Huge demand for Friendly Spider Programme | Extra date added at ZSL London Zoo

Due to phenomenal demand for ZSL London Zoo’s Friendly Spider Programme, an extra date has had to be added for 2009.

[UKPRwire, Tue Sep 29 2009] The last course was due to be held on October 10th 2009, but because of such record numbers of applicants, course leader and head of the BUGS department at ZSL, Dave Clarke has been delighted to add another session on October 24th.

Dave says: “It’s fantastic that so many people are coming to us to cure their fear of spiders. The course success rate speaks for itself, and I’m really happy to have to give up an extra Saturday when we see such great results.”

The Friendly Spider Programme is a one afternoon course held at ZSL London Zoo, and has been running since 1993. Over 2000 people have taken part, with a success rate of over 80%.

The Programme aims to cure all participants of their phobias of spiders, particularly those with extreme fears. Facing sufferers of the most common phobia in the UK, ZSL London Zoo’s experts give participants the confidence to handle common house spiders and even touch one of the Zoo’s red kneed spiders.

As one participant commented: “I just don't see spiders in the same way anymore - seeing one doesn’t bring me out in a sweaty panic. It sounds like a cliché but the course really has changed my life!”

For any undecided arachnophobia sufferers out there, there’s still time to book a place on the last session of 2009. For more information please visit


Editors’ Notes

For more information please contact Rebecca Smith:-
T: 0207 449 6236

ZSL London Zoo is run by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity: our key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. The Society runs ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, carries out scientific research in the Institute of Zoology and is actively involved in field conservation in other countries worldwide. For further information please visit

The Friendly Spider Programme (FSP) is an afternoon course, carefully designed to ease or eliminate the condition of arachnophobia – fear of spiders. The programme is a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy. The course takes place in the Zoological Society of London's meeting rooms. No animals, photographs or illustrations are used until the end part of the course.

Success is measured by participants taking part in an activity of catching house spiders under a glass, and if they so wish, cured participants are given the chance to meet Polly, one of ZSL London Zoo’s red kneed spiders.

The course fee is £110 with half price concessions available for under-sixteen’s, registered students, people on income support, and over 60’s. Please note that under-sixteen’s also require a signed guardian consent form and accompaniment throughout the duration of the session.

Dave Clarke is the Head Keeper on the BUGS department at ZSL London Zoo. A Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society he has been running the Friendly Spider Programme at the Zoo since 1993.

For more information about the Friendly Spider Programme please visit

Dates for the Friendly Spider Programme courses in 2010 will be released soon.

Company: ZSl London Zoo

Contact Name: Rebecca Smith

Contact Email:

Contact Phone: 020 7449 6236

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