Social anxiety is a prevalent emotional issue characterised by persistent fear of negative judgment and subsequent rejection in social situations. Social anxiety disorder manifests through various effects on the body and mind, leading to physical, behavioural, and emotional symptoms.
The treatment of social anxiety through a combination of hypnotherapy and cognitive-behavioural strategies has been shown to respond well to short-term therapy and to provide long-lasting relief from social anxiety.
"What is the awful thing that you fear will happen?" Much of social anxiety involves catastrophizing. We tend to speculate about what others think, so addressing these thoughts and beliefs by disputing them is crucial when treating social anxiety. This helps reveal the core fear that triggers the anxiety.
You will learn breathing and deep relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation by Edmond Jacobson, to release tension and achieve calmness.
We will work on acquiring skills and use Imaginal rehearsal under hypnosis to train you in new helpful coping skills and positive self-talk before, during, and after each stage of the feared social situation. This helps monitor unhelpful thoughts and actions and replace them with more helpful positive coping statements.
We will also help you identify Safety Seeking Behaviours that you tend to engage in during social situations to protect yourself, feel safer, and hide anxiety sensations.
Mental imagery: It is now believed that shifting the focus of your attention externally during exposure, rather than internally on yourself, is an important part of modern Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Social Phobia, as excessive self-focused attention may be a maintaining factor in the problem.
We will work on building and increasing your confidence using various powerful tools such as self-hypnosis, self-efficacy, ego strengthening, and assertiveness training. Nobody is perfect, and everybody makes mistakes. The best speaker is not someone who imagines their performance as perfect but someone who can cope with any setbacks.