Anxiety treatment

What should you expect when you make an appointment to seek help and guidance for your anxiety condition? The reality of 21st century treatment might surprise you.

Almost everyone who comes to this site is seeking help for their fear of flying, or help for someone who is fearful of flying. They want to know how anxiety can be treated effectively.

Aviation Safety

Should I watch shows like Air Crash Investigation?

Many people, including patients, journalists, and those who work for airlines, often ask me if fearful flyers should be watching or avoiding TV shows like Air Crash Investigator, or indeed TV news bulletins featuring headline stories about aviation incidents.

It’s very hard to avoid the latter,

Visualisation and mental rehearsal

Visualisation and mental rehearsal

Nowadays, less than 20% of my patients cite air safety as their major concern which brings them to see me. Most airline-based courses, and certainly most books and websites spend a lot of time repeating the statistics about flight safety. This is necessary, but for many insufficient to help them fly better.


How to recalibrate your anxiety response using Heart Rate Variability training

Australia can take some pride in its list of inventions and inventors who have made a name for themselves around the world.

In terms of aviation, those black (actually orange) boxes which record flight deck conversations and inflight parameters originated in Australia.

Exposure Therapy

What is Exposure Therapy for Anxiety (and why is it so effective when used according to the evidence)?

Most of us are aware of the expression, “hopping back on the horse”.

It refers to being thrown from a horse, and the need to get back on and ride again immediately otherwise you’ll build up a fear response.

Cognitive Therapy Approaches to Anxiety

Cognitive Therapy is one of a number of evidence-based treatment strategies I employ

Cognitive Therapy is one of the four strategies I work with, and which has a strong evidence base for helping patients decrease their anxiety. While its origins go back to the ancient Greek philosophers, it’s only since the 1950s that clinical psychology has come into its own (away from merely doing psychometric tests for psychiatrists) and forged new ways to help people be relieved from the burdens of anxiety and depression.

“Loss of Control” Issues

Issues of Loss of Control can be very central for fearful flyers, especially those in senior positions

I’ve cited Loss of Control as one of the core issues some fearful flyers present with. Almost by definition, this group has made their own attempts to overcome this aspect of their fears –

Putting your panic system at ease

In another post, I wrote about about Panic and what it is.

I ended it by suggesting patients need to learn how their alarm system needs to be put at ease when it’s discovered it has gone off unnecessarily or needs to be reset once danger has past or been adequately dealt with.

Things to know about Panic

“Panic” has become one of those words a little like “depression”. We all use it, we all think we know what it means, but when you actually sit down in a clinical psychologist’s room and ask people about their experiences, you get very different and personal answers.

There are of course textbook definitions practitioners like myself use in correspondence with colleagues and for publication (and occasionally in legal settings).


How to understand and manage Claustrophobia

I once flew many years ago with a patient whose main self-assessed complaint was claustrophobia. We flew after a number of office sessions after she had been presented with most of the material and training I share with patients.

At one point during our outbound flight,