I have seen many clients over the years for fear of driving. That fear ranges from fear of moving at high speeds, such as on the freeway; to fear of driving at night, to fear of getting motion sickness while driving or while being driven; to fear of being inside a car.

In most of these cases I have treated the situation as I would any other anxiety issue. You see, these phobias are symptoms, and once you realise this, you will understand that there are probably other symptoms that also come from the same cause, usually being anxiety.

Freda’s Fear of Driving

Freda’s husband bought her an electric car for her birthday. He was the one doing most of the driving when they first got it, while she was learning about its unique features. Due to one of its features, as Freda’s husband exited the car, she found herself locked inside. He had accidentally locked it as he left. Because the car was completely controlled via electronic command through a p[hone or iPad, there was nothing she could do to unlock the car. She frantically tried calling him to return to the car, but he did not answer his phone.

Freda began experiencing a panic attack as she sat inside the car, trapped. Her husband eventually answered his phone and returned to the car to let Freda out. From that day onwards, Freda was not able to get inside the car for fear of being trapped. It was in effect a claustrophobic response.

We explored that trapped feeling using various techniques and this enabled Freda to stop doing panic attacks when she thought about driving. We also used techniques to help Freda to feel calm, and to remain calm, whether in the car or at work or in any other situation. You see, if Freda was able to feel more calm generally, there would have been many other of her symptoms which would not have eventuated, because anxiety wold not have taken hold.

Triggering Events

As well as treating anxiety more generally, specific events triggering anxiety need to also be addressed in order to disarm that trapped/anxiety response. For Freda, fear of driving and specifically being being trapped inside the car was one such recent event. As we traced the trapped feeling back however, there were much earlier events where this trapped feeling was apparent. You can see that the approach needs to be multi-dimensional in order to extinguish the fear. We look at past trigger events, we look at anxiety as a fundamental issue, and we look at calming techniques to show the unconscious mind what we are doing instead, now that we are removing the anxiety.

If you have a fear of driving or other phobic or anxiety based response, we can help. Horizons Clinical Hypnotherapy Sunshine Coast.