About Us

We’re in the News

Gradual de-sensitization fear of flying classes are extremely effective. Our phobia work related to travel has been featured on CBS’ “This Morning“, CBS’ “Eyewitness News“, and NPR’s WAMU radio, FM 88.5. The National Geographic Traveler™, Family Circle™, Newsweek™, The Washington Post™, Washington Times™, and Baltimore Sun™ have also had articles about our work.  American Express interviewed us for their “Fear of Flying”  article. The December 6, 2007 Washington Post featured our work with two clients as the lead story in the Business Section. In May, 2009 CNN interviewed Jean and her clients Stephanie and Martha for 1.5 hours.  The one minute CNN edited version may make what we do seem very simple, but Stephanie and Martha each worked hard with us to get back to flying! We were pleased to be featured on msnbc.com June 2012, and in August 2014 we were featured on usatoday.com in their piece about crossing the Bay Bridge.

Jean Ratner, LCSW-C

Jean is founder and Director of the Center. Jean is a clinical social worker and is a highly experienced psychotherapist in private practice who has over twenty years specializing in the treatment of panic disorder and phobias.  In her private practice, she also treats depression, anxiety, stress management, OCD and other anxiety issues. Her B.A. is from Smith College and her masters degree in social work was done at Simmons School of Social Work in Boston. Jean has offices in both Kensington and Bethesda.

Jean was a fearful flyer years ago and stopped flying for several years.  After overcoming her own fear of flying, Jean is now flying very comfortably, including long distance flgihts in the last several years to Australia/New Zealand, Greece, Turkey, Israel and most recently to China.  With her own experience as a fearful flier, Jean founded and is devoted to this program to help others learn about planes and coping strategies so they can travel wherever and whenever they want to or need to.

Corneilia Tietke, LICSW

Cornelia is a therapist in private practice who specializes in treating anxiety disorders.  She has overcome her claustrophobia enough to fly in airplanes with ease and to ride in elevators when she feels like it.  She earned her B.A. at Harvard and her MSW at Catholic University. Her office is in Northwest D.C. close to the Friendship Heights metro.

Our Experiences

From our personal experiences with phobias, as well as our professional training and many years of experience, we know how to help you. We will teach you what you need to know about how a plane gets safely up in the sky on take-off; what turbulence is, what holds your plane safe during turbulence, and all about weather conditions. You will also learn highly effective relaxation skills and we will make you a personal relaxation cassette/CD for practice between sessions. In addition we have written materials and a videotape, which we filmed ourselves, of arriving at the airport, waiting at the gate, going through the jet bridge, getting seated, take-off, cruise and landing.  We also videotaped an interview with a pilot.  We watch these videos with our clients, when they are ready, and they have been extremely helpful.  All of your own specific issues will be addressed.

Our Role

Our role is to be your coach, providing you with skills; giving you all the experiences and encouragement you need to take the first steps towards your travel goals. In addition to our fear of flying classes, we also help many people with difficulty driving on highways, going over bridges, going through tunnels, and using the Metro with its steep escalators.

Giving you new information, skills, tools, and confidence, your Center For Travel Anxiety coach will get you on your way. Your world will expand, and we know that you will gain a tremendous sense of personal freedom.