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Other Available Resources For Fear of Flying

The Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of MD's fear of flying page on their website



David Carbonell, Ph.D., of the Anxiety Treatment Center in Illinois.

Dr Carbonell offers a treatment program in the Chicago area for clients with a fear of flying.



Listen here to an interview  he gave recently with the BHC journal.


Check out his posts on YouTube.coim -- specifically, The Panic Trick


Below is Part One of a two part series that he offers.



This website is maintained by airline pilot, Captain Meryl Getline, who uses humor mixed with facts about flying and flight safety to reassure fearful flyers. She promotes her book, CD's, and weekly blog at


If you are primarily concerned about flight safety, consider her 2 CD course called “Ground School for Passengers,” especially now that she has reduced the price to just $67 (previously sold for $147). You’ll find it available

The CD’s contain almost two hours of Captain Getline talking about what to expect when flying. This is a great resource to help alleviate all those “what if” thoughts. Captain Getline offers a 100% guarantee of satisfaction for her CD’s and also for her telephone consultations. More information is available about both the CD’s and personal telephone consultations on her flying fearless site. This site offers a free online course for fear of flying. A contribution is suggested at the end of the course which I am told takes about 2 1/2 -3 hours to complete. The site offers short virtual tours, online aircraft sounds, etc. Several clients who have participated in ASDI’s fear of flying class have commented that this site was a very beneficial source of adjunctive help as they prepared to begin flying again.



Stacey Chance , the airline pilot who produced the website above, has also recently produced a self-help DVD, which provides lots of flight safety information — on the DVD you will hear from pilots, mechanics, flight dispatchers, FAA personnel, doctors, and therapists.  I strongly disagree with the therapists’ relaxation/distraction approach to dealing with panic and anxiety, as I believe current research indicates the most helpful approach to dealing with fear is to approach and even welcome it using mindfulness techniques, but otherwise this is an excellent resource for the fearful flier.  In fact, with Captain Chance’s permission, I use portions of his DVD series in my own classes.  The DVD is available at





The SOAR website has lots of useful information as well as a link to a message board where you can track a flight or have someone track your flight. Captain Tom Bunn, LCSW, who runs the SOAR program is an ex-airline pilot who is now a trained therapist specializing in helping people with flying-related phobias. A weekly e mail is available free to fearful flyers at:  The advantage of this program is that he also offers a full refund if the program does not work for you.


YouTube  has a ton of video footage of actual aircraft and commercial airline flights that are wonderful for practicing desensitizing to the arousal you feel around the thoughts of flying.  (Warning: remember the statistics around the safety of flying; i.e. that flying is the safest form of transportation, especially if you come across graphic footage of crash scenes as you search through the different video footage.  Note that most of the footage is of people enjoying their experience.)


Comment on Resources:


Dr Carbonell has presented at the Anxiety & Depression Association of America yearly conference on several occasions, and is considered an expert in his field.  He has a unique knack of translating difficult concepts into everyday language that can be easily understood by the general public. His approach to therapy is very similar to my own - i.e., using mindfulness and acceptance as an alternative to distraction techniques.


There are still many therapists out there who will use CBT-based distraction and relaxation techniques to treat fear of flying.  My understanding of the latest research coming out of NIMH and other research centers is that distraction and relaxation, while helpful in the short term, are not efficacious in the long run, as clients tend to use them to avoid dealing with the emotional pain they experience.


Tom Bunn, of the SOAR program, uses an eclectic mix of psychoanalytic, Gestalt, and Neuro-linguistic Programming (commonly referred to as NLP) approaches to therapy, which, if you have read the rest of the information on my website, you will soon recognize is not the same as my more cognitive-behavioral (CBT) and mindfulness approach. 


As you consider the various options available for help, remember that we are all individuals, and what works for one person may not be helpful for another.


The most important thing to remember is that fear of flying is a very treatable problem, and if one approach to overcoming your fears doesn’t work for you, then try something different — you can overcome this!

Other Resources:

Wilson, R.R. and Cummings, T.W. Achieving Comfortable Flight . Chapel Hill, NC: Pathway Systems, 1991. (Includes two booklets, four audiotapes and brief reminders on cards. An excellent and thorough package. Available for $59.95 from  .


    Reid Wilson is recognized as one of the leading experts in the field in the treatment of anxiety disorders, and I highly recommend any articles or books written by this author.  Wilson’s book, Facing Panic, can be found at

Fearless Flying self-help package from Northwest Airlines. (Includes a booklet with audiotape and videotape. Try for copies.  This item seems to be out of production, but if you can find a copy, it is definitely one of the best resources I have been able to find for those who are concerned about flight safety.  It was produced pre 9-11, so is somewhat outdated.

Stauffer, C.L. and Petee, F.
Fly Without Fear . (Overview. Available for $14.95 from ).

Brown, D.
Flying Without Fear . (Overview. Available for $11.96 from ).

Windsor, N. and Azar, J.
How to Fly . (Humorous, practical suggestions. Available from ).


Windsor, N. and Azar, J. How to Fly: For Kids . (Humorous, practical suggestions geared toward the 6 to 12 year old child. Available from ).

Flying With Confidence (This videotape allows you to experience a flight virtually, accompanied by explanations of noises, motions, etc. Try for copies


Russ Harris. The Happiness Trap is an excellent resource for those interested in learning more about ACT—Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Amazon has copies for sale.


Robert J. Wicks. Riding the Dragon and other books are excellent resources for those interested in the intersection of spirituality and psychology.  I have collected several of his books and highly recommend them all.  Amazon has several of his books for sale. 

Seek professional help if necessary.The Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of Maryland (410-938-8449) offers individual and small group treatment for fearful flyers. See ASDI Events for information about our periodic Fear of Flying class and ASDI Groups for our ongoing fear of flying group.


Professional help in your area can also be found through the Anxiety & Depression Association of America website ( by clicking on the “Find a Therapist” link.  Even if the therapists listed for your area do not specialize in fear of flying, they may be able to offer valuable assistance or refer you to a specialist in your area