A fear of flying – Jess on the couch
Having bravely decided to overcome my fear of flying I signed up for a course of psychotherapy with leading Cornish therapist Alex Wedlock from Clarity in Mind based at the Blue Lotus Therapy Centre. I turn up for my first session and I get chatting to Alex, she is nothing like the therapist in my head who is rather librarian-esque with rimmed glasses, grey hair and a teacher-like presence. Instead she is young and vibrant with a bright wrap dress on, some colour coordinated jewellery and perfectly polished toenails: she looks as if she has come straight from Phase Eight.
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Therapy sesh & curing fears
Workshops 2/3, Scorrier House
I begin chatting to her instantly and feel as if I have known her forever. She chats and laughs as we introduce ourselves like normal human beings: I suddenly forgot I had ever put her on a pedestal. Surely therapists are supposed to be stuffy, wise-looking, bookworms? Within the first 30 minutes of getting down to business I could see her talent and skills and knew I was embarking on the beginning of a tough yet extremely rewarding journey.
The first session was pretty much just about my life story: she asked about parents separating and any siblings I had etc, all very routine and nothing to do with flying at all but I could already feel an awareness in me that this was not going to be all about flying – there was more than that….it turns out it was not very much about flying at all in fact! I booked six sessions with Alex and during this time so much happened, week after week, her space in the Blue Lotus Centre became my haven. To begin with I would turn up and laugh to myself when I saw the fresh glass of water and tissues waiting for me: seriously, do people REALLY use tissues in these sessions!? A little bit of a cliché isn’t it?
Sure enough by session three I had cried my way through most of those tissues after exploring issues from times when I was 6-7 years old, an age where you don’t know how to speak to people about your feelings, along with deaths I hadn’t dealt with properly. Alex used a variety of techniques to take me back to times and places, giving me the chance to learn what I know now and pass it on. She also helped me say goodbye and let people go through a technique that wasn’t hypnotherapy but it wasn’t entirely conscious either – I guess it was a kind of visualisation technique. We talked about why I feel trapped in planes and how to reduce that, sometimes stuff just happened in the week leading up to therapy and we ended up dealing with that instead.
Psychotherapy is effectively a deep tissue massage for the soul, getting rid of the knots and the tension – making way for a healthier body and mind. Being able to say things and not be judged, to safely explore options “what would happen if I just said no to this person’s behaviour?” – I really began to push my boundaries and flourish. By the end of the six weeks I felt more confident about my claustrophobic control issues that were causing the fear of flying, although I felt we hadn’t explored them enough at this stage.
I decided to continue working with Alex to develop this. In the six weeks we have worked together I’ve seen such a difference in the way I operate as a partner, a business woman, a daughter and a friend and she’s made me recognise my voice and where I draw the line and stand by my decisions. The next six weeks we will really focus on the flying and the entrapment and work on that as a deeper issue and despite my initial worries about the cost (£240 for six sessions and £480 for twelve), it is less than the holiday I was planning on taking instead of this and way more beneficial. I feel I really have achieved clarity of mind and what I have learned will stay with me much longer than a holiday tan!