Social Anxiety Treatment
If you are struggling with social difficulties, you are not alone. Many people suffer from social anxiety, isolation, and shyness. These problems are actually becoming more common in our culture as we spend more time online and have fewer face-to-face social experiences.
I have talked to many people who say they feel “invisible” or like “outsiders.” They’re afraid people will think less of them because they don’t speak much. They try not to stand out and fear people will notice how uncomfortable they feel. Later, they feel ashamed that they weren’t able to push through the anxiety or express themselves more.
Transforming social anxiety is a passion of mine because I have experienced it myself. When I was in my teens and early twenties, I felt a lot of shame because I would get anxious and freeze when I was in groups of people. I felt that I couldn’t be myself around other people. Sometimes it was completely paralyzing.
This has changed dramatically for me, and I have seen it change for my clients. Over time I learned how to be myself without feeling pressure to perform or act a certain way. These days it’s pretty rare that I feel anxious at all in social settings, and when I do, it’s very manageable.
Social connection is a basic human need. It is difficult to feel fulfilled in life when we are unable to relate to others in the way we’d like. Feeling like you’re not part of the group is so painful and it doesn’t have to be that way.
To truly address social anxiety, we have to work with the nervous system. Social situations can feel like a threat and trigger our body’s survival system. This makes socializing nearly impossible. When we understand how this works we can begin to change our nervous system state and feel safer around people.
There are many different techniques to reveal what is happening in your specific social anxiety. We may start by working with any anxiety that happens in the therapy session. We will explore your thoughts, assumptions and triggers in social situations. Then we will discuss practical steps to challenge you out in the world.
My clients have reported feeling greater self-acceptance, expressing themselves more and feeling less inhibited around people. This is about developing a more spontaneous way of being and learning not to be captive to your anxiety.
Someday, you may be amazed to find that you are just as comfortable in crowds or groups of people as you are when you are by yourself.
I know how hard it can be to reach out to someone for help and I will do everything I can to make the process as comfortable as possible. Let’s start the conversation together through a confidential phone call or email.