Fear of Flying

Fear of Flying: Effective Treatments and Solutions from The Devon CIC

Fear of flying is a complex psychological issue, one that has been made more complex by the security concerns of the last few years.



Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

The Devon Clinic CIC is pleased to offer Fear of Flying treatments from the following local practitioner(s):

Dr Ellis Kalmus BA(Hons), Clin.Psy.D., C.Psychol., AFBPsS. at New Devon Clinic

Dr Ellis Kalmus BA(Hons), Clin.Psy.D., C.Psychol., AFBPsS.

 Chris Fleet (Dip.Hyp. Adv D. hyp, GQHP) at New Devon Clinic

Chris Fleet (Dip.Hyp. Adv D. hyp, GQHP)

More About Fear of Flying

There are many books, videos, and other resources that deal with the fear of flying, so deciding what may work for you may be a difficult process. Many people develop fears as they mature and life itself seems more precious, while some have lived with fear their entire lives. Others may have experienced a bad flight. Regardless of when fears develop, those who suffer can experience sleepless nights, elevated anxiety, and fear of panic attacks. Often friends and family can’t understand the problems caused by a fear of flying. Fearful fliers react to feeling out of control, as well as weather, turbulence, flying over water, claustrophobia, crowds, losing control (panic attacks), terrorists, hijackings, fear of falling, and fear of heights. Many times these fears are caused by a lack of understanding about what to expect during a flight.

Any one of these phobias can be extremely debilitating to a person’s quality of life and in extreme cases can cause depression to the sufferer and can have a huge impact on their everyday life.

Aerophobia can also be termed aviophobia or aviatophobia, depending on the person and their country of origin. Aerophobia is a designated ‘specific’ phobia, meaning it has a definite subject matter which can be targeted and treated.

Some of the main issues that need to be addressed when treating aerophobia are those surrounding control, trust, distortion of thoughts and how to cope with fear and uncertainty.

Sufferers not only fear the flight and experience distress during flying, but also spend much of the time before the flight, sometimes weeks or months, worrying about the forthcoming experience, with thoughts often being largely pre-occupied with the subject and much distress being caused. Whilst this occurs the problem escalates and the intensity of anxiety deepens until the time of boarding the plane when a full panic attack can occur.

Aerophobia is slightly more prevalent in women than men, and can also be seen in children, though often this is learned behaviour from parents who are sufferers of this disorder.

Up to 1 in 5 people are thought to be sufferers, but this is a difficult number to gauge as many people do not like to disclose theirs fears as they are often seen as signs of weakness and can subject them to ridicule from their peers. This is especially true if someone’s job requires a lot of air travel, where this phobia may also cause them to think that their chances of promotion or company success may be hindered.

The people who suffer from this type of phobia will not all experience the same type of anxiety or intensity of symptoms and for those who are seeking treatment to help overcome their fear, wide research of the available options is required to find a method that is specifically suitable to their fears and symptoms encountered.

Fear of Flying is also sometimes known as:

  • Flying anxiety
  • Aerophobia
  • Aviophobia
  • Aviatophobia

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