A story that was all over the media* a couple of weeks ago was of how a 12-year old boy was finally able to fly home to England from Abu Dhabi, after having been separated from his family for 18 months. His fear of flying had been so great that his father had been obliged to remain with him in the United Arab Emirates, while the rest of the family returned home to Weston-super-Mare.
Panic attacks separated Joe from his family
12-year old Joe Thompson went out to Abu Dhabi in 2009, when his dad got a job there. It was only when the family was due to come back to the UK last year, that Joe’s terror of flying showed itself. He tried to get on a plane four times, but every time he broke down in tears and had such severe panic attacks that he was just not able to go home.
Hypnotherapy kept Joe calm on the flight
After £40,000 pounds spent on trying to treat Joe’s phobia, plus accommodation and cancelled air fares, and 18 months later, hypnotherapy finally proved the solution to Joe’s fears. Russell Hemmings, a hypnotherapist living in Abu Dhabi, stepped forward to offer Joe hypnotherapy sessions and travelled with him on the flight to back England. With the help of hypnosis and cognitive behavioural therapy, Joe was able to get on the plane and stay calm throughout the flight.
He was most looking forward to seeing his dog again!
Back at home and reunited with his mum and sister, Joe is now happily getting back to all the things he missed – spending time with his much-loved dog, out and about on his new bike and catching up on school. You can see a video of Joe and his mum talking about his experience at www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-24426988.
You don’t have to be stuck in Abu Dhabi to get over your fear of flying
Joe’s is a dramatic story – that’s why it got into national media. What the papers don’t pick up on are the less dramatic stories going on all the time of how people with a fear of flying are being helped by hypnotherapy up and down the country. People, who have been held back at work, because they can’t face flying for business, have been helped by hypnosis, just like Joe. People, who had given up on going abroad, because their holidays had been ruined by the fear of getting on the plane, have been able to take their families to the exotic places they dreamed of. There’s no need for a fear of flying to keep you grounded.
If you, or someone you know, wants to overcome a fear of flying, please do get in contact with me, Anne Williams at:
tel: 0208 546 2122
* Reported in the Independent on 8th October 2013, BBC Radio 4 and other media