Help for Driving Anxieties with

Chew Valley Hypnotherapy &
Life Coaching

Assisting You to a Brighter Future
in and around Bristol, Bath and Somerset

Youíre not the only one to have anxieties about driving or travelling in a car.

Many people are anxious or afraid of specific activities to a greater or lesser degree. Cars are large, fast and powerful, so it is not at all surprising that they are the object of such fear at times. The roads can feel cluttered and crowded, with no room to feel safe.

For some people this will be a passing anxiety, lasting a short time e.g. when very stressed or worried about other issues. Or perhaps when approaching their driving test.

For others driving anxiety can become a restrictive and limiting experience, stopping them from living their lives as they choose. They may avoid getting into cars altogether, or design intricate routes and detours in order to avoid specific types of roadway, congested town centres or pylons etc. They probably know these behaviours are not rational but their level of fear is so high that they feel unable to stop.

Some people develop elaborate negative internal dialogue adding to the distress and upset of the situation. People may, for instance, believe that they have hit someone even though their rational mind knows this hasnít happened, or that someone has banged into them, or is following them, or a variety of other anxieties or fears.

How do I know when I have a problem?

When anxieties about driving or being driven begin to impact on your life, causing you unhappiness and distress and restricting your activities it is time to take action.

Motorways 'put drivers in a spin'
As many as one-third of drivers admit to being anxious while using motorways, with older and younger women said to be the most affected.Around 12% of 1,078 motorists surveyed by the RAC Foundation said they went out of their way to avoid motorways.

Symptoms of "motorway anxiety disorder" include increased heart rate and raised blood pressure, making people more prone to mistakes, the foundation said. Other symptoms are excessive sweating, tension, headaches, stomach cramps and digestive problems.

Self-fulfilling prophecy
The most anxious 12% experienced anxiety levels more significant than if they were attending a job interview, visiting the dentist or going on a first date.

Sarah Forrow, campaigns manager of the RAC Foundation, described the anxiety levels as worrying. She said: "For many nervous drivers who venture onto the motorway there is a high risk of a self-fulfilling prophecy. "They drive in an indecisive way which reinforces their fears, annoys other drivers, and can increase the risk of accidents on the motorway.

But she added motorways are the UK's safest roads - drivers are seven times more likely to have accidents on urban roads.


Chew Valley Hypnotherapy can help with driving anxieties

Driving anxieties cover a range of problems starting with simple exam nerves before your driving test. This can be helped simply with positive visualisation and listening to the driving test self-hypnosis CD.

You may have a mild phobia around driving meaning that you dread getting into a car, or are worried about only one situation whilst driving, but are otherwise quite calm and able to continue with your life. This can be dealt with as with other phobias (see the phobias page)

Some driving phobias are complex situations which have built up over a number of years. These are likely to be caused by and create a state of seriously heightened anxiety and stress and can include obsessive thought around driving. If your difficulty has been with you for a long time or is very severe you will understand that it may take from 12 to 20 sessions to help you regain control and return or become a confident driver again.

Abstract from Creating a virtual reality in hypnosis: a case of driving phobia
  1. Tom Kraft MB, MRCPsych, DPM,
  2. David Kraft
This is a case study of a 55-year-old married woman who had a severe driving phobia with a concomitant reduction in her mobility... after sixteen treatment sessions, the patient made a complete recovery and was able to drive on all public roads.

Copyright © 2004 British Society of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis


Chew Valley Hypnotherapy offers a full package of support

I am a fully qualified hypnotherapist, with a wide and positive experience of helping people to move on from driving anxieties. You can be confident that I will be using my skills to help you to remove your fears and reclaim control of your life. Your level of confidence and security will improve, and you can expect to see a rapid improvement in your relationship toward driving.

Even after the initial interview you will begin to feel your level of stress and anxiety reducing and will start to see improvements in your life and your attitude towards driving and being in a car.

Chew Valley Hypnotherapy is based in Stanton Drew and is easily accessible from anywhere in the Chew Valley, Bristol or Bath, with safe off-road parking.
I also practice from Whitchurch Health Centre, Bristol
Fulcrum House, North Bristol
And the Daisy Healing Centre, Glastonbury

Ring or e-mail now to discuss how I can help you personally.
Or book a half-price initial consultation.

Chew Valley Hypnotherapy

Assisting You to a Brighter Future