Cognitive Hypnotherapy Treating Social Phobias

Overcome social phobiasCuring social phobia with cognitive hypnotherapy

As a qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist based in Reading Berks, I am seeing an increasing number of clients presenting with varying degrees of social phobia. Social phobia can be described as a broad spectrum of symptoms with varying degrees of severity. Commonly feared situations range from a fear of speaking in public, fear of showing anxiety in public, fear of ridicule, fear of blushing., In some cases the person can suffer panic attacks.

The sufferer will often try to avoid situations that cause them anxiety, when they cannot they may feel extremely agitated and resort to ‘safety behaviours’, ranging from trying to escape the situation, or constantly checking their appearance or resorting to ritualistic movements (such as placing the hand in front of the face) to try to relieve the anxiety.

Helping social phobia with cognitive hypnotherapy

In its severest form this can be a debilitating condition with those suffering feeling lonely and having few friends. It can certainly inhibit the person’s education, choice of employment and social life. In some cases social phobia may also be controlled my medication together with therapy. (Medication should always be prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner).

The good news is social phobia is common and in most cases treatment can vastly improve the persons outlook. Cognitive Hypnotherapy can be an extremely effective method of delivering good quality lasting treatment. Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a mixture of Cognitive Behavioural therapy and Clinical Hypnotherapy. CBT is effective in helping clients to recognise unhelpful, maladaptive thought patterns and begin to challenge them; the client will also be gradually introduced to the feared situations when appropriate.

When seeing a clinical hypnotherapist for social phobia treatment the sessions can take the structure where there is homework which is agreed between the therapist and the client. This really helps speed the recovery process and cement the work done in the therapy room. The sessions are structured and progress is measured and checked. The client will be encouraged to actively participate in the process, this is crucial for a positive outcome.

Cognitive hypnotherapy helping social anxiety

The Hypnotherapy is gentle, relaxing and helps to bolster self esteem and confidence. Usually clients are given a CD which allows the client to listen to the sound of the hypnotherapists voice giving positive suggestions. The benefit of this is that it helps build real rapport between the client and therapist helping the client achieve a deeper trance in the therapy setting. Relaxation techniques are taught and this gives a degree of autonomy back to the client. Once these techniques are taught they are useful tool to help them face the world in future situations or to simply relax when they feel the need.

Personally I find this area extremely rewarding to work in; the changes to a client’s life can be very real. A recent client of mine who was avoiding all business meetings now has the confidence to go to them and speak up. He now happily pitches for new business. It is gratifying to see some clients literally come to life and begin to smile, laugh and participate in social functions. It is truly a privilege to be part of this process of active change.

The number of sessions required to help cure social phobia with hypnotherapy depends on the severity of the symptoms, for some; between 3 and 6 will be enough for active change. Others may require longer (this is always agreed with the client). The first hypnotherapy session is usually between one and one and half hours.

Article Submitted By
Lorraine McGregor
Clinical Hypnotherapist, Reading

Date Published
12/07/08


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