In the movie, French Kiss with Meg Ryan, Meg’s character, Kate, is a history teacher who plans to go to Paris and reconnect with her fiancé, who canceled their engagement. Sounds easy enough, right? Except Kate has a fear of flying. The film’s opening scene starts with Kate in a plane. She does five things:
Tries to calm herself
Clenches the armrests of her chair
Starts hitting the exit door on the plane demanding to be let out
The good news? Kate was not on a real flight to Paris. She was on a flight simulator to help her overcome a fear of flying. But maybe Kate tried the wrong approach to overcoming her fear of flying. Maybe she should have tried hypnotherapy.
In fact, many people use hypnotherapy to overcome their fear of flying. In this article, we will discover how hypnotherapy works for fear of flying, what to expect in terms of cost, as well as provide information on hypnotherapy resources for overcoming your phobia, all so you can be better prepared to decide if hypnotherapy for fear of flying may be the best to help you overcome the anxiety you face just being on a plane.
Hypnotherapy for Fear of Flying
According to this study, 10-40% of the world’s adult population battles with a fear of flying. If you’re like Kate in French Kiss, this can translate to not traveling to see family members in a different state. Of course, you could always drive—driving across the country from California to New York to see the Statue of Liberty can be a great family road trip, but if a manager asks you to attend a meeting in New York tomorrow, how would you get there?
This is where hypnotherapy comes into play. Hypnotherapy works as a treatment option for fear of flying because hypnosis shifts the pattern of fear in the brain, shifting and disarming it.
But how does this shift of the pattern that perpetuates the fear of flying? To answer this question, we will explore several studies, as well as discuss how hypnotherapy works for fear of flying?
How Does Hypnotherapy Work for Fear of Flying?
There is a difference between hypnotherapy and hypnosis; hypnotherapy is a therapy while hypnosis is a state of being that results from hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy works for a person living with a fear of flying through two main avenues:
Hypnosis: Being in a state of hypnosis opens the mind to suggestions and a deep state of relaxation. This opens the door for the hypnotherapist to work with the person to change patterns in the thinking process.
Suggestions: The suggestions a hypnotherapist will use can either be direct or indirect and will help you overcome your fear.
Through hypnotherapy, depending on the type of hypnotherapy you choose to use, the hypnotherapist may use hypnotherapy scripts or suggestions that focus on:
Solutions to the fear of flying
Root causes of the fear of flying
To demonstrate how hypnotherapy works for fear of flying, let's look into a case study of a middle-aged woman who not only experienced a fear of flying but also anxiety over flying. The woman’s two adult children were living out of state at the time of the case study, and she wanted the ability to get on a flight and visit her daughters.
In the case study, what was found useful for the middle-aged woman was 12 sessions of hypnotherapy. It is important to note that her sessions were not fully carried out in a consistent manner:
Intake: 1 session
Assessment: 1 session
Weekly sessions: 5 weeks
After five weekly hypnotherapy sessions, the middle-aged woman missed some appointments, leading to gaps in time of hypnosis treatment. But it did not stop her from continuing to keep track of her anxiety symptoms and her level of readiness to fly.
By her eighth session of hypnotherapy, the middle-aged woman was able to buy a practice flight ticket for a one-hour round trip flight alone. This practice ticket was bought by her and was her idea. It was not the idea of her hypnotherapist.
Success Story of Overcoming Fear of Flying
At the end of her practice plane flight, the middle-aged woman wrote about her experience saying:
“Wow, I did it! When I got to the airport, I felt a bit of anxiety, but I told myself that I had the [anti-anxiety medication] if I needed it. I sat down and did the self-hypnosis and felt so much better. About one hour before takeoff, I got nervous so I took .50 mg of [anti-anxiety medication]—I felt completely normal and didn’t even have one problem thought! I had forgotten how much I enjoy flying!”
“On the return trip (after a 4 hr, 45 min layover) I decided not to take anything at all and got on the plane. I used my self-hypnosis instead--it was AWESOME! I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. Thank you so much for all of your help. I now feel totally comfortable about the trip to Portland. In fact, I want to fly anywhere I can!”
At the end of her 12 hypnotherapy sessions, the middle-aged woman reported feeling the following two emotions in regard to her progress with overcoming her fear:
This is one person’s first-hand experience with using hypnotherapy for overcoming both her anxiety and fear of flying. Each person’s experience may be different, and each person may have a different experience.
How Many Hypnotherapy Sessions are Required?
Each person overcoming a fear of flying may require a different number of sessions. Some will take fewer sessions and others will take more. On average, it may take as few as three sessions and upward to twelve sessions or more. If you plan on flying to a friend’s wedding or another event and want to plan accordingly, three months or more may be a good span of time to provide yourself the greatest level of success.
Why might the number of sessions differ? There are three reasons why a different number of hypnotherapy sessions may be needed to overcome a fear of flying.
Background: Each person has a different background and life experiences.
Personality: Each person also has a different personality.
Root cause: Fear of flying often a symptom of a root cause.
What will Hypnotherapy Cost for Overcoming Fear of Flying?
The cost of hypnotherapy for overcoming a fear of flying will depend on a few factors:
Number of sessions required: If you require more sessions, this will increase the cost of hypnotherapy.
Location: Where you live will play a part in what you pay for hypnotherapy, no matter if it is to help with a fear of flying, or another condition or behavior that can benefit from hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapist: Every hypnotherapist sets their own hourly rates. Their level of experience may also factor into the cost of your sessions.
Overall you may expect to pay an average of $75-$300 per hypnotherapy session. For a complete overview of costs for hypnotherapy throughout the major cities in the country, as well as answers on hypnotherapy and insurance read our overview on the cost of hypnotherapy.
CDs of Hypnotherapy for Fear of Flying
Here are some recommended CDs for hypnotherapy and fear of flying:
Self Hypnosis - Fear of Flying by Rachael Eccles (Mp3)
Fear of Flying Hypnosis by Angella Peters (Mp3)
Relief from the Fear of Flying (feat. John Connolly) by Mindbody Hypnosis (Mp3)
Relief from the Fear of Flying (feat. John Connolly) by Mindbody Hypnosis (Mp3)
Each of these hypnotherapy CDs may help you overcome a fear of flying and are also available on Music Unlimited without charge if you have that service from Amazon.
YouTube Videos: Hypnotherapy for Fear of Flying
Here are some YouTube videos offering free hypnosis for fear of flying:
Flying Without Fear - Hypnosis Session By Thomas Hall
How to Overcome Fear of Flying Hypnotherapy Session By Dr. Steve G. Jones
3 Other Treatment Options for Overcoming Fear of Flying
Here are three other treatment options for overcoming the fear of flying:
Want more information on hypnotherapy? Check out these other resources:
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Van, L. J., & Diekstra, R. F. (2000, April). Fear of flying treatment programs for passengers: An international review. Retrieved January 22, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10766470
Volpe, E. G., & Nash, M. R. (2012). The Use of Hypnosis for Airplane Phobia With an Obsessive Character. Clinical Case Studies, 11(2), 89-103. doi:10.1177/1534650112440167. Retrieved January 22, 2019 from