What We Do

 

The Fear of Flying Clinic offers two formats for it's program: a one-day workshop and a 2-weekender Clinic, sometimes referred to as the "full clinic." Below is a more detailed explanation of each.

Workshop Overview

The Workshop agenda is the same as Day 1 of the 2-Weekender "full" Clinic. During this one day Workshop, clients share and hear from other people about their concerns about flying. Clients are able to interact with our therapist about their concerns as well as learn about some cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.

 

Additionally, clients will hear a presentation from a commercial pilot where he or she will cover topics of pilot training and safety, the basics of aerodynamics and how planes and flying are affected by weather. There is also always time for specific questions and answers. 

 

2-Weekender Clinic Overview

In the course of our 2-weekend clinic, we take clients to behind-the-scenes aspects of commercial aviation including:

  • Tour an aircraft maintenance hangar

  • Sit in the cockpit of a commercial jet

  • Visit SFO's air traffic control tower

 

This unparalleled access is unique to the Fear of Flying Clinic, and essential for demystifying a fear-based approach to flying.

The "Graduation Flight"

Held on the final Sunday of the clinic, the Graduation Flight is the culmination of everything our clients learn in the course of their 2-week Clinic, and it gives all participants the chance to put everything into active practice. We join a regularly scheduled commercial flight, most often to Seattle or another short "day route," flying there and back to SFO the same day. For many students, the FOFC Graduation Flight is nothing less than transformational.

 

At this point in the Clinic, the flight is a uniquely liberating experience—categorically different from the flights clients may have taken in their real life because this time they're armed with a tremendous amount of new safety information, coupled with coping skills for effective anxiety management. And, start to finish, they're bolstered by the essential support of staff and occasionally joined by graduates of past FOFC clinics as well.

 

It's not unusual for clients to have some jitters on the day of the flight—that same dread they've felt before might rear its head. But this time? They're ready. Armed with a fresh perspective and a commitment to put their new skills to the test. The Graduation Flight cements the experience of moving beyond the grip of fear, and it's a tremendous accomplishment—a right of passage that bonds Clinic attendees (many stay connected even after the clinic is over), and a liberating next chapter.

 

Occasionally, a Clinic enrollee will decide not to fly. In any outcome, we emphasize that the attempt is half the battle—and the Graduation Flight is first and foremost an opportunity. We talk clients through every step of the experience, and help them see it as part of a larger process in conquering their fear. They can try again later. It's never too late to try again, and just continue on their journey to flying more comfortably and confidently.

A Snapshot: What Is The Difference?

Workshop

 

  • One day

  • Pilot presentation

  • Therapist facilitated

  • Course materials

* the workshop agenda is the same as the first day of the 2-Weekender Clinic

2-Weekender Clinic

 

  • 2 consecutive weekends

  • Therapist facilitated

  • Pilot, Maintenance, Flight Attendant and Air Traffic presentations and tours

  • Graduation Flight

  • Course materials

How We Do It

 

The Fear of Flying Clinic utilizes two key components in its programs: instructor expertise, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

 

Instructor Expertise

 

The Fear of Flying Clinic draws upon the expertise of several airline industry professionals:

 

  • Pilots

  • Engineers & Maintenance Professionals

  • Flight Attendants

  • Air Traffic Controllers

 

This team is on-hand to share key information on all aspects of flying—including the basic principles of:

 

  • how airlines are regulated for safety

  • parts of an airplane

  • aerodynamics (why you hear that "bump" during take-off!)

  • industry-wide safety procedures

  • airline maintenance procedures

  • flight attendant responsibilities and training

  • training protocols

  • weather and how that affects turbulence

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Integral to the Clinic's success is the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy component of the course. A licensed CBT therapist works closely with our clients to teach them techniques that tackle anxiety at its roots, then help to arm our clients with the confidence to employ these techniques during their toughest moment in the air.

 

Too often, fearful fliers suffer in silence—not reaching out for help until the fear begins to encroach on their lives undeniably. Your fear may center on the structural safety of the airplane itself, the training of the professionals, or the imagined terror of being "trapped" inside an aircraft—all are extremely common "catastrophized" scenarios, all are legitimate experiences of fear, and all are extremely treatable. Our clients' incredible progress in the Clinic has shown us—time and again—that when you are committed to moving past your fear, the goal is absolutely within reach.  

Class Materials

FOFC clients are provided with supplementary reading materials and an audio recording as part of their coursework. The tape reviews the techniques taught by our counselor and takes you through a guided "fantasy flight" so you learn to identify the "normal" sounds an airplane makes through each step of the flight.

Follow-Up & Long-Term Support

We understand that fears about flying don't always go away completely for everyone. We are here for our clients after they attend a Workshop or a Full Clinic, to provide support and encouragement as they continue on their new future of flight.

Fear of Flying Clinic • P.O. Box 2194 • Santa Clara, CA 95055 // Office: 650.341.1595 // Email: office@fofc.com // www.fofc.com

We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area in California // FOFC is a 501(3)c non-profit organization. Please consider donating today!