Conquering Fear of Flying to Swim With Sharks

Before I went through a series of EMDR sessions, I was absolutely terrified of flying on a plane. I had not set foot on one in more than 11 years.

By Jeff · (Founder)

Tag-Icon Tag: Anxiety , Phobia


Before I went through a series of EMDR sessions, I was absolutely terrified of flying on a plane. I had not set foot on one in more than 11 years, and just the thought of being onboard while being launched into the sky gave me chest pain.

I would imagine looking out the little round window and seeing the ground thousands of feet below me.

Or I would always imagine the wings falling off and people screaming.

There’s no way I would get on a plane for a short two-hour domestic flight, much less fly across the entire globe (a gruelling 20+ hours) to New Zealand.

But that’s exactly what I did. 

And it was EMDR that helped me get past a series of fears and phobias that were in the way of me living a richer life.

Through doing EMDR Sessions, initially with a therapist and later my own using Virtual EMDR, I learned that most of my fears were interconnected.

The fear of flying was the same as the fear of heights, and even my phobia about sharks and water.

Once I started using EMDR to work through one of them, I found I was moving through the others as well.

The real test was the first flight I took. A short two-hour domestic flight. But it was a real miracle for me. I wasn’t scared at all. 

Since then I have flown to Europe, Alaska, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and farthest of all, to New Zealand. This is where I had the experience of cage diving with Great White Sharks near Stewart Island in south New Zealand.

That day we saw 6 great whites. They were all males because the larger females migrate that time of year which was January or summer in the Southern Hemisphere. The water was absolutely freezing so we had to wear wet suits, gloves, and pull-over protective hoods. Even with all that gear, I came out of the water shaking uncontrollably and frozen to the bone.

Without access to Virtual EMDR, I could have never worked through the fears that were controlling me.

I am so thankful to be where I am now!

If I had never done EMDR, I would still be stuck at home and would have had any of these amazing experiences that make life special.

Virtual EMDR truly opened up new doors for me.

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Virtual EMDR · 07 Oct 2019

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Phobia and fear are often symptoms of underlying subconscious trauma experienced previously, such as in childhood. For example, fear of flying or change may be linked subconsciously to experiences of childhood abandonment or neglect, thus leading to an overpowering need for security and stability. Through Virtual EMDR, we have heard stories from users where they started work initially on phobia and fear issues. But they subsequently uncovered hidden issues of trauma or PTSD. The power of Virtual EMDR is that it can be used to target these issues as they arise.

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