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Teaching Phobias at London Zoo

Krishna Popat

23rd June 2016

We all know how much students love a trip and recently I took my students to London Zoo...for purely educational purposes of course. This trip allowed my students to explore the topic of phobias which is examined as part of the Psychopathology topic in Year 1 Psychology.

While at London Zoo my students attended a workshop which was run by a clinical hypnotherapist. In the first session they had a chance to understand what triggers a phobia and our responses to feared objects. However, it was the second session where things got even more lively...

In session two the students listened to a case study about the ‘ZSL Friendly Spider Programme’. The students then had the opportunity to take part in a hypnosis demonstration and graduated exposure to an animal that commonly causes a phobia response.

Personally, I am terrified of baby spiders, let alone tarantulas and with some persuading (or bullying) from my lovely Year 12’s I managed to hold a Tarantula!

It is a great trip and the students loved it. They were able to apply what they experienced in class to understand the characteristics of phobias, explaining why phobias may begin and how to treat phobias using systematic desensitization.

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Krishna Popat

Krishna Popat is Head of Psychology at Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls. Krishna is passionate about Psychology and is always looking for new ideas to make Psychology as fun and engaging for her students as possible. She is also a personal tutor and examiner.

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