I used to be horribly phobic of spiders, any kind but especially black widows. I often had nightmares, occasionally still do, of black widows crawling on me or biting me. Couldn't stand to be close to any spider of any size. Around age 20, I decided to try and desensitize myself. First started handling daddy long legs. Then started handling small spiders and stepped it up to a little larger, letting them crawl on my hands. Now when in the yard, if I run across a large garden spider of say three inches diameter, counting the legs, I'll usually force myself to touch the critter on the back. If a spider gets on me now, I'll usually just brush it off or maybe will watch it a little before doing so. Before working on the issue, if a spider fairly large spider got on me, I would have just jumped up and down and screamed like a girl in a horror movie. So the process has worked pretty well. That has been good for me and also been good for our local spider population. Only the black widows continue to get squished as a result of my phobia.
Garter snakes or worm snakes might be a good choice for starting the desensitizing process!
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.