Fear of flying
Ask someone who has a fear of flying what they mean by that and you may be surprised by their answer.
Fear of flying may include all or some of the following:
- fear of taking off/landing
- fear of turbulence
- fear of travel/being away from home
- fear of strangers touching their luggage
- fear of the airport environment
- fear of heights
- fear of enclosed spaces
- fear of the unknown e.g. suspicious of other passengers moving around in the plane (trips to the loo etc.)
- fear of not being in control or their environment
- fear of crashing.
Their fear of flying may show itself in any or all of the following:
- they become physically ill/faint
- they become aggressive/unreasonable
- they withdraw
- they hope that something bad will happen so that the holiday is cancelled
- they turn to alcohol to steady their nerves
- their behaviour becomes so erratic that it attracts the attention of the security forces.
Simply telling them:
- Flying is the quickest way of covering long distances.
- The plane contains £1000s worth of highly sophisticated equipment which is regularly maintained and was checked again during pre-flight checks.
- The cabin crew and pilots are highly trained and subject to stringent medicals.
- Turbulence is more of a nuisance than a threat.
- They’ll enjoy the holiday when they get there…
Is not much help at all.
A skilled hypnotherapist will spend time taking a detailed history, analysing information, looking for patterns. Has this come on suddenly as a result of a previous bad experience, is some of the experience okay but other aspects unbearable? The hypnotherapist will then go about reframing the client’s relationship with flying, neutralising negative aspects, enhancing positive experience. The therapist may ask the client to visualise the upcoming flight (if one is booked) but may well begin a week before the flight, then the night before, the morning of the flight, the time in the terminal, the takeoff, flight and landing and the return trip, making it all very positive and comfortable.
Some clients prefer to have a top-up session a couple of days before the flight whilst others will use relaxation techniques taught by the therapist to manage any remaining anxiety such as tapping techniques or colour breathing.
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About Anne Marie Stagg
Anne Marie is an experienced clinical hypnotherapist based in Hull, E. Yorkshire.
She works with many clients on fears and phobias of all kinds; fear of flying being the most prolific.
She also sees clients for weight management, food/sugar addictions and a range of other issues including smoking cessation, nail biting and exam performance.