Hypnotherapy/Social anxiety and depression
QUESTION: Hi Stephanie,
I'm 27 from India. Since almost 8 years I'm suffering from social anxiety problem. I've tried medication, REBT therapy and recently I got a hypnotherapy session also. But still I haven't got rid of my problem. Because of this I face a lot of difficulties in my day-today life. After trying all the other solutions I saw hypnotherapy as my last resort for this. But in that session I hardly felt like hypnotised. And thus the problem haunts me every other day.
So basically my problem is. I feel so conscious when many people are around me. I suddenly start to feel like a dumb person. I continuously think about what people are thinking about me and because of this continuous background process I actually end up doing dumb things, I can't concentrate, Appear as a stupid cow, I don't feel like talking to anyone. Sometimes my friends tease me as a slow and dumb. And now even my girlfriend has also started tease me the the same.
I really don't know what to do for this. I'm seriously lacking my confidence day by day with this. As I told you hypnotherapy was my last resort but that also don't work for me, I want to give it a second chance. I just want to ask you that, can hypnotherapy really vanish my problem completely? I've also heard that hypnotherapy can create false memories in mind. Is it possible to plant a thought of superiority in mind so that I feel myself more confident of myself? And lastly, is hypnotherapy greater that any other psychotherapy treatment?
ANSWER: Hi Swapnil,
I'm sorry to hear about your social anxiety problems. I know that must be very frustrating and challenging.
Yes, if you have a competent hypnotherapist, and are willing to go for a few sessions, it could help. It all depends on if you are responsive to the hypnosis and feel good and comfortable with the hypnotherapist. But you would have to give it a good try. One session probably would never do it in a complicated situation like yours. I saw "complicated" because you will need to work on your self-esteem and self-confidence as well as the presenting problem of social anxiety. You will need to build your core back up if you have felt good about yourself in the past, or create a new core if you've never felt good about yourself.
You should look for a hypnotherapist that does NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). These tools are GREAT for social anxiety and should be in every hypnotherapist's handbox.
Don't count on "feeling too" hypnotized. It's really not very dramatic unless you are a natural hypnotic somnambulist - and that's just 5-10% of the population. You will probably just feel wonderfully relaxed most of the time when you're hypnotized.
Yes, it is possible to make you feel more superior through hypnosis. But that wouldn't be the same as implanting false memories.
Yes, I like hypnotherapy and my other tools better than psychotherapy where you just sit around and talk about your past. We get things done!
Best of luck to you!
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QUESTION: Thanks for a quick response.
Would you please explain in short what is nlp and what do they do in these sessions? Is it similar to hypnotherapy or something else? I would also like to know how to identify a competent person? Do you know anybody who is practicing in India near Mumbai?
Please do a search for NLP and read all about it on the internet. You will be fascinated. It's like software for the brain.
In order to identify a competent hypnotherapist, you're going to have to use your intuition first and foremost and see how you feel talking to them. You can ask how long they've been doing the work. What kind of tools they use. How many people they have treated successfully for social phobias... etc... just common-sense questions. Then, you should ask if they record sessions for you to listen to personalized hypnosis recordings. I think and believe that all hypnotherapists should do this, as repetition can be a key ingredient for your success.
The bottom line is it's way too early to give up on hypnosis since you've only had one session! In most studies on hypnotherapy, the subjects went through 8-12 sessions as a rule.
And no, sorry, I don't know anybody in Mumbai. However, I do Skype sessions if that interests you (and you feel we could communicate easily in English). Yes, hypnosis in person is the best idea, but if you can't find anybody you like, I'm there for you. Or rather, I am here for you : )