Phobias and Fear of Flying Manchester Hypnotherapy

Phobias can cause an overwhelming sensation of panic. To non-sufferers, they seem difficult to understand.

For example, the fear of flying can make people anxious for days before their flight. They then panic at the airport, feeling terrible when boarding the plane, when the doors close, during episodes of turbulence, etc. And then it starts again with the return journey!

Phobias are upsetting, limiting, and unlikely to ‘just vanish’, which is why you might benefit from some help. Over the years I’ve helped many people in Manchester overcome their phobias: flying, driving, spiders, dentists, exams – to name but a few.

Read on to find out how phobias work, and how they can be overcome.

What is a Phobia?

A phobia is an overwhelming fear of an object, situation, or feeling. It is a severe type of anxiety, causing panic whenever in close proximity to the source of your fear. Even thinking about a phobia can cause anticipatory anxiety.

People with phobias strive to avoid their fear. Although understandable, this avoidance then exacerbates the fear, making matters worse. Phobias restrict our day-to-day life and create considerable upset.

As with other forms of anxiety, the resulting fear feels real because of the ‘fight or flight’ response. This powerful reaction, which dates back to our ‘caveman’ days, is designed to help us in dangerous situations. Unfortunately, the ‘fight or flight’ response can trigger in situations that carry little objective risk.

The main problem with phobias is their capacity to override rational thought. Your phobia does not care if ‘spiders are more scared of you’ or that ‘flying is the safest form of transport’. Instead, we just become fixated on escape. Nothing else matters.

This is why we need professional help to overcome them. They are involuntary, powerful, and rarely ‘just vanish’ on their own.

What Type of Phobia Do You Have?

The fear of flying

The classic modern-day phobia. The fear of flying causes an intense fear of air travel (navigating the airport, the doors closing, take off, turbulence, etc.) which usually starts days or weeks before the flight. At its worse, the fear of flying ruins holidays. We worry about getting there and then worry about the flight back.

This fear is not entirely irrational. All forms of travel carry some risk, and I’ll receive more enquiries whenever air travel hits the headlines. However, this phobia isn’t just a simple fear of crashing. It is usually more complex than that.

I’ve helped many people with their fear of flying, and I understand the issues at play – even in stubborn cases. Email me to find out more.

Other common phobias

Many people in Manchester struggle with phobias. Here are the most common ones:

  • Driving phobias. People become fearful of driving for various reasons. Sometimes the causes are obvious: accidents, near misses, etc. Sometimes the reasons are more obscure, e.g. a recent bereavement or bullying at work. Typical triggers include motorways, bridges, and busy junctions.
  • Performance phobias. People often struggle under scrutiny, especially when their performance is being judged. This phobia includes public speaking (presentations, best man speeches), driving tests, music and sports performance, and academic exams.
  • Medical phobias. These phobias include visits to the doctors or dentists; health anxieties, needles, or a fear of infection, and bodily matters such as a fear of blood, vomit, or choking. We can also become fixated on (or afraid of) needing the toilet in public.
  • Environmental phobias. People sometimes become fearful of their environment. Over the years I’ve helped people overcome their fear of heights, deep water, microbes and infection, and debris such as syringes.
  • Animal phobias. Many people acquire animal phobias, e.g. spiders, dogs, or rodents. Spider phobias can be particularly upsetting. The cooler weather around autumn creates an annual misery as spiders take up residence in people’s homes, and foreign travel can also a significant problem.
  • Social phobia. Social anxiety can sometimes strengthen into a complex fear of people and social interactions. This results in anxiety whenever we encounter social situations; even queuing in a shop can cause panic. Other examples of social phobia include eating or writing in front of others.
  • Agoraphobia and claustrophobia. Agoraphobia is misunderstood as a fear of open spaces, but it is often more complex than this. Agoraphobia and claustrophobia cause people to panic whenever an ‘escape route’ is denied to them. Typical examples include sitting on buses or trains or feeling outside of our ‘comfort zone’. Even visits to foreign cities can be difficult.

Phobias are diverse and complex. Untreated, they spiral out of control and limit our choices in life. To start overcoming your phobia, it helps to know how they work. Read on to find out more.

What causes phobias?

Phobias rarely have a single cause, but there are the three main factors to consider:

  • Previous traumatic or painful events. The experience of being bitten by a dog can then ‘sensitise’ a fear of dogs. These sensitising events can sometimes be quite subtle. For instance, frequent unpleasant experiences on a plane can ‘build up’ over time to create a flying phobia – they are not always caused by a single traumatic episode.
  • Learned responses. We can learn fears from our parents, siblings, and other significant adults – especially in childhood. For example, watching your mother feel anxious on a plane can cause you to fear it too.
  • Confidence and overthinking. Phobias are less likely to develop when we feel confident and in control. If our confidence is lower than it should be, or if we’re prone to anxious overthinking, we are more vulnerable to forming irrational fears.

When trying to understand your phobia, it is important to consider negative childhood experiences (although sometimes we just cannot remember; hypnotherapy can help with this). When younger, we tend to take difficult events to heart more, because our brains are still making sense of the world. This then leads us to form fears that stay with us into adulthood.

Sometimes, phobias develop for unknown or complex reasons. This is where we especially need the help of a skilled professional.

How to Remove Phobias

Removing phobias can be reasonably straightforward. There are three main aims:

  • Desensitise past experiences, i.e. locate and desensitise those experiences that created the phobia. This is carried out using the ‘rewind technique’ exercise, which is very effective for phobia work.
  • Improved ability to stay calm. Phobias are obviously upsetting. With practice, you can learn to stay calm in the moment. This means remaining in control and free of upset; a mindset that eradicates anxiety and restores calm.
  • Change your thinking about your phobia. Phobias often create blind panic. Instead, we can improve your ability to think rationally. This also helps with anticipatory anxiety.

No two phobias are the same, but there are common factors to be aware of. My skill as a therapist lies in selecting the right tools for you: how the phobia developed, the nature of your fear, and your ability to remain calm and in control.

“I decided to try hypnotherapy to help me with my fear of public speaking. Being a student and in my final year I knew I could either try to resolve this problem at the roots or carry on avoiding presentations and jeopardise my grades. I only needed two sessions with Adrian and feel it has had a positive effect on my life, not just with public speaking, but on other aspects as well. I’m an altogether more confident and optimistic person in general and would recommend Adrian to anyone.

 – Nicole, Student in Manchester

I take the time to understand the nature of a person’s fear. This is far more effective than a one-size-fits-all approach, and my success rate reflects that.

Why work with me?

People choose to work with me because, over the years, I’ve refined the ‘phobia cure’ technique and know how to apply it expertly. When combined with hypnotherapy, it is highly effective. I’ve helped many people overcome their phobias in this way.

Like most therapists, I am passionate about helping people. I’m also friendly, down to earth, and approachable. I’m used to putting people at ease.

I like to keep the sessions relaxed, interesting and – where possible – enjoyable. I rarely get cancellations; people usually end therapy feeling happy to get on planes, visit dentists, dispose of spiders, and so on.

I have practised hypnotherapy in Manchester since 2005, and use tried and tested techniques that actually work. To find out how I can help you with your phobia, all you need to do is arrange a consultation.

FREE 60 Minute Consultation

You can discuss your anxiety in a safe, non-judgemental place and in total confidence. I’ll ask some simple questions to understand what is going on, how it started, and how it is holding you back.

I’ll then explain the techniques I use and how they help. There is no fee or obligation for this – you’re welcome to have a think about it afterward. It is just your chance to find out how you can free yourself from fear and move on in life.

All consultations are conducted in my private Manchester city centre office.

To call in for a chat all you need to do is get in touch.

Send Me a Quick Enquiry

Contacting a therapist can seem daunting, but you’ve done the hard part by reading this page. Freeing yourself of your phobia will change your life and you’ve already taken the first step.

Use the form on this page to send me a quick message – there is no obligation to you, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can also call on 07790 506375.