How long have you been flying?
All my life
What inspired you to concentrate on this particular area, helping those with a fear of flying?
People are limited by all sorts of things in their life. There are many that we cannot change. But one of the biggest limitations, which for many people can be overcome is when the limitation is based on fear. I wanted to help people by concentrating on maximising their freedom of choice. To achieve this, it means being able to overcome For many, the underlying fear is not of flying itself, but rather of being trapped, enclosed and unable to get out – whether on an aeroplane or in a lift. They are terrified of that awful feeling of having no control if the panicky feelings increase and become overwhelming. For others, the underlying fear is having no control of the plane – and should something terrible happen, one is helpless and unable to do anything about it. I focus on helping people to deal with the most difficult situations which underll their fears, using specific techniques which can be applied to enable them to manage any other fears and phobias.
What do you love about flying?
Definitely the freedom. The chance to see new places, the chance to speak with new people. The wonderful variety of experiences that different countries and cultures bring and of course being able to see loved ones far away.
Do you ever get a bit fidgety or slightly anxious yourself when flying?
Certainly I’ve felt some concern when something has badly gone wrong with a plane, but I’ve been able to use the therapy techniques I use in my practice, to deal with this. There are always issues, things that could be worrying. It’s not about the being worried bit, it’s about how you deal with it.
How do you combat those little tiny niggling bursts of worry?
The same techniques that we cover in the CBT therapy sessions.
What was your first ever flight and what kind aeroplane did you fly on?
Favourite ever destination?
If you couldn’t fly what would you miss the most?
The freedom to explore the world and the chance to be near to people I love, plus driving takes far too long.
Any funny, peculiar stories to tell during your years of travel?
Squillions of funny stories, where shall I begin….on the next Blog I think!
Any famous people met on your airplane journeys?
Lots but I’d have to kill you f I told you as it would mean breaching confidentiality….
How do you keep yourself occupied on long haul flights – are you a fan of the in-flight films or do you enjoy a good snooze?
Both. The meals can also be pretty tasty.
As a fun loving, happy, enjoys life kind of person, what makes you inspire other people to enjoy life and do things they’re not comfortably doing – like getting on a plane to a foreign destination?
People have commitments like work, or want to visit family overseas. They’d love to have that one off opportunity to see their idol in a sporting event in Abu Dhabi. It’s about finding that little nugget that inspires them to do it for themselves, not because they feel under pressure from others. I have to show my belief in them so they can piggy back on this feeling, even when they don’t believe it for themselves at first. Borrowing my belief in them can enable them to confront their inner most fear of boarding a plane and flying to their destination. And once they see themselves being successful, they then no longer need to borrow my belief in them, as they start to believe in themselves.
How many people that you have helped to overcome their fear of flying are in work and have a requirement to travel worldwide for business?
I would say it’s about equal – 50% business while 50% want to travel on holiday
What’s the most common problem that people tell you when they have a fear of flying?
Research indicates that flying anxieties can be roughly split into two groups. For some it can be the fear of a loss of external control. What if the plane crashes for a whole range of reasons – and there’s nothing you can do about it. Turbulence and heights can be aspects of this fear. For others it’s the fear of a loss of internal control. They might fear having a panic attack, losing control and becoming hysterical, experiencing some bodily catastrophe like a heart attack, fainting, vomiting. The fear of being trapped, unable to get out and being far from any required help. They fear not being able to control themselves. Many people have fears from both groups.
What’s the greatest thing people are missing out on – if not getting on a plane for work, holidays or visiting family and friends?
Freedom of choice – the freedom to live their life as they choose, and to go where they want to go.