A regional daily journalist with a lifelong fear of spiders has undergone hypnosis in a bid to cure his phobia.
Arachnophobic reporter Alex Grove, of the Hull Daily Mail, was hypnotised to find the root cause of why he fears the eight-legged creatures.
Alex wrote a feature for the Mail on his experience, which saw him enter a deep trance during the session with hypnotherapist Diana Rushton.
Alex admitted to his phobia being “one that plagues me and makes me jump out of my skin whenever I see one”.
He wrote: “When I was younger a spider crawled up on my neck as I was getting changed and I remember batting it off me and squealing like a baby. It still makes me shiver thinking about that particular moment but in the session, other pivotal childhood moments came to the surface, including my mum’s fear of spiders.
“This technique of taking me back to when I was a child is known as ‘past life regression’ and it encouraged me to talk with my former self and tell the 10-year-old me that I didn’t need to be afraid.
“This took up a large chunk of the session and put me into a deep hypnotic state to the point where, in the last 20 minutes of the session, I fell asleep. I woke up a bit dazed and confused, but also amazed that hypnotherapy had knocked me out cold, so to speak.
“When I came round, Diana explained how the fears stemmed from my childhood and how the close bond with my mum made me latch on to her trepidations.”
After being awoken, Alex was given a 20-minute recording of the session to listen to for 21 days in order to help him overcome his fear.
He added: “I’m now halfway through the 21 days and I’ve come to realise that my hatred of spiders came from childhood at a time when I was younger and more vulnerable.
“Admittedly, I’m still not entirely comfortable with seeing spiders but the aim of the session was never to make me fall in love with the creatures – but to make me realise that I didn’t need to be scared.”