boat

| The First Voyage

| The Golden Bird

|  The cold planet

| Opportunity

| Kimberly's Acting

| In Heaven

|  Act like the Others


 | The Clever Bull

| Too Tiny for Tea

| Foolish Imitation

| The Crow and The Necklace

| How Dave visited a doctor

| Lisa's Fluffy - Golf

| The Clever Crab

|  The Echo








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