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Overcoming the Fear of Flying (Aviophobia) Through Therapy

Fear of flying, or aviophobia, is a common anxiety disorder that affects a significant number of people worldwide. This fear can stem from various sources, including past traumatic experiences, general anxiety disorders, and specific phobias. Addressing this fear is crucial for individuals who want to travel for work, leisure, or family reasons. Recent studies and therapeutic approaches offer promising solutions for overcoming this debilitating fear.


The fear of flying often originates from a combination of factors. According to online research, common causes include:


  • Traumatic Experiences: A previous negative experience during a flight, such as severe turbulence or an emergency landing, can trigger lasting fear.

  • Media Influence: Sensationalised reports of air accidents can exacerbate anxiety, making individuals believe that flying is more dangerous than it statistically is.

  • Claustrophobia and Lack of Control: The confined space of an airplane and the inability to control the situation can amplify feelings of helplessness and fear.


Online case studies have also found how cultural background and familial expectations can influence the manifestation and intensity of this fear.


Aviophobia can significantly impact a person's quality of life. According to literature, this fear can restrict personal and professional opportunities, leading to missed travel for important events and career advancements. Additionally, the anticipation of flying can cause considerable stress and anxiety, affecting an individual's overall mental health.


Therapy offers several benefits for individuals struggling with the fear of flying. Therapeutic interventions can significantly reduce the anxiety associated with flying, making air travel more manageable. Therapy also helps individuals gain control over their fear, empowering them to face other challenges with greater confidence.


Several therapeutic approaches have shown effectiveness in treating the fear of flying. These include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Exposure Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). Through CBT, individuals learn to reframe their thoughts and develop coping strategies to manage their anxiety. Techniques such as cognitive restructuring and relaxation training are commonly used. EMDR is a relatively new but promising therapy for treating aviophobia, especially in individuals with a history of trauma.


Restoring Peace is a private mental health centre which provides counselling and

psychotherapy services for children, adolescents, youths, adult individuals, couples

and groups with anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and various mental health and

relationship challenges. For more information, please visit www.restoringpeace.com.sg or WhatsApp at +65 8889 1848. For periodic updates, we invite you to join our telegram group: https://t.me/restoringpeace.



Keywords: flying, aviophobia, trauma, media, travel, CBT, EMDR, therapy


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