Fear of Flying
The Fear of Flying (also known as Aviophobia) is not the inability to travel in a plane as most ‘fearful flyers’ do actually fly it’s just that they find it a very uncomfortable experience.
How each person experiences the fear of flying will differ considerably and can range from a “mild concern”, that passes once you have made the decision to fly, to a powerful and over-powering fear, or panic attacks that make air travel a near impossibility.
To gauge how your own fear of flying compare with others, just imagine a scale with mild nervousness at one end, a severe and disabling phobia of air travel at the opposite end, and somewhere in the middle, the person who travels by air only when they really, absolutely, have to.
Mild Fear of Flying
At the mild end of the gauge is the person who becomes a little anxious for a while at certain stages of the flight.
They may become uneasy on entering the plane, when the doors close, when the plane takes off or lands or manoeuvres, or if they experience turbulence, etc.
This is not a true fear of flying – and even the most confident flyers will, on occasions, experience these thoughts or stressful feelings.
Midway along this “scale” is the nervous or ‘white knuckle’ flyer.
This person will travel by plane as a last resort, because they have no other choice.
They will try to avoid going on holidays or applying for jobs that might involve air travel.
Or they will spend long hours travelling by car and ferry, much to the discomfort of family members or colleagues who have to accompany them.
If they really have to fly they will usually use strong medication or alcohol to help them deal with their fear of flying.
Any trip involving air travel is an ordeal for them.
When they arrive they may take quite a while to get over their outward journey – only to then begin nervously anticipating the return journey.
At the far end of the spectrum is the person whose fear of flying is so strong that they cannot fly at all – even the thought of being in a plane causes severe anxiety.
For the person with such a flying phobia the experience of being on a plane can be quite distressing and may result in panic attacks, nausea, shaking, hyperventilating, etc.
Fear of Flying can be so incapacitating as to make air travel quite impossible and can even prevent them travelling to an airport to meet someone else.
Fear of Flying is Common
It is estimated that up to 1 in 5 (20%) people have a fear of flying – depending on the intensity of their phobia they may either avoid air travel altogether or may only be able to fly with the aid of alcohol or medication.
For some this is inconvenient or embarrassing.
For others it is a major block – for example when their fear of flying prevents them and their families going on holidays together.
In some cases the fear of flying can have a major impact on a person’s career – they will avoid or turn-down a promotion or will not even apply for positions that might require them to travel Internationally.
Fear of Flying Hypnosis Course
You may be interested to know that Joan offers a very popular 4 session fear of flying course using evidence-based hypnotherapy.
Read more about Fear of Flying Hypnosis here.
Psychological Therapy for the Fear of Being Flying
If you’re determined to overcome your Fear of Being Flying then we highly recommend following our Advanced Tranceformental CBT programme with Paul which is available as an Online Therapy as well as a self-directed programme.
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic mental health counselling course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.
Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an evidence-based, research supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Alternative Therapy Options for the Fear of Being Flying
Although our preferred form of mental health counselling for the Fear of Being Flying is our Tranceformental CBT programme, we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.
- Psychodynamic therapy which focuses more on emotional problems and relies on the Therapeutic Relationship to bring about change. Available with Paul.
- General Counselling which is less structured but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss issues which is therapeutic in its own right.
- Hypnotherapy is an alternative form of therapy that can be applied to a very wide range of problems and is available with Joan.
Free Initial Consultations for the Fear of Being Flying
We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial consultation to discuss your Fear of Being Flying prior to commencing any treatment plans.
During this consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are also available online using Zoom by prior arrangement.
At Tranceform Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking therapy with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Fear of Flying Overcome with the Tranceformental CBT Programme
I came back from my holiday Friday night after 2 weeks of complete relaxation.
For the first time I was able to relax right up to the moment I went home including when I was on the plane.
I did the DREAM exercises before I went on and it really helped me to have full control on the plane with no panic moments at all.
I took the first flight for granted, when it come to my second flight I didn’t do no techniques or exercises because I thought I would be sound which lead to a nervy flight.
I didn’t think about the flight until I was on it, once I was on I started to let myself lose control.
I proved to myself that although you can do it once doesn’t mean you don’t ever need to do the exercises again.
I know because I didn’t do the exercises or didn’t apply myself properly was the reason I had a not so good second flight.
All it comes down to though is that I didn’t control it properly and allowed myself to create my fear again.
Next time though it will be under control and hasn’t knocked my confidence one bit I am going to succeed and will totally rid it soon.
The way I look at it is my first flight will be my motivation for everything now.
It was full proof to myself that the DREAM technique literally works a dream to me when applied!
Nothing’s an obstacle now I like to see it as challenge which drives me on even more to gain full control. I now want to start seeking heights rather than step away from them.
I couldn’t thank you anymore for helping me to understand myself and giving me the right guidance to allow me to understand how to gain control.
You introduced me to something that has and will continue to change my life.
Thank you again for everything Paul.