The fear of flying is an excessive worry about air travel, which is estimated to affect 1 person in 10 although recent studies suggest a much higher figure. Although directly linked to air flight, symptoms can also occur long before boarding. It also often exacerbated by panic attacks, claustrophia or even PTSD.
Normally, fear of flying includes one or more of the following concerns: weather conditions, security screening, fear of heights, fear of the unknown, being in an enclosed space (claustrophobia), loss of control, fear of being over water, or even loss of personal freedom.
Fear of flying can often bring about reactions ranging from sweating, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing to nausea.
There are several existing psychotherapy options available to treat this specific anxiety including deep relaxation techniques, clinical hypnosis and exposure therapy. Many airlines also offer a fear of flying programme. In addition, anti-anxiety medication may also be prescribed for particularly very nervous passengers.
At the VRIT clinic, we accelerate the process by using virtual reality immersive therapy to build a safe and measured environment to gradually take you onboard without anxiety. Under the guidance of our trained therapists, you will learn how to understand and readjust your response over time to ultimately let you travel comfortably for work or for pleasure.
Evidence is growing to support that VRIT is particularly well-suited for treating fear of flying quickly and effectively. Real-time exposure is complex and expensive, and the process can rarely be repeated consistently. That is why until now psychotherapists have relied on imagination exposure, although it is also ineffective as it depends on each person’s ability to imagine the relevant situation.
Virtual reality enables the psychotherapist to offer a safe environment while providing a realistic and accessible experience within the treatment room. At the VRIT clinic, our therapists combine VR with other innovations, such as bio-feedback, to design the most effective treatment programme for you.