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We talk about a lot about children and drowning prevention, but in the wake of several high profile adult drownings in 2018, it’s vital to shine a light on the risk for adults. According to Gallup and the CDC:

  • A staggering 46% of American adults fear the deep end of a pool and 68% are afraid of deep open water.
  • 32% of adults are afraid to put their head under water.
  • 46% also report being afraid of drowning.
  • Many adults don’t take lessons due to fear.  Only 2% of adults planned to take swim lessons in summer 2014, yet 80% of drownings in America are adults. 

Aquaphobia – a paralyzing fear of the water – usually stems from a traumatic experience with the water. However, it can be exacerbated by generational fears passed down from parents to children, saddling them with crippling and often embarrassing fear.

Conquering Aquaphobia

Here’s the hard truth about aquaphobia, and conquering fear in general. The only way out is through it.

“Exposure is by far the most potent medicine known to psychology. It is responsible, directly or indirectly, for most positive improvement achieved in therapy–any therapy, but particularly the treatment of anxiety.”  (Psychology Today)

Additionally, exposure therapy can have positive effects on multiple levels.

  1. Physiologically, exposure creates nervous system habituation, the eventual subsiding of the physical fear response when exposed over time.
  2. Psychologically, confronting your fears creates a sense of empowerment and accomplishment.
  3. And finally, at the behaviorally, repeated exposure creates mastery, which helps reduce fear of failure.*

One with the Water Adult Swim Lessons

At One with the Water, we offer adult swim lessons specifically designed to help overcome your fears. We address the fear before anything else, by starting outside the pool and establishing a trust-based relationship with the client.

We practice a whole mind-body approach utilizing visualization and breathing techniques, as well as adopting the growth mindset to overcome fear.

Finally, we know that facing your fear can be an overwhelming, emotional process, and we move with the utmost respect, calm, and steady approach, knowing how valuable it is to conquer your fear of the water.


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We are a Westside Regional Center vendor. Any appeals or questions may be submitted to the California Department of Developmental Services or by calling (916) 654-1987.
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