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The day i helped Cat fly revisited

Before the Daily Record deletes this i wanted to repost it here. Original article can be found on the daily record site, also original copyright holders are to be respected legally in every sense.


This is a exact reproduction of the original article nothing has been changed or altered in any way. Looking back upon this, I realise what an achievement it was both for Cat and myself. I remember when I arrived to cure cats phobia the interviewer Laura asked me how many times I had already saw Cat to help her over her phobia, to which I replied “none”, Laura was incredibly shocked and exclaimed, but she is terrified! And I replied “good, that’s why I am here”. I am confident I can help anyone over there are phobias. Which is why I knew I would be able to help Cat Harvey over hers, however I do feel incredibly proud about this particular phobia cure because I had very little time and an extreme amount of pressure to get the job done.


However get the job done I did as the article below describes, phobia is easily treatable especially when you seek the best to treat you. Please contact me for more details after you have enjoyed reading this article.

Real Radio DJ Cat Harvey overcomes her fear of planes thanks to shrink

Apr 17 2011 Exclusive by Laura Coventry, Sunday Mail

cat harvey phobias Image 2cat harvey phobias Image 2

HAVING survived three hours of turbulence, a power cut and an aborted landing on three separate aeroplane trips, it’s no wonder Real Radio’s Cat Harvey has a fear of flying.

To see a video of Cat battling her fears, click here.

But her anxiety is so severe that each time the radio presenter boards a flight, she carries out a ritual consisting of tapping three times on the aircraft door, counting repeatedly to 250 and wearing her hood up.

As a youngster, Cat was fearless but when she entered her early twenties her phobia emerged.

It was after experiencing three terrifying mid-air incidents - and crash-landing in a tree during a hot air balloon trip - that Cat’s extreme aerophobia (fear of flying) was triggered.

The 37-year-old, who is also a Sunday Mail Seven Days columnist and travel writer, explained: “In the space of two years, the electrics cut out on the plane on a flight back from Rimini. Then on a flight to New Zealand we had three-and-a-half hours of turbulence and I remember crying and saying, ‘Just get me a parachute’. And last year I had an aborted landing at Dublin.

“When that happened I started thinking too much. My fear has become so irrational it has totally taken over my life.

“I love visiting other countries but I dread getting on that plane. How many travel writers do you know who are petrified of flying?

“I work myself up into such a ridiculous frenzy. I do a ritual before I board, I have to sit on an aisle seat on the left hand side of the plane. I also have to have my hood up during take-off. Taking off, landing and turbulence terrify me.

“I have been a fairy in pantomime for the last five years - I must be the worst fairy in the world who can’t fly.”

Now Cat’s phobia has become so bad that each time she flies she experiences the shakes, a tight feeling across her chest, palpitations and sweaty palms.

But in a brave attempt to address her fear , she volunteered to have a trial flight with Leading Edge Flight Training at Cumbernauld Airport.

Cat explained: “It has become ridiculous. I made all my friends pay an extra £250 to fly direct from Aberdeen airport to Oslo because there was only one take-off and landing, whereas the Glasgow flight had a stop-off.”

Two weeks ago, Allan Falconer, owner of Leading Edge, invited Cat to the North Lanarkshire airstrip where she taxied on the runway in a single-propeller, four-seater aircraft.

During the five-minute trip - despite never leaving the ground and travelling at a speed of 30 knots (34mph) - Cat was a nervous wreck and was in floods of tears.

This week, she ventured back into the cockpit of the propeller plane for a trial flight with Real Radio competition winner and aspiring cabin crew member, Darren Lynch, 26.

Before take-off, Cat called on hypnotherapy trainer and anxiety management expert Andrew Milne of Happy Minds to help her cope with her fear during a 40-minute one-to-one session in the flight centre’s briefing room.

Andrew, who has cured people with social anxiety and a range of phobias including spiders, dogs and pigeons, said: “Using neuro-linguistic programming and techniques of the mind, I made Cat aware of what she was doing, then spoilt her ability to do it and replaced it with a more appropriate way of behaving.

“Because the problem lies in the imagination, we use the imagination to get over the problem.”

Andrew, who cured his own phobias of frogs, sharks and bears, insisted: “There is no fear you can’t get over.

“What you are actually afraid of is this horrible feeling inside your body. If you can get rid of this feeling in the moment and tackle your biggest fear, then there is nothing in the world you can’t achieve. There is nothing to be afraid of.”

After climbing into the cockpit, Cat confidently sat next to the pilot, Captain Ian Haggis, while her Real Breakfast Show sidekick Ewan Cameron sat in the terminal building feasting on sandwiches supplied by Galway Gourmet.

Feeling more calm and in control since her hypnosession with Andrew, Cat was able to conduct a short radio interview with Captain Haggis as they taxied along the runway.

However, on the first attempt, the flight was grounded due to foggy and rainy weather.

On the second attempt, the plane sped down the runway at 60 knots (70mph) and was finally airborne.

With Captain Haggis, a former Eye in the Sky pilot, by her side, Cat bravely faced her fear - and took it a stage further when she f lew the dual-control aircraft at 600ft.

Cat was a natural, her confidence boosted by an earlier flight simulator experience when she landed a virtual plane at Glasgow Airport , and by five-year-old fan Jasmin Toms who’d turned up at Cumbernauld airport to show support.

Back on the ground, an excited but relieved Cat said: “During my session with Andrew he made me realise my thoughts were irrational and taught me to think of a reason I’d want to get on a plane, so I imagined Johnny Depp on a Caribbean island.

“All I kept saying when we were taking off was ‘Johnny Depp, Johnny Depp, Johnny Depp’. I was a little bit calmer. I was still shaking but I was determined not to feel the way I used to, and I didn’t. I didn’t even put my hood up.

“I was elated because I’d done it - I even flew to Falkirk and back. I liked being in control but was happy to hand back to Ian for the landing.

“I am proud of myself, I have learned that I can do anything if I put my mind to it but I was so angry at myself for being so fearful. It’s been a brilliant day. I am so glad I did it.

“I hope my fear is conquered. Now I will try not to count to 250, I’ll try not to put my hood up, and I will try not to dig my fingernails into the passenger next to me. I will also try to enjoy it.

“If I can fly a tiny plane on a rainy day with wind, then I am sure a qualified pilot in a jumbo jet with four engines will do okay.

“Thank you to Leading Edge, to Andrew for making me think about Johnny Depp quite a lot and our Real Radio competition winner Darren, who was very supportive. Airlines may not be queuing up to employ me, but they should be queuing up to take Darren on, he’d make an excellent cabin crew member.”

Captain Haggis, who only qualified as a Civil Aviation Authority flying instructor the day before, said: “Cat absolutely loved it. Andrew seems to have worked wonders.”

Later this year, Cat will take to the skies again in panto as she stars as Tinker-Cat the fairy in Peter Pan at Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre. You can hear her on the Real Breakfast Show, 100-101FM weekdays from 610am or on www.realradio.co.uk.

The Leading Edge flight school are offering Sunday Mail readers 20-minute flight experiences for £59.99 (usual price £64.99). Visit www.flyleadingedge.co.uk.


Andrew Milne, of Happy Minds, uses speciallycrafted exercises to cure phobias. He says the key to tackling the fear is utilise the power of your own mind and your own imagination to:

Remove the negative feelings

Remove the terrifying thoughts

Silence any voices of fear

Dissolve any key memories of terror

Completely remove the phobia

For more information or to have a phobia cured, visit www.happy-minds.co.uk

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