Fear of Flying

According to the ‘Fear of Flying’ programme broadcast tonight on Channel 4, as many as one person in five of us has some degree of phobic reaction to flying – that’s 20% of the population!

High profile disasters and terrorist atrocities, such as 9/11, only serve to heighten our fears. According to research reported in New Scientist this week, television distorts our perception of reality, making us more prone to misjudging the actual risks.

Known as the “availability heuristic”, first identified in the 1970s by psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, people are more likely to pay attention to the vividness and emotional impact of past events than on the probability of them happening again. In other words, people tend to rate their chances of dying in a plane crash higher after watching a news item about such an event.

As Hypnotist Lawrence Leyton shows in the Channel 4 ‘Fear of Flying’ programme, it is possible to erase the negative thoughts and feelings of terror with positive feelings, no matter the source of the fear.

At North Kent Hypnotherapy, we use all the underlying techniques shown in the programme (as well as others) to help clients overcome their fears and phobias. Unlike the programme, however, we let clients test themselves in their own time and in their own way (as we don’t have to make the experience interesting watching for television).

So if you are one of the many people who suffer from fear of flying, why not give us a call to see how we can help you. Or if you are out of our area, why not select a competent and ethical therapist based nearer home by visiting the Quest Institute or the National Council for Hypnotherapy.