along Came a Spider

Along came a spider: Simple Phobia
This little quilt, 12″ square, was part of a challenge to make a quilt inspired by the word falling. I used an unfinished block that looks like a spider web and added spiders. Spiders and fear are the theme of this story.

Phobias are irrational fears that cause the body to trigger a fight flight response. The person with a phobia usually has many uncomfortable symptoms, both physical and mental, that makes them want to escape. Yet escape will only reinforce the fear. The goal is to approach not avoid. People only come in for therapy when a phobia significantly interferes with their life.

So how could something as small as a spider prevent a person from functioning?
Let’s look at Sam. Due to his fear he was unable to leave his home if he saw a spider web near his house. This did not bode well for his work schedule. He’d also have to check his car before any trip and drive with the windows up. This all took an inordinate amount of time. He’d never eat outside. So yes, it seriously interfered with his life!
He learned deep breathing exercises, relaxation and desensitization techniques. Then the fun began. I’d bring in spiders to the session and we’d practice calming techniques. Eventually the spider was left out of the jar and he’d have to catch it and take it outside.
Through this exposure to spiders he was able to desensitize himself to their presence. Through cognitive reframing he was able to check the irrationality of his fears. Sam also learned to use the appropriate technique to calm his symptoms. He never did like spiders but he was no longer afraid of them.
He didn’t allow those arachnoids to spin him in a web of fear!

I’m new to this blog thing so in the previous blog I failed to identify the name of the quilt, which is Storm at Sea, and the quilter who made it, my friend Bonnie Anderson, and the title of the story, Childhood Bipolar Disorder. Hopefully I’ll improve as I continue this journey!


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