When you sign up for one of our programs the first thing you should do is congratulate yourself.

Many people don’t step even that far and continue to believe they’re too weak or somehow not able to do difficult things. We don’t believe that at Afraid to Fly and we’ll do what we can to help you leave our workshops feeling strong and prepared to take that next step towards an actual flight.

In our two-day group treatment program you’ll get a chance to meet with other adults who have the same fears that you do. Most people who take our courses expect that their fear is the worst out there, certain they’re the only one who is this scared, but that’s simply not true. We find the complete opposite: Most people are surprised to learn that their fears are actually quite common and that everyone worries about the same types of things.

The most common worries we hear are:

  • I might panic on the plane and not be able to leave,
  • I’ll lose control and the flight crew or other passengers will have to restrain me,
  • They’ll have to turn the plane around to let me off and everyone will hate me,
  • I’ll be so embarrassed!
  • I’ll freak out and feel so alone, with no one to help me.

We do what we can to create a warm, accepting and safe environment where people can feel comfortable learning to cope better, and we find again and again that the reward is there when people take the risk of opening up. There’s no obligation to share information about yourself but you’ll get more out of the program when you do. Our groups are small, usually around 5 or 6 people, and held in comfortable office environments to help people feel at ease listening to and supporting one another.

We bring commercial pilots into our Non Flyer group to answer questions that people have about aircraft, flight, meteorology (how airplanes interact with weather) and the airline industry.

People who take our Non Flyer program also get the opportunity to fly with Dr. Ian Shulman and other members of the group. When we have enough people who want to fly, we arrange to meet at an airport and get an aircraft all to ourselves for two to three hours. In that time, we work with you to use the coping skills you learned in the group and help you find your comfort. We’ll meet the crew, have another opportunity to ask questions about that specific aircraft and, when everyone is ready, we fly! Our practice flights are just under an hour, which gives us plenty of time for a tour of Toronto or Niagara Falls. People tell us this is the most exciting part of the process because they’re often so sure their fear will absolutely prevent them from ever flying.