SOAR Vice President and Director Lisa Hauptner relates to each client with a fear of flying – she was a client herself. In 1989, Lisa’s career in corporate finance for a major bank required her to fly on a quarterly basis, and a sudden-onset fear of flying made her dread each trip. At the age of 30, Lisa was confused why travel, which she once enjoyed so much, could evolve into something horrible. Her knowledge and interest in aviation, travel, and airlines could not prevent the dread she felt when making reservations for her next business trip. A flight from LAX to JFK, although in perfectly smooth weather, prompted her to swear off flying and make reservations for her next business trip on Amtrak. Realizing this was restricting her life, she sought a solution.
In the pre-internet age, Lisa read about SOAR and Captain Tom Bunn in a book and decided she must take action. The results astounded her. After completion of the SOAR program, Lisa overcame her fear and felt empowered. She was so confident in its life-changing approach, she contacted Captain Tom Bunn and told him she wanted to leave the corporate world to resume her education, obtain her license, and join him in helping other fearful fliers through SOAR.
In 1997, Lisa received a Bachelor’s degree in Human Relations and Applied Psychology from Pace University, summa cum laude, and received the “Psychology Award” from faculty. In 2000, she earned a Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling with a specialty in Substance Abuse, and was named Pace’s “Outstanding Graduate Student” of the year. Oftentimes, a career change signifies that one has made major improvements to overcome a fear; Lisa experienced this firsthand as she transitioned from the corporate world to counseling.
Today, in addition to running the SOAR business and counseling fearful fliers, Lisa serves as an adjunct professor at Pace University in their Masters in Mental Health Counseling Program. She created and served as coordinator of the adult inpatient co-occurring track at Four Winds Hospital, a private psychiatric hospital in Katonah, New York. However, she continues to provide both inpatient and outpatient group therapy at the hospital on an as needed basis. She currently maintains her own private psychotherapy practice in Bedford Hills, NY.
Lisa is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a New York State Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor, and a National Certified Counselor. She is a member of the New York Mental Health Counseling Association, the American Counseling Association, and a Fellow of Dyson College of Pace University.
Although Lisa enjoys flying today, she continues to use some of the principles and exercises she learned in SOAR – which also help improve other areas of life. Lisa resides in Pound Ridge, New York, with her husband and two Abyssinian cats, Lex and Dino. She enjoys music, boating, and art.