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Fear of Flying

airplane interiorThe last time that we flew to Cairns from Brisbane, I was seated beside a lady who feared flying. She didn’t announce that she was fearful – it was painfully obvious that she was in distress but she seemed able to manage it.

During taxiing, she sat up straighter, gripped the armrests until her knuckles were white and was breathing rapidly. She was pale, her eyes widened and she began to sweat.

I stated to her that she appeared distressed, introduced myself as a hypnotherapist and asked her if she’d like some hypnosis to help her to cope.

I received a very definite acceptance, accompanied by the statement that she’d try anything and that the fear had been a lifelong problem. She was in her mid-thirties and lived far away from her hometown.

I immediately calmed her, induced trance and led her on a journey through QANTAS Pilot School and the Boeing Factory.

By the time that we were flying level and she’d exited trance, she was calm, became quite cheerful and was a pleasant travelling companion. As we approached Cairns Airport for landing, she was still calm and needed no extra assistance to maintain her calmness.

Phobias can severely limit our lives. This lady had always been able to manage hers and could overcome it enough so that she could fly to visit her family. In my younger days, I knew a Homicide Detective who would self-medicate with Scotch whenever he had to fly. Clearly, a negative impact on his life in that he wasn’t at peak performance when he arrived on site.

Hypnosis is a very powerful treatment for phobias. Sometimes, one treatment is enough. Rarely does it take more than a maximum of three.

When we remove a phobia with hypnosis, we take care to leave respect for the problem. If you have, for example, a snake phobia, it isn’t really a good idea to have you playing with Taipans, Fierce Snakes or Eastern Browns. Removal of the phobia means you won’t panic, turn and run into a tree, knock yourself out, fall down and get bitten anyway.

Sharon’s story is in the testimonial section. We got rid of her shark phobia so that she could enjoy swimming in the open ocean, more than three kilometres from shore. She keeps a lookout for sharks, just as she keeps a lookout for other hazards. This has turned a fearful, heart palpitating, “wish it was over” event into a pleasant, enjoyable experience that is, for her, a pleasure to recall. She now anticipates her next Mudjimba Island Swim encounter.

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