Students to Face Fears at Cedar Point

October 14, 2013

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Students in Dr. Kevin Meyer’s Abnormal Psychology course at the University of Mount Union will be able to take their study of phobias to whole new heights.

On Sunday, October 20, Meyer’s students will visit Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH to participate in this year's Face Your Fear project. Twenty of the 32 students in the class have a professed fear of roller coasters and thrill rides and will have the opportunity to challenge the amusement park’s roller coasters, including the 420-foot-tall Top Thrill Dragster.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Meyer's class has visited the park in an effort to apply therapeutic techniques to battle anxiety and fear. Over the years, no student has failed to conquer his or her phobias in this semester-long project. Out of 42 students who have started, all 42 have been successful, with many being transformed into roller-coaster enthusiasts.

“I'm always thrilled and humbled by the students’ willingness to participate (this is a very real fear), and also by the work they put in and the courage they show,” said Meyer, who is also a practicing therapist.

“On the surface, this may look like a project designed to help students ride roller coasters, but there is so much more to it,” he said. “It's about not allowing fear and anxiety control your decisions and behavior in every walk of life, and about gaining a personal understanding of how and why some tried and true therapeutic methods work. It's unlike any other classroom experience I have ever been involved with.”

Students will be at Cedar Point during HalloWeekends, which opened September 13 and will be held on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays until the end of October. Cedar Point will be open from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday nights (only certain rides will be open); noon to midnight on Saturdays and noon to 9 p.m. Sundays.

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