This is the time of year when many people are looking towards their summer holidays. Some will be contemplating them with a feeling of trepidation. That is if it involves flying.
Many people used to think nothing of going on a plane, but over time the fear of flying has developed. This has meant they either don’t fly at all, or they suffer while doing it, albeit alleviated with drugs or alcohol. Other people have never liked it to begin with. On looking into it a bit further I usually find that associated with the fear of flying can be the fear of being enclosed (lifts, theatres etc.). Also the client with this phobia often has a strong need to be in control.
There are courses that people can attend where they are taken on aircraft and friendly pilots explain how it all works and how the risk of death is incredibly low. The thing is that people know this already. It is not the rational mind that is the problem, it is the subconscious which is responsible for feelings and imagination, and which is not easily persuaded by the conscious, rational mind.
Fortunately fear of flying and other phobias can be addressed with hypnotherapy and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). What I tend to do is to ask the client about their experiences and specific fears. Sometimes these are obvious at the start or they can become more apparent as we progress. So there can be fear of being enclosed, not able to get out, that they won’t be able to breathe. For many there isn’t a fear of the plane crashing as you might expect. What I find more common is a fear of the fear itself. “How will I react? What if I have to get off?”
Usually clients will have between three and six sessions, depending on how complex the problem is. By the end we will have cleared the fears and anxieties, meaning they can relax on the plane. I used to ask that they send me a postcard from their destination to tell me how it went, which was a great way of getting some feedback! These days it is more likely to be email, but the message is usually the same “I didn’t know it could be so easy”.