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SuurAlaOrolo t1_isvgiwv wrote

May I ask: I have a phobia of flying in an airplane that developed in my 20s. (Previously I flew dozens of times; now I haven’t flown since 2012.) I saw a psychologist who recommended exposure therapy, and I’ve heard about its effectiveness, but I simply can’t fathom how it works for flying. I tried it per my psychologist’s suggestion: looked at magazines with pictures of cabin seating, watched YouTube videos of turbulent flights, went to the airport and looked at flights taking off. It felt silly. I have no anxiety response to these things—they aren’t dangerous. Could you please explain how it is supposed to work?


heiferly t1_iswck9o wrote

Technically I can't give a professional opinion over the internet, but given a hypothetical situation presented as you've described above, my knee-jerk reaction would be that for whatever reason, the practitioner planned and executed the treatment incorrectly. The planning aspect in particular is closely tied to the same theories and techniques I learned in graduate applied behavior analysis courses; laypeople commonly hold misconceptions about the jargon of my field but a psychologist should definitely be familiar with the concepts and their application.

I'm sorry you had such a poor experience. I'm terminally ill, immunocompromised, and currently ill with my third acute bout of covid (plus long covid since the 2nd bout) so I intend to return and answer here more but for now rest.