The Fear of Flying Clinic's mission is to inform clients about all aspects of aviation and replace their fears with solid beliefs using a two-pronged approach: education plus behavioral change.
The Fear of Flying Clinic is about facts and education. Phobia, by definition, is predicated on perceived threat versus actual threat. We work to debunk misinformation about commercial aviation by putting clients in direct conversation with knowledgeable aviation experts, providing behind-the-scenes airport facility access, and giving you tailored support with a top behavioral therapist. Every class is a safe space where participants can confide their biggest fears—without shame or worry of ridicule—ask questions related to their specific anxieties, and get an education on the real facts from credentialed insiders with decades of aviation experience. We work to tackle bad information and fear-based assumptions head-on.
The Fear of Flying Clinic is a non-profit support organization led by a committed group of volunteers compiled of former graduates, therapists, and aviation industry experts.
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, clients travel from across the state, and sometimes from out of state, to attend our workshops and clinics which are held in a meeting room at the San Francisco International Airport.
Our Approach and Why It Works
Education: One of the ways we help clients help themselves in overcoming their fears about flying is by providing them with knowledge and facts about aviation. How it works, and how it is one of the safest modes of transportation.
We understand that most people don’t have much concrete knowledge about the basic principles of aerodynamics, and the statistically-vetted safety of commercial air travel. That missing or misunderstood information can create scary narratives keeping someone from flying.
That's where the FOFC team steps in. A group of highly skilled and caring aviation expert presenters—commercial pilots, flight attendants, and air traffic controllers—volunteer their time to share first-hand knowledge about their profession and the rigors of aviation safety.
Behavioral change: We partner our education using cognitive behavior therapy techniques. Fundamentally, we believe that what a person thinks about flying will greatly impact how they feel about flying. That is not to say that someone is making up or exaggerating their fear. We understand that the fear is real. But we also understand that to learn how to fly with less fear, clients are going to have to retrain their minds regarding what and how they think about flying.
We tailor our approach to our clients' specific struggles and triggers. For some people, their fear of flying has developed slowly and insidiously over time, eventually ballooning into a fear so big, so terrifying, that they feel they can no longer fly at all. Others grapple with persistent, gutting anxiety but fly anyway—panicked, miserable, even self-medicating in an attempt to manage the overwhelming stress of it all. Many others who were once calm and confident fliers find themselves suddenly—after a negative experience in flight, or a triggering life event—newly and irrevocably fearful in the skies. In other words: there are no absolutes or right or wrong scenarios here. Most fearful fliers need help in the form of education, guidance, and a new set of cognitive tools. The Fear of Flying Clinic provides this within a framework of trust and support.