For some, the deathly fear of snakes is completely reasonable — even if they are of the garden or garter variety. But what if you are terrified of moths, grasshoppers or puppies? Plenty of people are afraid of something but in extreme cases, the fear can become so intense, it’s actually a phobia. These phobias can transform every day behavior in a way that could make you laugh if it didn’t actually reduce you to terror or tears.
So, what is a phobic person to do? Many desperate adults turn to the Anxiety Treatment Center of Sacramento, run by psychologist Dr. Robin Zasio. In Animal Planet’s brand-new series, MY EXTREME ANIMAL PHOBIA, premiering Friday, October 21, at 10 PM (ET/PT), viewers meet the following: Jahara, a mother who is afraid to open windows or turn on her air conditioner for fear that spiders or bugs will get in her home; Marvin, a burly, tattooed, motorcycle-riding family man who won’t spend time outside with his kids because of his traumatic terror of pit bulls; and Seth, a San Francisco musician who utterly is terrified of snakes. With the guidance of Dr. Zasio, they are about to change their lives forever.
The only problem… things have to get a lot worse before they can get better.
In each hour-long episode of MY EXTREME ANIMAL PHOBIA, three people embark on a five-day, live-in course of intensive exposure therapy. They achieve remarkable results to beat the fear that has taken a firm grip on their lives. Whether wild animals or domestic pets, including roaches, cats, lizards, spiders, dogs, birds, snakes, pigeons, bees, bats and even moths, exposure therapy is highly effective – and very entertaining.
“When something so intense or a fear so overwhelming runs your life to such a powerful degree, it’s a serious problem we need to address,” says Dr. Zasio, who has 20 years of experience treating anxiety and regularly has appeared on A&E’s HOARDERS.
MY EXTREME ANIMAL PHOBIA is a production of RelativityREAL for Animal Planet. Tom Forman, Julie Jones, Jon Beyer, and Brad Bishop are executive producers for RelativityREAL. Lisa Lucas is the executive producer for Animal Planet.