Flying Phobia Treatment
Flying phobias are one of the most common fears that I work with. People with fear of flying tend to appear the most during the holiday season. It’s useful to differentiate between anxiety about flying and an extreme and irrational fear of flying. A person with anxiety may get on the plane to fly, whereas the latter will not even entertain the possibility of getting on a plane. In fact in most instances merely thinking about flying or seeing a plane fly overhead can provoke an extreme and fearful response. I have had clients who got on a plane and then had to get off, the fear was so great. This is never popular with other travellers as it means the entire flight is then delayed!
Rather than analyse “why” the person has the fear, my approach to successfully work with this issue is to figure out “how” they are creating the fear and then change the way of thinking and feeling about it. In many instances a person with this problem will become hyperaware of everything they hear and see around themselves. This hyperawareness creates an anxiety state that in extreme cases can result in a person literally shaking with fear when thinking about travelling in this way. Many find themselves thinking a series of very unhelpful thoughts to themselves in an anxious tone of voice. This is usually done as a commentary on how they are feeling or in a manner where they are anticipating a problem arising. Typical examples of such thoughts are
“I’m starting to feel anxious”
“What if the plane spins out of control?”
One of the keys to changing this fear of flying is to change how these thoughts occur and the Provocative Change Works exercises are an excellent way of achieving this.
In 2006 I helped a number of people with fear of flying on my marathon 26 week stint on BBC radio, and some of the sessions, including one with a fear of flying, can be found at the ” BBC Radio Sessions” section of this website.
When working with people who have extreme fear of flying I use my Provocative Change Works approach (visit provocativechangeworks.com for more information and products) which combines insights from over two decades of studying personal development, NLP, Hypnotherapy, Provocative Therapy and other approaches. My focus in client sessions is to explore “how” the client is creating the irrational fear, rather than “why” they have it. Many clients with fear of flying may have already tried traditional hypnosis, psychotherapy and occasionally exposure therapy before seeing me privately.
Many clients can be helped in 2 – 3 sessions or less, providing they follow advice and listen back to the recordings of the sessions. A client on one of the BBC sessions, who had a fear of flying, took me just 20 minutes to bring about helpful change for them. After we changed the unhelpful internal suggestions he was making to himself, the rest was easy.
Client Feedback who had Flying Phobias
“My honeymoon was definitely enhanced by the fact I could cope with the flying experience and I think there was part of me that actually enjoyed the flying! So thank you very much for helping me with this, and it definitely worked. My partner was quite amazed at the difference in me.”
“Just to confirm that following my 2 hour session July 4th 13.00 – 15.00; I went for a trial flight last November to Jersey and back from EMA. Thought it would be remiss of me if I didn’t tell you I have just returned from a holiday in China [Shanghai]. From one extreme to the other but… Listened to the CDs before setting off – enjoyed the experience – thank you!”
“You are a magician!”
“Please to report success!! Slight nerves on takeoff but managed to watch the landing each time, and on the final leg looked out as we took off!
Just letting you know that I had no fear at all on my flights. I am over the moon. On the way to Spain we even had the seat belt sign on for half an hour due to bad turbulence and I wasn’t scared. On the way home I even went to sleep!!
We are already planning a trip to America to see my Auntie next year.
Thank you so much”