Understanding Social Anxiety and Social Phobia
Social anxiety and social phobia affect an enormous number of us to some extent or another. It is very likely that some, if not many, of the following list will be familiar to you:
- Don’t like being put ‘on the spot’
- Find it very difficult to talk publicly or to give presentations
- Find large groups of people intimidating
- Find it difficult to make friends
- Lack confidence in social settings, being shy
- Find parties and small talk difficult
- Suffer with pre-exam or pre-test nerves
- Try and stick to the rules
- Sense of being watched
- Find talking on the phone difficult
- Frequently blushing, stuttering or stammering
- Find maintaining eye contact with people difficult
- Hiding, or keep yourself below people’s level of perception
- Fear of being judged, criticized, mocked or rejected
- Shy bladder (not wanting/able to urinate in public urinals)
- Sexual performance issues (e.g. impotence, premature ejaculation)
- Feel as though people may find out that you’re a fraud
For many people social anxiety and social phobia creates significant problems in their lives, often without them knowing the root cause. The issues created via social anxiety and social phobia can seep out into every aspect of your life: perhaps you choose to live alone, or begin to avoid social interactions; you lack confidence in your abilities and your lack of confidence creates difficulties on your work; you fail to get appointed to jobs you are more than capable of doing due to your lack of faith in yourself and this leads to others questioning your abilities too; you may dress in dull or dark colours to try and hide yourself, or perhaps you over-eat as a way of avoiding unwanted attention and/or flattery; you don’t challenge others in order to avoid conflict; or you may be chronically insecure about your relationships with others which can progressively undermine even the strongest of relationships.
There are few statistics about the extent to which people suffer with social anxiety and social phobia, and those that are published come with hefty health warnings about the likely inaccuracies. What we do know though is that almost everyone, at some stage in their life will experience feelings related to social anxiety.
Millions of people around the world suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder (also known as Social Phobia) and related conditions. Despite being the most common type of anxiety disorder and the cause of much impairment and suffering, it is under-recognised and under-treated.
However, perhaps because by its very nature sufferers of Social Anxiety are reluctant to talk about their problems or seek help, the condition is still not widely known amongst the general public, and was only recognized as a disorder in its own right as recently as 1980.
How Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Can Help
Perhaps there is an upcoming event that they would like specific help with. For example, you may be due to take your driving test (again!) and don’t want to fail it due to nerves; or perhaps you are due to give a presentation to your team at work and are dreading it. For these types of issue, hypnosis, combined with suggestion therapy can enable you to reduce your anxiety and feel more in control.
It can provide you with a greater sense of self; it can boost self-confidence and self-esteem; it can help you build on your self-belief and you can have a strong visual image of yourself being calm, self-assured and successful in your upcoming event.
An added bonus is that hypnosis is wonderfully relaxing and reduces stress levels.
IAEBP therapists have substantial experience of helping people to reduce anxieties over specific events and you would need just one session a week or two before the event in question.
How the Beliefs Work can help with ongoing and pervasive issues with Social Anxiety or Social Phobia
Perhaps your issues are more long term or pervasive and you have found that social anxiety or social phobia is having a limiting effect upon your life? Or perhaps you would like to remove and resolve all future issues with social anxiety? In these circumstances we believe it is likely that you would benefit most from a particular kind of psychotherapy called beliefs work.
You will learn to identify your unhelpful thinking and beliefs, understand their impact on the way you feel and your approach to life, and be able to develop a much more effective way of managing your thinking. Not only will you be free to enjoy a more fulfilled and relaxed approach social interactions in the future, but you will gain a healthier perspective on so much more in life.
It is recognised that deeper issues can play a part – sometimes a big part – in social anxiety. Sometimes there’s a clue in the situation – a particular subject that gets you all hot and bothered perhaps. It can be that the original reaction and the learned response took place a long time back and needs specialist uncovering work to discover and put right. The ‘putting right’ is called memory reconsolidation.
Find a Social Phobia Specialist near you:
Types of therapy offered by IAEBP therapists:
These are some of the therapies practised by IAEBP therapists:
1. Suggestion Therapy (sometimes called ‘Clinical Hypnosis’ or ‘Clinical Hypnotherapy’)