Fear of flying, otherwise referred to as aerophobia is a condition that results in anxiety and fear, thus hindering chances of taking a flight as a means of travel. Aerophobia may be connected to numerous and unnecessary frightening issues. But sometimes it manifests independently. Sometimes aerophobia is coupled with claustrophobia or acrophobia; these imply panic that grips individuals in enclosed places and a fear of high altitude common in flights, respectively.
Aerophobia is estimated to take the toll on about 25 percent of the public, although a full-scale condition of phobia is considerably less recorded across the world (Allen, 2010). Although, cancellations of flights or delays are ordinary cases in the airline industry, such developments can aggravate the fear of flying.
An experiment that could help investigate this phenomenon
Aerophobia is a serious condition that can be uncovered when a victim is closely engaged by a psychotherapist in a relaxed environment (Baker, 2010). Several sessions often yield positive results, because the victim will feel relaxation over time. An expert should use the first sessions primarily to look into the general facts of the condition of the victim.
This enables successful ventilation of any relevant facts concerning the issue. It is also imperative to clearly outline the best course of action that would enable a victim of aerophobia to shun the habit. This method of allowing a victim adequate time to slowly and individually recognize the condition and appreciate the essence of a recovery process is equally imperative.
The building of trust between a victim and a psychotherapist is paramount to the quest for better solution, as this has a bearing on the speed of treatment initiatives. But the lack of trust only serves to raise more anxiety in the victim. In general, anxiety is an impediment to such sessions as this condition erodes the respondent’s courage in taking part in the diagnosis and treatment sessions.
The use of Imaginal hypothesis against aerophobia
The use of imaginal approach enables aerophobia victims to draw the actual picture of the problem in their mind (Vanden, & De Raedt, 2008). Through imaginal approach, a psychotherapist would guide the respondent on all details of an air travel, until the plane touches down, while maintaining the sense of relaxation during the treatment session.
The expert may then pick a general conversation for sometime about the victim’s experience. Such conversations are normally received well by the victims. A keen observation of his or her face may reveal the positive response through some sort of a smile or approval through a nod.
A relaxed parting short may have far reaching effects. In view of this, toward the end of a recommended short session lasting about an hour, the victim should be taken through ways of ridding themselves of the fear of flying, though it is important to expose the gritty issues of facing the condition head-on, while closely monitoring the reaction of the victim of aerophobia, in order to achieve favorable outcomes (Allen, 2010).
The main aim of the careful explanation of the positive reasons of recovering from the condition is to enable the victim to have a feeling of absolute calmness as the session winds up and to contentedly recall the important points of eliminating the problem.
For instance, an effective session of counseling a victim on aerophobia should not end without the victim being asked to envisage engaging in a relaxed activity; such activity may involve strolling along a fine-looking water front and encouraged him to give an account of the attractiveness of the place. At this juncture, the victim may be asked to recall an activity that led him or her to adopt the attitude of fear flying. The victim may then be asked to ‘return’ the fear of flying to wherever it originated (Baker, 2010).
This development may trigger some worry in excessively nervous victims; however, if the victim becomes anxious the session should be paused to offer room for thought and possible unwinding. Positive outcomes would be registered if the victim grins, and says the fear of flying has ‘returned’ to its origin. It is important that a therapist and his or her victim review the significant issues of the discussion, before taking a drink to revive the lost energy.
Although, aerophobia is a condition which can be eliminated by effective therapy options, such friendly sessions rarely exist (Baker, 2010). Nevertheless, the successes of aerophobia sessions are pinned on correct timing and presentation of the issues that matter most to the elimination of the condition (Vanden, & De Raedt, 2008).
The slow release of uneasiness meant that the respondent needed psychological and body relaxation before and after the session. The diffusion of extreme anxiety, normally prepares aerophobia victims psychologically for the session. Within three months after the completion of the therapy session, a victim should have developed flying confidence, and taken at least one flawless flight.
Implications of the study
The study implied that aerophobia varies from one person to another, but with proper intervention measures in place, the condition may just be temporary. Additionally, it is an established fact that victims of aerophobia are uncomfortable to continue experiencing the condition; therefore, most of them are willing to ‘return’ the condition where it originated and move on.
In view of this, aerophobia victims should make arrangements with their doctor to discuss how best to handle the situation. Professional therapists can then diagnose the fear of flying; establish whether the patient has any parallel disorders, and come up with an individualized plan for managing the condition.
Allen, J. (2010). Fear of flying. Therapy Today, 21(3), 47.
Baker, J. (2010). Fear of flying. Rural Society, 20(1), 21-34.
Vanden, B.A., & De Raedt, R. (2008). Cognitive vulnerability in fear of flying: the role of anxiety sensitivity. Depression & Anxiety, 25 (9), 768-773.