I recently met a teenager who had a fear of flying. His fear had become so intense that last year, as the entire family set off for a family holiday, he decided in the middle of the airport that he would not be getting on the plane. At NLP4Kids we frequently work with young people experiencing fears and phobias including fear of flying, the techniques in the therapy that we use help to reduce the negative impact of fears and phobias.
So far the young man had read lots of self help books and had decided that the stuff in them didn’t work. I began talking about the fast phobia model and he instantly interrupted and said “I read about that and I just know that it wouldn’t work!” So that threw that one out of the window! I needed to find another way…
One that that really stood out was the self talk he would do, ahead of a holiday. He would, in a panic tone, talk to himself about all of the possible disasters that could occur as a running commentary to the plane crashes he could see in his mind.
So we made some adjustments to those things but he was insistent that his phobia would remain all the same.
In the next few sessions we used hypnosis to help with the anxiety and limiting beliefs he was experiencing. He felt this had helped the most and we continued on this track but I really didn’t fell that we’d quite hit the nail on the head yet, and the holiday was just a few weeks away.
I began to consider the unique individual characteristics of this young person. Something that was becoming obvious was that they were very certain and actually competitive in some aspects of their character, even in our work together. Often there was a mismatch between what I would say and his response to it. For example I would say “here is a great idea-” and he would tell me all the reasons why that would never work for him, he could even give me examples to prove it to me.
So in our final session I decided to use that aspect of his character to my full advantage.
I told him that there was a part of his brain that knew he was going to fail at this. That he wouldn’t be able to do it and that part of his brain knew it already.
Just as anticipated he told me that part of his brain was wrong and HE COULD PROVE IT!
Two weeks later he sent me a postcard from Spain, telling me how his flight went and how he managed to prove that part of his brain wrong…
By Gemma Bailey
Gemma Bailey is the director of NLP4Kids, a children’s therapy service that provides teen therapy and child counselling using NLP, a proactive alternative to conventional child psychology. If you are looking for a child counsellor to help your child overcome stress, depression or anxiety related problems or if you wish to book a workshop to help your child improve their confidence, motivation attitude call 0203 6677294 or email Gemma@NLP4Kids.org. Gemma is based in Hertfordshire and works with clients in and around Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, Potters Bar, Watford and Rickmansworth.