Hypnosis for Social Anxiety

Teenage client, sitting on couch, suffering from social anxiety.

Client Background

If you’re of a generation that had a landline in your home, you probably became very familiar with taking and making telephone calls. You likely talked to your extended family fairly often, you probably talked on the phone with friends for hours and hours, and so you may not understand this client’s situation. He grew up without a landline telephone in the home. He had a mobile phone from an early age but it was used for games and texting. The only people he’d call on his phone was his parents, generally briefly, and fairly infrequently. So when he started his first job and had to talk on the phone, he was very nervous. Over time, he became anxious. As such, he contacted Reimagine Hypnotherapy to undergo hypnosis for social anxiety.

What is social Anxiety

Whilst it is normal to be nervous in various social setting, social anxiety is very different to first date or job interview nerves. Social anxiety, sometimes called social phobia, results in debilitating worry about being scrutinised or judged, as well as self-consciousness and embarrassment. It can cause disruption or avoidance behaviours in relation to school, work, social events, relationships, etc.

What can Trigger Social Anxiety?

Of course, it varies from person to person, but common triggers include:

  • Meeting new people,
  • Ordering food or eating around other people,
  • Being, or feeling like you’re being, criticized or even evaluated,
  • Being the centre of attention (e.g. being asked to explain something, give a presentation, etc.),
  • Interviews or dates, and
  • Talking on the phone.

What are the symptoms of Social Anxiety?

Emotional and behavioural symptoms include:

  • Worry about embarrassment or humiliation
  • Intense fear of talking with strangers
  • Fear that others will notice the anxiousness
  • Avoidance of events or situations, particularly where there is need to interact with others
  • Overthinking social interactions
  • Over estimating risk associated with social situations (e.g. worst case consequences)
  • Under estimating ability to deal with social situations

Physical symptoms include:

  • Blushing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Trouble catching breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Blank mind
  • Muscle tension

Client Situation

Whilst taking on the telephone was not the primary role of the client, there was a need to call suppliers and take calls from customers, as a back up to other staff. Unfortunately, this generally happened during busy times or at times of crisis. Initial nervousness at the thought of talking on the phone was made worse by bad experiences when dealing with pressured suppliers and irate customers. The client soon started to suffer from the emotional, behavioural, and physical symptoms, above, whenever he had to make or take telephone calls. Fortunately, he contacted Reimagine Hypnotherapy to discuss how he could benefit from hypnosis for social anxiety.

Using Hypnosis for Social Anxiety

The method employed is referred to desenitisation. Unlike a standard phycologist’s approach, there was no need for the client to actually take or make stressful calls. He didn’t need to go through the ordeal of ‘facing his fears’.

Instead, under the safety of hypnosis, he was asked to imagine himself in the situations he’d previous encountered and recognise the feelings he felt. He didn’t need to feel the sweaty palms, increased heart rate, or shortness of breath, he just needed to mentally recognise them. Then, under the guidance of the hypnotherapist, he was asked to reduce the feelings. This was repeated several times. Finally, these negative feelings were replaced by positive ones, of the client’s choice. He chose confidence.

Did it work? Was he able to remove his social anxiety using hypnotherapy?

Teenage client free from social anxiety after having undergone hypnotherapy. Arms stretched out as sun sets.


Client Feedback

I used to get anxious at work, worrying about taking calls from upset customers. Now I pick up the phone without even thinking about it. Even my boss has noticed how much more relaxed I am now.

Connor, Sydney Australia.
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