With so many people off on their holidays I thought it would be appropriate to discuss a very common phobia – fear of flying.
In cognitive hypnotherapy whenever we deal with a phobia we are interested in when the fear started. If it started as a result of a (scary) single event, especially but not exclusively when you were young we call this the initial sensitising event. In some cases this event has nothing to do with flying at all.
Whilst dealing with my own fear of flying the initial sensitising event at first seemed completely unrelated to flying. I remember being at a fair on a Wurlitzer ride with a friend and being terrified. The guys running the ride thought it was funny that I was afraid and so spun the ride faster and faster. I couldn’t get off and felt totally out of control – the same way I realised that I felt on a plane.
Feeling out of control is something that people commonly cite as part of their problem with flying. However there are several other fears that can contribute to a fear of flying. These include; claustrophobia, fear of heights, fear of vomiting, fear of having a panic attack, fear of turbulence, fear of hijacking to name a few.
Although it is not uncommon for the initial event to be different from the actual fear, fear of flying can be triggered by a bad flight, a feeling of personal vulnerability which can sometimes be linked to increased responsibilities such as becoming a parent and even experiencing extreme reactions to press coverage of airline crashes.
Fear of flying not only occurs when in flight but can cause weeks of anxiety leading up to a flight. It can prevent both leisure and business travel and for some people it is a major obstacle in their lives. Hypnotherapy is a really effective therapy for dealing with fear of flying and I know from personal experience that it works. So don’t leave it until the last minute, book a session so that you can look forward to your flight instead of dreading it.