How to overcome aquaphobia?

25 November 2019


Fear of water is one of the most common fears. Where does it come from, how to relieve or even overcome aquaphobia? Good news: we have concrete solutions and they are suitable for adults of all ages! So talk to others and share these tips.

Overcome your fear of water

The first way to treat a phobia is to talk about your anxiety. The 2nd? Face your fear of water in the best conditions with qualified people.

There are several cases of aquaphobia (fear of water).

  • The majority of these are fear related to a traumatic situation that comes from having experienced drowning, from having been pushed into the water to learn to swim, from having played at sinking, from cold showers received to calm a nervous breakdown during childhood… In this case, even bathing can be a problem.
  • There are those who are afraid when they don’t have a foothold; afraid of drowning or of being swallowed up by the bottom, of losing their footing, or of having the water invade their ears and nose.
  • There are those who have never learned to swim (often accompanied by a sense of shame) but who are not necessarily afraid of water.

Coach in the water, students in very small groups… Everything is done to feel confident.

Where do we start?

“Don’t bother with the mechanics of breaststroke, crawl or backstroke until you’ve dealt with the panic. Start slowly. No rush, no tension, no worry!” explains Yannick, Win’Ô coach at Swim Stars. “Take a walk in the shallow end of the pool. Keep your mind on what you are doing; feel the sensation of water on your skin. Feel the sense of control, of security.

At first you may not want to, but try putting your face under the water. Stand in the pool holding onto the edge with one hand and pinching your nose with the other. Soak your face quickly. Repeat until your jaw is no longer clenched, until you can let go of your nostrils.

Celebrate: you’ve reached a major milestone!

The Adult Aquaphobia Program, to overcome aquaphobia

Within the first few minutes of the aquaphobia class, Yannick’s students explain the root of their aversion to water. For some it is a traumatic experience, for others it is a trait that has been learned over time. Of the 600 adults who completed the program, about 90% had at least one parent who was afraid of water. Unlearn the terror before passing it on.

Taking a class can take days or even weeks, but you’ll have to go deep, where your feet don’t touch the bottom. The goal – what Yannick considers mastering aquaphobia – is to float peacefully in deep water for at least three minutes, a few meters away from a wall or support.

– First, sit on the edge with your legs swinging.

– Then, slip into the pool.

– Trust this medium of hydrogen and oxygen based molecules and realize that you can float!

You may be an air-breathing land animal, but your body is mostly liquid. So, to the water!

France 2 Télématin : Report against aquaphobia

Laurent Bignolas’ team met Danny Verdier, 65 years old, who takes classes in Lattes in the Hérault. Alexandre Leclerq, a coach at Swim Stars, gives 30-minute classes for these adult beginners. The goal of the program is to overcome their fear of water.
While 15% of French people do not know how to swim, Swim Stars wishes to act for aquaphobic adults. “There was a young man who came, who put my head under water …”

Listen again to
the rest of Danny Verdier’s testimony, Swim Stars student.

I float, you float, we float… And yes, the starfish position is THE safety (and relaxation!) position par excellence, you will see…

More information on Aquaphobics adult courses here

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