Virtually Fearless

Do you have fear of flying? I do. A visit to a virtual- reality clinic didn't cure my jitters, but it helped

I'm 33,000 ft. up in the sky, and I feel fine. No sweaty palms, no tingling head; I can finally exhale. Along with some 25 million other Americans, I'm usually deathly afraid of airplanes. A bounce here, a FASTEN SEAT BELT light there, and I'm ready to start penning my will on a crumpled cocktail napkin. But I'm sick of being scared. So before boarding my last flight, I took a crash course in virtual-reality exposure therapy--a high-tech technique that is supposed to help people like me overcome our fear of flying.

First developed by psychologist Barbara Rothbaum and computer scientist...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!