(Closed) Anyone tried hypnotherapy to get over a phobia?

posted 6 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
3886 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’ve tried hypnotherapy to break a bad habit and while I found it incredibly relaxing, and a nice break in a stressful day, I did not find it effective at all in the long run. It gets mixed results, with some people doing quite well and others not being affected at all, regardless of what it’s being used for.  If you give it a try, be prepared to need at least 8 or 10 sessions, maybe more, before you can determine if it’s working or not; any hypnotherapist who tells you they can “cure” you in 2 or 3 sessions isn’t being completely honest.  That’s just not how the brain and the subconcious works!

I fly a lot for work too and I used to be a white-knuckle flyer and the three things that have worked for me were repetition, talking to a flight attendant, and a bad experience.

The repetition speaks for itself: the more you do something (anything), the less intimidating it gets.  Just do it over and over again till it becomes boring.

Talking to a flight attendant (or pilot) is fantastic if you can find one willing to spend some time with you.  They can tell you a lot about the mechanics and physics of flight, but in real human English and not technical jargon. UNderstanding what those noises are or why the plane feels a certain way and how it’s not dangerous goes a LONG way towards settling the nerves.  I’m lucky that I’ve got a close friend who’s a FA for United and he’s always willing to talk shop with me, but if you choose a seat within close range of the jumpseat, the FA’s tend to be very willing to talk to you during takeoff and landing. Now, where the jumpseat is will be different on each plane model, so check seatguru.com for your airline and plane type, and not all planes have the jumpseat right out there in the open, but it’s worth seeking out.  Salon.com has some outstanding “ask the pilot” articles on the subject of turbulence, safety and so forth.

As for the bad experience… the short version is that I was a passenger in a mid-sized regional jet (Embraer 170) which ended up flying through storms that eventually spawned tornadoes.  The plane dropped quite a bit— probably really was only 50 feet but it felt like 10,000— and one of the FA’s actually lost her footing and fell.  We couldn’t land so we circled a while, in really extreme turbulence, and we ended up being diverted first to one airport then to another (the first couldn’t land us— they got overfull with other diverted aircraft).  All told it was about an hour straight of the WORST turbulence I’ve ever been in, and I thought I was going to lose it. Never been so happy to get down on the ground!  My next flight, I was sweaty-palms and petrified but after a few more trips, I chilled out, and now whenever I get a little edgy, I just tell myself “Well at least it’s not as bad as when we got sent to Shreveport!”  and that’s enough for it.

Post # 5
Member
267 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I’ve never tried hypnotherapy so I can’t speak to that, but I do have an extreme fear of flying that doesn’t bother me much anymore, so I thought I’d offer my two cents.  Buy the book “This is Your Captain Speaking” by Ray Stark.  It’s a few years old now but it’s a fantastic book.  He goes into detail about the sights, sounds, and smells you experience on every flight and helps you understand the physics behind flying.  I found it to be a real help, and I even learned some great ways to calm those voices in my head.  My favorite – he likens turbulence to being a “bump in the road”.  Everytime we hit turbulence I can now calmy say to myself, “it’s just a bump in the road!” Thinking of it that way has really helped, along with anti-anxiety meds of course Tongue Out.  But to be honest, it has really helped me cope with my FOF (I don’t think I’ll ever ‘get over it’), and I no longer spend time worrying about my next upcoming flight.

 

Good luck to you, I would be curious to hear how hypnotherapy works for you if you go that route.

Post # 7
Member
267 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@CanAmBride:  My fears are exactly the same as yours – I could have written your post word for word if someone asked me what I was most afraid of when it came to flying.  Everyone handles their fears differently, and while I would consider myself on the extreme end of the anxiety (I used to have panic attacks which would involve screaming at flight attendants, crying, and getting physically sick on flights), I might have found a way to manage my anxieties that wouldn’t work for someone else.  I hope you figure out a way to make your flying life more manageable!

Post # 8
Member
3886 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

You may wish to consider a few sessions with a psychologist or a therapist rather than a hypnotherapist. If you’ve got such precise, definite and crippling fears, that sounds like it may be much more deep-rooted than a basic fear of flying.  On the upside, your insurance might cover some of the costs, and you may learn coping skills that you can apply to other areas of your life (maybe not today, but further down the road).

Proper professional therapy isn’t ever anything to be ashamed of; it’s nice to get an outsider’s opinion on the nature, cause and extent of your emotional obstacles, and it sounds like it might be better to address some of those things in a more constructive approach—- learn how to understand, cope wiht or even prevent those feelings rather than just telling your subconcious to shut them down.

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