All About the Fear of Flying and How to Overcome it with Psychological Therapy & Counselling

fear of flying image of plane in a storm

What is the Fear of Flying?

The Fear of Flying is also known as Aviophobia and, in common with other fears and phobias, can produce strong feelings of anxiety, worry and stress.

Your fear of flying might be the result of:

  • Negative experiences with flying in the past such as bad turbulence on a flight.
  • Growing up with a parent who had the fear of flying.
  • Worrying about not being in control.
  • The fear of dying.

Although fears and phobias are often described as “irrational” or relate to situations “unlikely to cause harm”, the anxiety experienced with the fear of flying is very real.

This is because your fears are subjective and rely on the way that YOU make sense of your own experiences, through what is known as your internal working model of the world.

Fortunately, the fear of flying responds very well to counselling and psychotherapy treatments so you don’t need to live in fear.

Common symptoms of The Fear of Flying

Fear of Flying Symptoms

The fear of flying leads to feelings of anxiety because phobic objects or situations are perceived as being a threat.

The symptoms associated with the fear of flying may be specific or more generic and can include:

  • Anxiety or panic attacks before or during a flight.
  • Fear of crashing or turbulence.
  • Physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, palpitations, and difficulty breathing.
  • Avoiding flying or feeling extreme distress at the thought of flying.
  • Needing to have control over the situation, such as avoiding certain seats or needing to know the flight plan in advance.
  • Fear of enclosed spaces or heights, which may exacerbate the fear of flying.
  • Feeling detached from oneself or feeling like one is not in control of your body.
  • Negative thoughts or catastrophising, such as imagining the worst-case scenario.

You may have all, some or even different symptoms to these listed here and this is due to the subjective nature of flying phobias.

Is your phobia making you anxious or are you creating the anxiety?

It might be hard to accept, but it’s almost certain that the anxiety you experience when you encounter your phobic object or situation is being unwittingly created by YOU and NOT the thing you fear.

Find out more about the subjective vs objective nature of phobias here.

fear of flying sufferer in therapy session

Counselling for the Fear of Flying

We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for your fear of flying.

Which therapy will work best for you depends on a number of different factors such as:

  • How long you have had your phobia.
  • Your personal preferences.
  • How your phobia is affecting you today.

You can read more about the different types of therapy for the fear of flying on the following links:

Although all forms of counselling use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.

Furthermore, research also suggests that the therapy relationship may be one of the most important factors in achieving a good therapy outcome.

The behaviour change framework logo

The Behaviour Change Framework

All of our fear of flying sessions and programmes use the Behaviour Change Framework (BCF).

This scientifically proven protocol defines the stages of behaviour change that you need to go through in order to achieve long lasting and sustainable change.

The framework provides a roadmap that indicates if more change is required before entering the next phase of mental health therapy.

In this way, we are able to ensure that you get the best possible level of support in overcoming your mental health problems as well preventing early termination of therapy.

You can read more about the Science of Change here.

Free initial consultations for fear of flying

FREE initial consultations for the Fear of Flying

If you’d like to find out more about overcoming your fear of flying or recovering from related mental health problems then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular phobia and the different types of mental health counselling we offer without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.

Fear of Flying Testimonial Matthew

Fear of Flying Testimonial Matthew

Fear of Flying Matthew - Testimonial Hi Joan,just to let you know I had a fantastic holiday, flights went great, you have been a great help and I shall recommend you to everyone, thank you for all your help Matthew Find out more about Joan's Fear of Flying Hypnosis...

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Fear of Flying Testimonial Adam

Fear of Flying Testimonial Adam

Fear of Flying - Adam's Testimonial Hello Paul I came back from my holiday Friday night after 2 weeks of complete relaxation. For the first time I was able to relax right up to the moment I went home including when I was on the plane. I did the DREAM exercises before...

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Applied Psychology Solutions

If you’d like to learn how to overcome your fear of flying but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences with the CORE Programme.

If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.

Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?

Then why not see if you can solve your own problems using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.


Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before first doing everything they can to overcome their problems themselves.

Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.

Counselling Locations

We offer counselling for the fear of flying in:

  • Wombourne
  • Wolverhampton
  • West Midlands
  • Shropshire
  • South Staffordshire
  • Telford
  • Shrewsbury

You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.