Flight Phobia (Aviophobia)
Phobia is a type of persistent fear of an object or a situation and is commonly accompanied by anxiety, claustrophobia, and/or panic. Some examples include fear of the elevator, needle, and flight. The good news is that you can overcome phobia. I utilize a combination of EMDR, cognitive behavioral (CBT) and exposure therapies to treat phobia.
Anxiety, claustrophobia, and panic are caused by stress hormones produced by a part of our brain called “amygdalae.” Research on Aviophobia informs that there are educational and psychological aspects to flying. Anxiety related to flying ranges from not knowing how the flight operates, feeling helpless and lack of control, to having a negative flight experience, or hearing about flight disasters in the media.
Following the guidelines and suggestions from seasoned Captains Tom Bunn and Stacey Chance EMDR and CBT techniques are incorporated to effectively do the following:
Desensitize anxiety through relaxation and stress reduction strategies; education about aviation; imaginal exposure; and cognitive techniques as you plan to prepare for your upcoming flight
Activate and enhance your internal resource through a proven strength training technique to reduce and/or inhibit stress hormones
The goal of this therapy is to help you maintain a sense of calmness and control both in your mind and body throughout the process of flight from check in to destination
Here are a few resources: Please note that the resources provided below are recommended to be used in combination with therapy to achieve successful flight outcome
SOAR: book written by Captain Tom Bunn
Fear of Flying: a free online help course offered by Captain Stacey Chance