My wife is a horrible flyer! Whenever we are scheduled for a flight, her anxiety kicks in and for a few days before the flight you can physically see when she is thinking about flying. On the day of a flight, she would try to calm herself using prescription drugs and alcohol. Obviously not the best way to fly! After the flight landed, it would take her several hours to calm herself once again until a few days before when she would get worked up because we were flying home.
Then I found Captain Tom Bunn and the SOAR program. I’m going to be honest in saying I was very skeptical when I reached out to Tom. However, as my wife became worse with every flight, I figured it was worth the try.
A little about Captain Tom. He is a former Navy Pilot, as well as a Pan Am pilot, he also has a degree in psychology and finished his graduate school to become a therapist. He was part of the first fear of flying program started by Pan Am in 1975. He founded SOAR, inc in 1982 and has helped several thousands of customers over come their fear of flying! With that background, I figured this guy knows his stuff!
The SOAR program is available on DVD or on-line. I signed up for the on-line course. My wife was reluctant to start, so I logged in and forced her to start watching the videos. I will admit, the videos are a little dated versus today’s technology, but it is the messaging that is the most important part of this program.
After watching this promotional video, she recognized herself in several of the points they were talking about!
Her fear of flying became worse after we had kids, she hated the feeling of turbulence and became panicked days before a flight.
We watched the videos together. I thought it would be better for her if I understood the message and could help her during the flight. We did the exercises together and prepared for the flight as described in the videos.
Being a Naval and Commercial Pilot, there aren’t too many planes Captain Tom hasn’t had control of. In a very calm manner he discusses everything that happens to a plane from when they taxi to the runway until it lands at the final destination. He talks about the back-up systems for the back-up systems for the back-up systems. My wife’s biggest fear is turbulence! We watched the video specifically talking about what happens when the plane encounters turbulence. With one simple exercise (using a glass of water) my wife was amazed at how she thought the plane was reacting and how the plane was actually reacting.
It was now time to fly. I am glad I watched these videos as it was easy for me to talk to my wife about everything that was happening before, during and after our flight. Little things as simple as the lights flashing before you leave the gate, to “stepping” as we were taking off, to how little the plane is actually moving during turbulence. This was by far the best flight we have had in a very long time!
In addition to the course, Captain Tom himself is available to help talk you through some of your anxiety. I cannot tell you how thankful I am for this program. I wish I ordered the DVDs so we could revisit them a few weeks before every flight. I was amazed at how much my wife recalled from these videos and how she calmed herself by talking through what she saw during this course.
I have to say, “THANK YOU CAPTAIN TOM!!” We are now planning a flight from New Hampshire to Hawaii and I am sure we’ll be talking about this course once again. If you have even the slightest fear of flying, make sure you check out www.fearofflying.com! Tell them I sent you!! I’m sure you will be glad you did!!