While the fear of flying is by far the most common phobia in this country, it is also the most treatable. A full 40% of individuals admit that they are afraid to fly and as many as 2 out of 10 refuse to fly under any circumstances. People who are afraid of flying share similar fears; fear of being trapped, fear of losing control, fear of having a panic attack while I the air, and fear of the plane crashing. Most of them can admit that their fears are irrational, and that the anticipation of flying is much worse than the actual anxiety experienced once on board and in flight.
Because the nature of the fears are so similar from one individual to another, it has been found that providing a group therapy experience for fearful flyers, culminating in a ‘graduation’ flight, can be a rewarding, positive and successful experience. In the group sessions, individuals learn to recognize the irrational beliefs underlying their fears, they learn to manage anxiety effectively using breathing exercises and positive imagery, and they learn about the actual mechanics of flying so that noises and sensations can be attributed to their proper source.
Many individuals have conquered their fear of flying at Agoraphobia Resource Center and we continue to receive post cards from former clients from all corners of the world.