enjoy flying? Take that vacation that you've been putting
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in 15 years! Take that business trip and enjoy the flight!
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Below is a summary of a typical successful case:
for Fear of Flying: Donna’s Story
Donna was a
42 year-old teacher who won a trip to Hawaii. Exciting,
right? Not so much.
Dr. Eimer says, "When she learned the news, she became
panicky because she was afraid of flying. In her mind,
flying was associated with planes blowing up in the air and
crashing on take-off and landing. Donna also felt trapped
and out of control whenever she thought about getting on a
the Risks of Flying Versus Driving
In her sessions with Dr. Eimer, Donna realized that she
overestimated the risks associated with flying – and she
mistakenly assumed that driving is much safer. “This
assumption allowed her to drive daily with little fear of
having a serious car accident, but it prevented her from
getting on an airplane,” says Eimer.
points out that the probability of getting into a fatal car
accident is greater than dying in a plane crash.
Overcame Her Fear of Flying
“Through therapy, Donna learned that her fear of flying was
related to her confusion about the concepts of possibility
and probability. She learned to recognize that even though
there is a possibility that the plane she would be traveling
on could crash, the probability of this happening was very
low,” says Dr. Eimer.
Whether you’re struggling with a fear of flying or a fear of
heights, it’s important to “clarify the difference between
possibility and probability.” How likely is it that the
plane will crash, or you’ll suddenly fall off the balcony or
cliff? Once you realize how remote the chance of a disaster
is, you may feel better quite quickly.
Fear of Flying: Guided Imagery
Dr. Eimer also taught Donna how to use guided imagery to
overcome her fear of flying. She imagined flying to Hawaii
safely; she also ran through different scenarios in her
head. First, Eimer helped her use guided imagery
effectively; then, she practiced it on her own until she
felt more comfortable with the thought of getting on the
Dr. Eimer’s advice for fear of flying enabled Donna to fly
to Hawaii and enjoy her vacation.
Advice on the Fear of Flying - or Other Phobias
“We are often more frightened than circumstances warrant.
Our troubles spring more often from what we imagine and
fantasize than from external reality,” says Eimer. “It is
most adaptive to face your fears armed with knowledge. Many
of the events you are afraid of, and consequently avoid, are
possible but extremely improbable. That means that the odds
or probability of their happening are extremely low. Knowing
that these are the facts of a particular fear can give you
the confidence to face that fear and do what you have been
afraid of doing.”
NOTE: This article was composed by Laurie
her website. It appears here with her permission.