Sunday, June 16, 2019

Common Social Anxiety Treatments: Do they work?

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The current widely used social anxiety treatments have a very limited effectiveness. There are 4 important reasons for this:

1. The type of therapy used
helps to correct the conscious mind,
yet SAD is a
subconscious problem

The most common treatments follow a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) structure. CBT directly stimulates the conscious mind.

If social anxiety disorder was a conscious-mind-based problem, then this approach would be good.

The thing is social anxiety disorder is a subconscious problem, meaning that many CBT-style efforts to manipulate the conscious mind (e.g. reasoning with thoughts) do not work.

Whilst you’re making the effort to reprogram negative thoughts (which, SAD aside, is a really, really good thing), your subconscious mind is unable to benefit from what you’re doing, because the conscious and subconscious don’t directly link.

If they did link, you’d be able to say to yourself “It’s ok, no need for anxiety”, and then, the anxiety would stop.

The subconscious mind is controlled by your behaviour – your thinking has little effect. So, the key to beat social anxiety is to manipulate your behaviour.

2. Talking about your anxiety
makes it worse

Your subconscious mind needs to move on from it’s anxiety condition – and it cannot do that if you and your therapist keep discussing anxiety. Why?

Because discussing social anxiety builds on the behavioural habits that made you form SAD in the first place.

The good that does come from traditional anxiety treatments sessions, will be undone by the fact that you and your therapist discuss the anxiety.

One last time – your mind cannot overcome social anxiety if you keep giving it reminders about the anxiety! 

3. Going to others for help might sap
your power to recover

If you go to mental health professionals for help, you might accidentally become passive to your recovery. Basically, you could let those professionals ‘do the work’ whilst you wait for success. There’s a major problem with this…

There’s only one person with the power to really help you, and that person IS you. It’s your brain that needs editing and only you can edit it. 

Other people (like therapists, or me!) can only help you to help yourself. It’s YOU who must be the leader of your recovery, with sources like me to guide you. 

It’s much better to have guidance from a website or book, because in that situation you’ve got the knowledge required, but there isn’t someone for you to try to lean on. Like I said, only you can change your brain, so leaning on others doesn’t work in this case.

Often it’s a good idea to seek help from others – with most problems, actually. But common treatments haven’t mastered this disorder yet, and given how expensive they can be, I think you’re better off without them.

4. In social anxiety group therapy,
other anxious people are bad influences

The people you surround yourself with influence you – whether you like it or not. They can have effects on your mood that you might often not even notice. You need non-anxious individuals around you, as influences.

Group therapy is where 5-10 clients and 1 or 2 therapists organise and practice ‘role-plays’ of typical anxiety-provoking social situations.

The theory is that by practicing such situations, you’ll begin to feel more comfortable about trying them in real life. Nice theory hey, but can it help you move forwards with your life?

Is Social Anxiety Group
Therapy Helpful?

Classes are not regular enough to give you any substantial improvements. The subconscious mind needs time to adapt to ‘non-anxious’, and there’s not enough time for this, in a weekly social anxiety group therapy class.

Also, you’ll probably accidentally be using behaviours in the class that help to sustain the anxiety. In all likelihood, your therapist won’t help you to correct those behaviours.

It’s not good to be surrounded by
other anxious people

Whilst practicing social situations should help, you’re also surrounded by other anxious people in a social phobia group therapy session. 

When you’re trying to recover, you really need calm people to be unintentionally influencing you. 

Other anxious people, through no fault of their own, are bad influences.

Overall, group therapy for social anxiety is not very helpful at all.

Health professionals cannot
help you much

As you’ve seen in this article, the help that mental health professionals can give you is very limited…

If you’re still tempted to go to the doctor or see any kind of therapist about your condition, please read my article on why you’d benefit if you Quit the habit of seeking treatment for social anxiety disorder.

There’s One Person Who Can Help You Beat Social Anxiety: YOU.

You only need yourself to overcome SAD. You need you, some guidance… (uuhhh hummm ) and a world that is less socially threatening than your mind thinks – you have those ingredients!

A self-help approach to treating social anxiety disorder is all you need. Forget the $150 therapy sessions, they only remind you of your anxiety. You just need yourself, and a good plan.

Emily Murdoch
Hi I write about health and fitness for women! You may contact me at [email protected]

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