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Soar: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  348 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Captain Bunn founded SOAR to develop effective methods for dealing with flight anxiety. Therapists who have found this phobia difficult to treat will find everything they need to give their clients success. Anxious flyers who have “tried everything” to no avail can look forward to joining the nearly 10,000 graduates of the SOAR program who now have the whole world open to ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Lyons Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My fear of flights began after reading Gladwell's book "Outliers" (section on plane crashed) while flying in high turbulence to Sierra Leone on a mission against Ebola. I got a comment from Cap. Tom Bunn on twitter after writing what I experienced. After reading about his book SOAR, my fiance bought me the book and I started reading it. It's amazing what you learn about how planes work and what you can do to overcome fear (fear in general). After reading the book and got on a plane I applied som ...more
John Dempsey
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for any anxious flyer. Not only will you have a better understanding of your phobia but you will have the tools to combat it and finally soar to destinations you will never forget. Commit to reading this book and taking the steps to finally put an end to your fear. I have flown 9 times without anxiety and owe it to this program and book. The strengthening exercises work. I chose not to fly for 12 years due to avoid facing my biggest fear. I know look forward to my next flight and vac ...more
Kim Christiansen
I found this book a week before my trip. I hadn't flown in 8 years. It is amazing. My anxiety before my flight was awful, but once on the plane, I put the exercises to work and had an incredibly smooth take off and during the flight I kept monitoring my stress levels and was surprised to find myself with completely manageable stress. The flight home a week later was even better from pre-flight anxiety to take off including turbulence. I had a bottle of Xanax in my bag just in case and I didn't n ...more
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well.....if I can fly without terror then this book is worth its weight in gold. I’ll let you know!!
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am beyond grateful for this book! My flight anxiety has worsened over the years. I knew I needed to find a solution after I avoided a fabulous vacation opportunity because of my fear. What makes this book effective is Captain Tom Bunn's approach, tackling flight anxiety by teaching the reader about aviation and the psychology of fear and panic. I would definitely recommend this to any nervous flyer! ...more
Eh... nothing works. Just travel more for god sake...
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So my husband is a pilot. And I’m scared of flying. I loved this book and downloaded the app as well. Well written and it really helped me.....just in time for Covid and not being able to fly anywhere haha
this is the first flying phobia book I've read and also the first phobia book I've read, so I can't say that I'm familiar with the literature. the bulk of this book is dedicated to the author's "strengthening exercise," which has the aviophobe "link flight situations to a moment of empathic connection." so, for example, the person who fears flying would choose a memory of a moment of empathic attunement with a loved one (staring into a loved ones eyes for instance) and then pair this memory with ...more
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book basically teaches a form of EMDR, but then laced with a very nasty and unscientific 'blame your parents because a phobia means that they weren't there for you'-message. And let's not even start with the pseudo-neuroscientific descriptions.

However, it is valuable to read this book because indeed, he does address that the main problem isn't the flying itself, but the 'fear' - just knowing rationally that it's supposed to be safe, doesn't help you in not being scared when turbulence occu
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Captain Tom Bunn has written the quintessential book for ANYONE who has ever felt trepidation about flying. In his book, SOAR, he gives the reader all the tools necessary to fly without fear. I was PARALYZED by my fear of flying, missing out on many an opportunity to go places I'd longed to see. The longer I avoided flying the bigger my fear became until it consumed me. SOAR differentiates itself from other fear of flying books and programs in tangible ways. It explains how and why airplanes can ...more
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The psychological part did not engage me particularly, but the practical chapters were awesome, and helped a lot. Especially the parts that explain in detail the safety policies of flying, and the noises you hear on a plane, with "behind the scenes" info, were very useful and interesting. The small tricks you can do to alleviate flight anxiety also work quite well. ...more
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book since I have had some flight anxiety for a while and it seems to increase as I've gotten older. I know that I have anxiety in my life in multiple areas, so I thought that by reading this, I could at least tackle and rid myself of one. After reading this book, I learned that mine is more generalized and not truly focused on flying. There are definitely some principles that I can take away from this book to be able to help me fly in the future, but I was also reassured that my anx ...more
Darryl Diamond
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: studied-tabbed
Great guide to connect why anyone has a fear or uncertainty to flight. The read details individuals' base of fear, the psychology in it, and how the magic of aviation works to this day.

I studied this thoroughly for reference and intend to make footnotes. Just to support people I know whom have a fear of flight that one of them have already asked for this copy I just finished.

I've been on a handful of flights I won't forget - one being beside a microburst in clear skies and others through thund
Sandy Champagne
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been afraid of flying (and suffered from general anxiety) for YEARS. My cousin who was also afraid to fly, constantly sings the praises of this book and I finally broke down and bought the kindle version. I was very impressed and have used many of the techniques for my general anxiety and they have worked! And the part about becoming a mini-expert was at once fascinating and more helpful than I thought it would be. I'm actually sort of excited to fly now and put everything to work. I recomm ...more
Bonnie Fazio
This book has helped me deal with and manage my fear of flying better than anything else I've tried. I read it little-by-little over a couple years' time (I'm not such a slow reader that it took me two years of daily reading!). During that time, while I was still in the process of reading, I flew three or four times, once on a nonstop, round-trip flight to London.

The London trip was so long that I didn't turn down alcohol when offered -- but one at least one of the other, shorter trips, I absta
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly interesting! As someone that really dislikes flying, finishing this made me feel almost excited to hop on a plane and see if the techniques helped. What I wasn't expecting was SO much info about how brains work and psychological concepts about phobias, anxiety, and panic. That part I found especially interesting and honestly empowering. Understanding the mechanisms of my mind makes it seem possible to make meaningful progress even beyond flight anxiety. The concepts are applicable t ...more
Dustan Holland
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazingly helpful in getting over my fear of flying. I had to fly last week, but I was able to make it through relatively unscathed. I got a nervous a few times, but was able to use the techniques described in this book. Do the strengthening exercises before hand! I'm actually looking forward to my next trip. I told my wife when we got off the plane coming back home, we need to go ahead and schedule another flight so I can continue getting better with flying. Highly recommended! ...more
Nesta Cook
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came across the SOAR programme when I was looking for help to overcome my fear of flying. I wanted to fly from the UK to Australia and was on a mission to get there without being gripped by anxiety and panic in the air. The SOAR method works! I followed and learned the techniques that not only got me to fly again but to actually enjoy air travel. The book is very helpful and I dip into from time to time to remind and reinforce the effective technique to overcome anxiety.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book literally changed my life. Went from prescription medication paired with copious amount of alcohol with panic attacks and tears, to knitting peacefully on a plane and not even thinking about turbulence when it happens.

But just like what they say in AA:
it works if you work it.
Don’t expect to just simply read it and be cured, you have to practice and use the tools in the book to prepare yourself for your first flight.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this one to mostly read about turbulence and what's going on there. My queries have now been answered but along the way I read through the rest of this book too. I feel like a lot of the techniques in this book are based on visualizations which are not something that I can do very well. It was interesting to read though, and it told me what I wanted to know. ...more
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Bunn is a pilot and a therapist who has developed methods to help people with a fear of flying. As a fearful flier, I found this book helpful, especially in some of the mindfulness techniques Bunn gave. I've flown a couple of times since reading this book, and I would recommend it. ...more
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been an anxious flyer for years. This book effectively acknowledged the risks, while providing tools and explanations that helped to eliminate my crazy thoughts. Just took 1st flight after reading it and it helped much more than meditation or anti anxiety medication.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A MUST read for anyone with anxiety issues even if you aren’t afraid of flying. I have been afraid of flying my entire life and would never even entertain the thought of someday getting on a plane. Now I am excited to try flying for the first time and will be taking my first flight this year.
Lucy Baker
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Actually enjoyed the flight! No panicking or anxiety. Didn't think it would work but it totally did! So happy! ...more
Fadi Tawakol
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
amazing book!
if you have a flying phobia, this book is for you
really helped me...
David Nutter
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I read this the day before my flight and it definitely helped! I only experienced a brief moment of anxiety and was able to shoo it away with the tactics Bunn presented.
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
thank you captain tom, after read this book, i commit myself go to fly no matter what, this book give me confidence, reader from Taiwan.
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc
I guess I won't know for sure if it works until after my flight in a couple months but I feel much better about it after reading this book. There are great techniques and a lot of information. ...more
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Captain Bunn does an amazing job explaining how flying works and why some people are so scared to fly. Additionally, he provides readers with great exercises to work through their fears and anxieties, all to which really work.

I was terrified of flying, and thanks to this book, I am able to get on a plane, free from anxiety, by working through the exercises and rereading the material, looking for reminders. It works like a charm. In fact, my next trip is to Italy, and I’m so excited.

That being s
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After graduating from Wake Forest University in psychology, Tom entered the U.S. Air Force. Number one in his class when he got his wings in 1960, he was given his choice of assignments, and chose to fly the Air Force's first supersonic jet fighter, the F-100.

He served from 1961 until 1965 with the 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany flying the F-100 and F-105. In addi

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