Flight Simulators | Do They Work
Flying anxiety is one of the most common phobias suffered by humans the world over. This wrenching fear has left many grounded, literally, refusing to go anywhere they cannot get to by car or other terrestrial means. Some will spend hours in a car to get to a destination that could have been gotten to far faster and with greater ease. Many have given up on ever getting over this fear of flying. However, flying anxiety treatments do actually exist. For resources on the fear of flying see these resources, soar fear of flying, how to overcome fear of flying, and flying phobia.
Flying Anxiety Treatments | Flight Simulators
In fact, research is showing that a unique form of exposure therapy, exposing those with fear to flying trough the use of flight simulators, to be highly effective at helping people get over their fear.
How They Work
Flight simulators are a form of virtual reality to encompass the individual within something similar to a cock pit, surrounded by screens that project what a pilot sees out of their front window. A dashboard, including all the basic components that it takes to fly a plane, is displayed. A psychologist from Boston University noted that those who seek this treatment have up to an 80% success rate.
By repetitively being exposed to, and having no negative outcome as a result of, one's fear is a highly effective means of squelching said fear.
As noted on adaa.com, fear of flying is an anxiety-related response. Maladaptive as it may be, through specialized exposure and concurrent therapy, this anxiety can be significantly reduced and eliminated.
Cost and Availability
This is still a relatively new form of therapy for those with intense fear of flying. It is not offered as commonly as many other forms of treatment, but centers that offer this service can generally be found in most large, metropolitan cities around the nation. As this is a specialized form of therapy, it is generally more expensive than traditional therapy and may not be covered under traditional insurance plans. While prices vary from place to place, flight simulator therapy generally runs at least $200 for the entirety of the program.
Flight simulators provide a safe, unique, and up-close-and-personal means by which to expose someone to the experience of flying. This shows them that it is safe, by providing an environment that feels just like the real thing, but is, in fact, not. Flying anxiety treatments such as this are helping many get over their fear of taking to the friendly skies and allowing those who previously could not, the ability to confidently board a plane and take a trip without fear.