“Nothing so much prevents our being natural as the desire to seem so.”
– Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Do you find any of these familiar?
Experiencing symptoms of anxiety (e.g. tenseness, blushing, sweating, heart pounding, dizziness) in social situations like: Attending a social gathering, Starting a conversation, Initiating a date, Talking on the phone, Introducing yourself to others, Eating in public, Being assertive with others, Speaking in meetings, Performing in front of people, Expressing your personal opinion to others etc.
Worrying about such events beforehand; Having the fear that anxiety will get out of hand and others will notice it and will form negative judgements about you as a consequence.
Being self-conscious in such situations; Worrying about what other people think of you; Expecting that you will act inadequately or do something humiliating; Dwelling on things you think were mistakes for you to do or say;
Feeling unconfident, shy, inferior to others; Feeling sad or hopeless about changing
Avoiding these “risky” situations; Staying quiet, Sitting in the back, Avoiding eye contact
Social anxiety is the most common form of anxiety
The majority of people will report experiencing nervousness, feeling uncomfortable in at least one type of social situation. When the symptoms become very distressing and are present in one or more important areas of life (work, school, leisure, intimate relationships) and one starts restricting his/her life by avoiding the feared situations, is usually the time they seek professional help. People struggling with social anxiety are not coward, they all faced their fears many times, it just somehow hasn’t solved the problem.
Fortunately, modern psychotherapy knows a lot about this issue, and Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy has effective, evidence-based tools for its treatment.
Low self-esteem and self-confidence are very common and are associated with almost every emotional, psychological problem (from depression to many forms of anxiety). It is especially characteristic in social anxiety.
When we are self-confident, we appreciate our inner resources, capacities, skills and feel ready and willing to use them to face challenges, to do our tasks. We do this with an underlying sense of “I can succeed or try again till I do”. Healthy self-esteem means having positive regard towards ourselves, thinking and feeling that we are ok and worthy. The psychologically most healthy forms of self-esteem always include an element of self-acceptance, a general sense of “I am ok and worthy as a whole, even with all my flaws and difficulties”. Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a powerful way to build systematically these essential psychological properties.
Hypnotherapy can help you do the things you want to do, feeling natural, self-assured and rooted in your healthy self-esteem
This approach addresses all the different components that make up social anxiety and low self-esteem. We start building new, more healthy patterns of thinking, gradually learning and utilizing new, helpful attitudes and ideas that will help you feel differently about yourself and about social situations.
Hypnosis is a powerful way to strengthen these helpful ideas, attitudes, to systematically build your sense of self-worth, self-trust and assertive behaviour. Hypnosis also makes it possible to ‘practice’ these new ways of thinking and being with the help of imagery exercises.
You would learn relaxation techniques to deal with the unwanted symptoms of anxiety, by learning how to down-regulate arousal, both generally in your daily life and when you face challenging situations. We can also address the issue of self-consciousness by practicing how to shift the often problematic self-focused attention, using effective methods.
We would also have you try out gradually your new skills and coping techniques in everyday situations, building your confidence and belief in your ability to do the things that are important to you.
Why this treatment?
This treatment has a strong skills-learning orientation. Apart from the ‘talking therapy’ part (which is also important), we always spare time to practice and learn those psychological skills and techniques that are scientifically proven to be effective in overcoming social anxiety and lack of confidence. I regard it as very important that my clients gain useful psychological insight and knowledge about the problem, find satisfaction in their own everyday successes and feel empowered by the skills and tools they have learned.
Social Anxiety Treatment is available on Skype as well
Online Therapy has the same effectiveness as traditional face to face therapy. Learn more about Skype Sessions here.
Ready to get started or would like to know more?
I would be happy to discuss with you any questions or concerns you may have about treatment, without any obligation. So if you would like to make an appointment or just want to discuss some questions or talk about your goals, feel free to get in touch.