Mrs. A was a highly intelligent, attractive computer programmer, recently married, who requested therapy for an airplane phobia. She reported that she had been in a minor airplane accident involving a landing that shook her up a bit. The fright from this experience quickly generalized to any form of air turbulence or vibration when a plane was in the air. She was able to enter an airplane and even taxi along the runway with no fear. Her phobia'' actually began the moment the plane lifted off the runway. She was in great distress while airborne, but was comfortable again as soon as the plane touched ground.
She was eager to experience hypnosis and proved to be a very responsive subject. Because of this the senior author felt he could request a strong commitment from Mrs. A in her very first therapy session […].
I let her go through that plane trip with great air turbulence, and then I told her that she would soon feel comfortable and at ease. She would then suddenly find that all her fears had slid off her onto the chair she was sitting on. She was then awakened. She immediately leaped out of that chair! I called in my wife and told her to sit in the chair. As she started to the patient yelled, No, no, don't! and physically prevented my wife from sitting […].
I then gave her a direct posthypnotic suggestion that she was to actually take a plane trip in reality to Dallas. She had given me her absolute promise. I then told her it wouldn't be necessary to see her again until after she returned from Dallas. You'll take a plane from the Phoenix airport. Of course, you'll have some question about it. When you get back to Phoenix from Dallas, you will have discovered how beautiful it is to ride a plane. You will really enjoy it. When you reach Phoenix airport on your return, call me up and tell me how you enjoyed it.
Before terminating that trance, I gave her other posthypnotic suggestions as follows: You have lost your phobia for planes. In fact, all your fears and anxieties and horror are sitting in that chair where you are sitting. It's up to you to decide how long you want to sit there with those fears. You should have seen how she jumped out of that chair! […]
She followed those posthypnotic suggestions, and when she returned and called me, she said in an ebullient tone of voice, It was utterly fantastic. The cloud bed below looked so beautiful I wished I had a camera. Months later, when she had occasion to return to the same room, it was ridiculous how she avoided that chair and prevented others from sitting in it.
Taken from Milton H. Erickson & Ernest L. Rossi, Hypnotherapy, An Exploratory Casebook; p. 276, Irvington Publishers Inc.