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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have a fear of flying. My son lives in NY and I in L.A. I

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I have a fear of flying. My son lives in NY and I in L.A. I drread getting on planes to visit him. I am fine while in the air, but when it comes to landing, I panic, sweat, and get very ill, and it ruins the first day of the trip. How can I overcome this.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Fear of flying is a very common phobia. The loss of control that we feel when we are on a plane, coupled with the news stories we hear all the time, can make flying seem like something to fear.

But as I am sure you have heard, flying is very safe, especially now with all the precautions being taken at airports.
However, fear of flying has little to do with statistics and more to do with what our minds tell us while we are in the air.

To address your fear, it helps to educate yourself on what makes you feel fearful and how to change your thinking so you can face your fear. There are numerous resources to help you learn more about the fear of flying and the ways you can cope. Here are some to help you get started:

The Fearless Flier's Handbook: Learning to Beat the Fear of Flying with the Experts from the Qantas Clinic - Debbie Seaman

Flying without Fear: Effective Strategies to Get You Where You Need to Go - Duane Brown

You can also seek therapy to help you talk about your fear. In therapy, the counselor can help you change your thoughts so that instead of thinking about how fearful you are of landing, you can think about landing as a calm and pleasant event. Although that may seem impossible, working on how you think about landing can change your feelings about it, eliminating your fear. The technique used is called Cognative Behavioral Therapy. To find a therapist, try asking your doctor for a referral. Or you can search on line at:

With some work, you can change your flying experience and feel better about boarding a plane to see your son.

I hope this has helped you,

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