Have you read the story about the boy Joe Thomson who is unable to fly home to England from Abu Dhabi because of a fear of flying and other forms of transport?
The Daily Mail reports that behavioural therapists and hypnotists had diagnosed him with a severe anxiety disorder and flight phobia. Sadly none of these experts have been able to help him overcome his fear and encourage him to take the transport needed to get him back home.
His father, Tony, used to work in the United Arab Emirates up until last year. Joe has spent the last 12 months expressing the fear that he is unable to travel home in any means. The family is threatened with potential bankruptcy due to the expenses of the boys prolonged stay. His mother and sister are at home in Western-super-Mare where the family home is. The house may even have to be sold due to the rising costs of the boy’s life in Abu Dhabi.
I find this case puzzling because it does not seem to fit in with common kinds of phobias. The Daily Mail reports his father as saying: "The hypnotherapist and behavioural therapists he has seen said it is not all about flying. There's something blocking him in the UK. He now needs some kind of medical intervention to prise open the secret." The boy has been prescribed medication to lower the symptoms but he still refuses to come home preferring spending time with friends watching TV playing rugby and surfing on Facebook.
A simple phobia can be overcome relatively quickly by using either hypnosis or Neuro-Linguistic-Programming (NLP). The techniques used are able to re-route neural pathways in the brain so the old patterns of behaviour are no longer re-enacted. If we view phobias from the point of view of a well-formed habit this habitual behaviour is considerably reduced because the brain now follows a different neural pathway overriding the thoughts associated with the previous phobic reaction.
In the case of more complex phobias similar processes could be used too but there are usually other factors associated with this type of phobic reaction. These can be related to traumatic experiences and fears caused by abuse or threats to a person’s safety from other sources. With these types of anxieties some of threatening stimuls can be imagined or mentally created by reliving past experiences.
Our brains are capable of overrunning our good sense and creating uncomfortable scenarios due to the Fight Flight Response. This response mechanism, which is associated with our primitive ancestors, prepares us to do battle or flee when we are threatened by some form of danger.
Anxious reactions are triggered by fearful thoughts that trigger of this response without any danger being present.Is that she had a day
This is because parts of our brains repond emotional to real and imagined threats.
Despite the complications these phobias can be worked on and reduced considerably over a limited number of hours. There is no need for people to go through uncomfortable desensitisation processes in order to cure a phobia. Modern processes are able to get to the bottom of the problem and more generally very quickly bypass the previous phobic response.
Joe can be helped to overcome his phobia/fear by the use of NLP techniques that will either guided through a series of visualisations and associated feelings or by an alternative process that reduces the effects of past traumas in order for him to lose his fear of flying or other means being transported.
Some have suggested that the tranquillising treatment used on the TV star B.A. Baracus in the series “The A Team” could be used. I would not recommend this approach as a new fear could be established which could result in a distrust of those around him when it came to discussing or contemplating holidays or visits by one or other form of transport.
I believe that I could help Joe overcome his problem given the chance to fly out to meet him.
Want to learn how a flying phobia can be cured? Contact Ian Bracegirdle BA, NLP Master Practitioner. Sign up in the box up to your right.