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Case Studies

Phobia - Fear of Flying

Case Study 1: Client with a fear that planes can't really fly, so started to panic if up in the air for more than an hour.

A surprise gift of a trip to Florida the following week from the partner meant that the client couldn't see me over a few sessions, so we settled for one blockbuster triple session - 3 hours. At first, relaxation exercises were taught and recorded, then we made a story loop, from packing and preparing, to the journey to the airport, checking in bags and moving to the departure lounge, onto the plane, taking off, travelling and landing at the other end - and setting off on a welcome holiday. At every stage the relaxation practices were reminded, and a return journey loop was included. This was done three times, reminding that flying is one of the safest ways to travel, and always finishing each travel loop with a safe landing and sense of achievement. Finally another hypnosis session during which simple common sense was discussed, including some ideas that a gale force wind can lift people and things right up in the air and even throw a straw through a tree - which no person could do. It was then pointed out that the plane is so designed that it creates its own supporting gale force wind (I know better than this now but the concept served its purpose). The client went away happy and sent me a card later to say that the whole journey had been fantastic and their partner had thought they were with a new person. Every time they felt anxious they just put on the recording and relaxed again.

Case Study 2: Client wanted to feel in control but couldn't on a plane journey.

As for Case Study 1, relaxation exercises were taught and recorded, followed by a session in which they were reminded that they could cope with their partner driving and really travelling as a passenger on a plane was not so very different. Finally, we did some Regression work during which the client recalled that, when small, they were locked in a cupboard by a bigger brother and had felt angry that they couldn't control their situation.

Case Study 3: Client told by their partner that they were breaking up,  immediately before a whole day's journey from Australia to UK!

The client was left with a whole day to sit with all the shock, upset, sense of loss and extreme anger at the way they had been treated. In addition, the partner had been a pilot and many near-miss conversations had been overheard when socialising. We covered the relaxation exercises and did the travel loop, followed by a session where we discussed how the only interesting thing that pilots can talk about is the near misses as discussing uneventful flights wouldn't really make good conversation for them (common sense). Finally, we followed a Soul Retrieval process where the emotions were addressed and released.

The client went away smiling broadly, luckily now with a new partner, no doubt to enjoy many happy holidays with flying as a mode of transport.

To me, the interesting thing about "fear of flying" is that, when I first began my work, I would get clients into hypnosis and then read from a script which provided therapeutic suggestions. The script for fear of flying would not have helped any of my clients so far. Also, sometimes a client had been OK with flying in the past, so clearly something triggered the phobia.