Hampshire & Surrey Psychology Anxiety Service

Including Specialist Fear of Flying Programme (Freedom to FlyTM)

Psychologists are experts in the treatment of anxiety disorders.  We train in the most up to date and effective therapeutic approaches and our continued accreditation with our professional bodies (the HCPC and BPS) require that we keep up to date with new developments.  Many of our Psychologists then have further training and expertise in particular areas of anxiety disorders such as Post-Traumatic Stress, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Obsessions and Compulsions or Phobias.

In our practice we are committed to offering the range of evidence based therapies/approaches recommended by NICE that have been shown through clinical trials to be effective.  These include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); Acceptance and Commitment Psychotherapy (ACT);  and Mindfulness based psychotherapy in addition to general counselling and psychotherapeutic approaches.

How do I know if I am suffering from anxiety?

Anxiety and fear is something that everyone experiences – it’s hard wired into our system.  In the distant past we were hunter gatherers and so needed the brain to be able to automatically mobilise us to defend or attack as soon as it detected a threat. We didn’t always have time to be able to think about it!  This is why the anxiety response is not under our conscious control and includes both physical and emotional sensations.  It also includes sensations that we don’t always recognise as anxiety, examples of this are severe muscle pain or dissociative symptoms.  Sometimes the response is so intense that it can be mistaken for a serious physical condition such as a heart attack.

anxietySigns of fear and anxiety can include; severe muscle tension and aching, headaches, sweating, faster breathing, palpitations/heart rate increasing, having a sense of dread, feeling overwhelmed, dwelling on negative thoughts or catastrophe and feeling seriously restless, jumpy and unable to concentrate on anything for long.

We feel as if we want to escape from the threat; but sometimes it’s not clear exactly what the threat is.  In long lasting anxiety and chronic stress the part of the brain that detects threat has become over-active and reacts to a whole range of events that would ordinarily not be thought a problem.  A bit like a burglar alarm being over sensitive and being set off with every puff of air.  Chronic stress or anxiety is exhausting and the more tired you become and less able to cope the more the system reacts – it’s a vicious circle.  That’s why it’s helpful to catch it as early as possible because your brain’s responses need time to recover and return to more normal responses.  In most cases anxiety doesn’t last long and is related to a particular stressful event or life change.   There are a variety of causes and the way in which people react is highly individual.

Anxiety becomes a problem when it begins to interfere with day to day living.

If you have anxiety symptoms that are long lasting or intense, you feel stressed or overwhelmed and it’s starting to interfere with your life – perhaps it’s making it hard for you to go out, affecting your relationships or your work then it’s time to talk to someone.

This is when professional help can make all the difference.

How can we help you?

We know it can be a big step to ask for help so we want to make it as easy and reassuring as possible.  It’s of paramount importance that you feel comfortable with your chosen Psychologist.  The first step is to give us a call in confidence and we will discuss with you who has availability and would be a good person for you to have an initial conversation with – you talk directly to your Psychologist first and then decide whether you want to go ahead and make an appointment for an initial assessment consultation.

We will explore with you exactly the nature of your difficulties and the scope of the problem – once this is thoroughly understood through a structured assessment, we then devise a programme of therapy incorporating the most helpful approaches which we adapt to suit you as an individual.

What can we help with?

depressed-manAnxiety comes in many forms, although this list is by no means exhaustive, so please feel free to contact us to discuss the difficulties you may be experiencing:

  • Generalised Anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Dissociative problems/disorder
  • Claustrophobia
  • Agoraphobia
  • Panic attacks
  • Phobias
  • Fear of driving or travelling as a passenger (after an accident)
  • Anticipation of catastrophe
  • Stressful activities including; giving presentations, public speaking and interviewing

Freedom to Fly™ programme

Dr. Elaine Iljon Foreman

Elaine Iljon Foreman is a clinical psychologist with a specialism in the treatment of anxiety disorders and who has developed a programme to treat fear of flying.

Fear of flying can include many different fears; worrying about turbulence, terrorism, technical issues, feeling trapped, a fear of panicking, agoraphobia, social phobia, other phobias, claustrophobia or a fear of heights. The powerful Freedom to Fly™ programme has a high success rate in helping people to overcome their fears, using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques.

The course has a 95% success rate and comprises of:

The Navigator

This is a single session, without a flight. This is for those who have already booked their own flight.

The Explorer

This is a two-part course where the first part involves understanding the nature of the problem and the designing of an individualised treatment programme. The second part takes place a week later and includes a scheduled day-return flight to continental Europe accompanied by Elaine.