NLP helps Sidmouth dog groomer overcome spider phobia

PUBLISHED: 16:17 18 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:21 17 June 2010

A SIDMOUTH dog groomer with a deep-seated fear of spiders, has had her life transformed by an Ottery St Mary woman using neuro linguistic programming.

A SIDMOUTH dog groomer with a deep-seated fear of spiders, has had her life transformed by an Ottery St Mary woman using neuro linguistic programming.

Clipping a Rottweiler's nails is a doddle for Suzanne Hoare, of Yardelands, but she was so terrified of spiders she couldn't even watch them on TV or in books, let alone let them in her house.

Her work led her to Vanessa Hudson of St Anthony's Close, Ottery, who recently qualified as an NLP life coach, using the same techniques as hypnotist Paul McKenna to deal with such issues as marital problems, phobias, obesity and smoking.

Vanessa offered to help Suzanne overcome her phobia after she spoke about it while grooming Vanessa's 18-year-old collie-cross Max.

Now, six weeks after her first session, Suzanne can look at spiders without coming out in a cold sweat.

Vanessa, an Ottery town councillor, said: "I had a really bad phobia of birds. I used not to be able to go on the beach because of seagulls."

Since her year-long course at Exeter, she has lost that fear, enjoying a trip to the sea with her children this summer.

"I have had many challenges of my own," said Vanessa, who suffers from ME. "Everyone came to me with their problems. I was just there to support them.

"A friend suggested NLP for dealing with my problems. It is helping people to change things they want to change in their lives, to help them deal with challenges by using many different techniques, including mild hypnotism."

She said people hypnotised themselves each day subconsciously and it was about getting in touch with that part of the brain.

Suzanne says she was fully aware of what was going on during the sessions.

"Doing life coaching before didn't give me any confidence to help people any more than in the past, this is so amazing how you can help people to get rid of baggage from the past," said Vanessa.

After just a few sessions Suzanne could hold a matchbox containing a spider and release it when told to.

She said: "I don't look for spiders now when I go into a room, before I always looked first.

"It has given me the freedom I didn't have before. People don't realise how a bad phobia affects you."

Vanessa, who offers an initial free consultation before embarking on NLP coaching sessions, said: "I couldn't believe how brilliantly she had done, her phobia was very deep-rooted."

You can find more on her website:

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald