In the previous blog, we talked about one of our recommendations of what to do after our course. We suggest that attendees take a flight pretty soon after the course to cement their learning. And also, to prove to themselves that it wasn't some fluke of luck that they flew and it went well.
Then this email came in from someone that attended our Manchester course about a year ago....
Over a year ago I attended one of your courses at Manchester airport, at this point I had become more and more scared of flying to the point where I would avoid it anyway possible- choosing to go places I could get to by Eurostar or train. Even seeing a plane in the sky made me experience stress, and the thought of going on a plane was something that made me panic. I was determined to continue travelling, and my mum bought me a place on the course as a Christmas present.
I had a great time on the day - especially meeting like-minded people and learning so much about how a plane works. Although the flight at the end was still stressful and I did panic - it was better than previous flights and gave me hope for the future.
Following on from the course, I ended up not flying again for over a year due to changes in jobs and simply not being able to afford to go away. However last month I booked a holiday (and flights!) to Florence. I was nervous, especially as it had been so long since the course. I practised exercises I had learnt and encouraged myself to think of sunny holidays when I saw a plane in the sky - imagining where it was going.
I am pleased to say that the course worked- I managed to stay relaxed for the whole flight (something I have never been able to do), I read my book and looked out of the window almost the whole way there. I knew the reason for sounds I was hearing and could reassure myself, I also knew that the funny 'dropping' sensation I always hated was because we were slowing down etc. I felt so proud of myself when we landed- and the flight back went just as well.
I honestly don't think I could have done this without the course, so I want to thank you for helping me get over my fear. I would recommend it to anyone.
Thank you so much!
Former nervous flyer
<Reproduced with permission>
We ran our course from 1997-2002 without flights at the end of the day. Delegates would say, 'I feel so good right now, I could get on an aircraft right now if there was one here!'
So we did.
The last 10 years, the course has included a flight at the end of the day. The point of the flight is not (as some un-informed say) to 'pat you on the back' and say it will be alright. The inclusion of a flight has been carefully thought about. That is because by putting a flight on the same day, we are offering our customers 'rapid desensitisation.' In other words, you spend the whole day with us listening to us talk about your greatest fear and then we take you up in one!
We do not do this lightly. We spend the day gearing you up for the flight and know that fears can be dispersed quite quickly if people are ready to let go of them. We, as Course Founders, have training backgrounds and we know how important it is to put things into practice straight away. Theory and knowledge has its place but you can't beat learning by doing. Taking a flight on the day of your course, allows you to update yourself straight away. You can compare your new knowledge and psychological patterns with the old ones that you arrived with. Then, you are able to make an informed decision about flying and the alleged risks.
By the way, there is not a course or therapist in the world that can get past someone that stubbornly says to themselves (and others on their table sometimes) 'I have had this fear for years. There is nothing that you can do to get me over this fear. I will never fly.'
The sad fact is that they will prove themselves right of course.
All we ask of our attendees is to come with an open a mind as they can manage right now. If they only will say, 'I am willing to try whatever you suggest as I am fed up with the fear controlling me,' then there is hope.
Time and time again, people have amazed themselves at what can be achieved in a day with positive, caring and professional help.
If you attend any of our courses with a negative state of mind, we must warn you we are enthusiastic. We happily give up 22+ Sundays per year to help people have choices again in their life. If you don't like positive, caring, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and professional people then don't come on our course! AND just because you may turn up saying, 'This will never work,' does not mean that we won't do our best to try and convince you otherwise! Why not have a look at our message board and see what people say that have been on our course?
Paul & Richard
Virgin Atlantic Flying Without Fear
P.S. Enjoy the long weekend.