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Ralph LMHC
Ralph LMHC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  20+ years as therapist, supervisor, clinic director at mental health, substance abuse treatment ctrs
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I have a fear of flying and I think the phobia is not about

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I have a fear of flying and I think the phobia is not about flying but about losing control incorporating claustrophobia, fear of heights, etc. I have just had another 2 hour flight and had severe terror again, making it stressful and unpleasant for those around me. I have not been able to enjoy a holiday for years. I have been on many flying courses and had hypnotherapy, I need to now get to the bottom of this before it ruins anymore holidays.


There are at least two options that you can take to deal with your flying phobia. Benzodiapines are quite effective anxiolytics-anti anxiety drugs, however they have a high addiction potential, so if you are not a frequent flier then a benzodiazapine like Xanax or Valium may be quite appropriate. It is something you will need to discuss with your primary care physician or he/she may refer you to a psychiatrist for medication. If you are a frequent flier then a different approach maybe required. The first is psychotherapy which is very effective for anxiety. The particular type of psychotherapy is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This can be conducted by any licensed mental health professional experienced in CBTT you learn new ways of thinking and behaving and thus there is a change in the way you feel (less anxiety). In addition to CBT,a different type of medication has been approved for anxiety and there are two types: The SSRI's like Zoloft and Celexa or the SNRI like Effexor. Both of these types of antidepressants have significant anti anxiety effects. Please note that these medications require 3-6 weeks to take effect. Good Luck and Best Wishes.



Ralph LMHC


Please click green "ACCEPT" button on this page if you are satisfied with my answer so that I get credit for my work. Your positive feedback and bonuses are always welcomed. If this is a mental health, or medical emergency, please call emergency services (911 in the USA), or go to your nearest Emergency Room. The opinion provided does not replace an evaluation by an appropriate professional.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I do not think drugs in any form are the answer as they only mask the fear and do not cure it. Surely curing any fear needs understanding and support and unmasking and unravelling where it began. I agree CBT may help although I have tried already to change my thinking patterns. Surely therapy that unravels how this all began is the answer and that therapy I am told is most probably psychodynamic and exploration of the past.

I respect your feelings toward the use of drugs and it appears that a risk benefit analysis which you have apparently done leads you to the conclusion that drugs are inappropriate-so that rules out the use of medications. Where I would have to take issue is in the effectiveness of psychodynamic oriented psychotherapy as opposed to behaviorally oriented psychotherapy. Evidence based studies have pointed to the effectiveness of CBT. However I do agree that any form of psychotherapy is a preferred first option and either type is effective. My bias (based upon research, training and experience) points to a narrow behavioral goal directed approach. Again given your thoughts and feelings I would have to agree that psychodynamics may be most effective.



Ralph LMHC

Ralph LMHC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

I am sorry that you were not totally statisified. I provided the current thinking by the majority of mental health professionals in the States. If there is something else that I could answer please feel free to ask it and it will be addressed at no charge.


Ralph LMHC

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