Exposure Therapy - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Exposure Therapy


I'm hoping to do some exposure therapy but I'm not quite sure what to do or where to start. I was thinking something were I could get used making small talk to people and get used to holding a conversation or something.

Does anybody have any experience with this?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:44 PM
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I think small talk would be good or just greeting people for starters as well. For finding someone to talk with you could probably go just about anywhere and strike up a conversation.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:52 PM
 
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The best way to do this IMO, and a way that will make you understand what it feels like to be very very confident is to go to a crowded area (mall or whatever) and start singing LOUDLY and dancing like a lunatic for 5-10 minutes.

Do it with a friend or you won't be able to force yourself. The second you pass that "indifference threshhold" you go from zero to hero instantly.

If you can pull this off you'l feel AMAZING probably for a week. You will be untouchable and wil dominate any social situation without even thinking about it. I know because I've done it several times. And I don't care how ****ed up you think you are. Arguably the more insecure and afraid of people's opinions you are the more dramatically you will be confident after you do this exercise.

It basically has the effect of weed x1000 with a ton of energy instead of lethargy thrown in.

Check out my thread for something that will make you confident with a bit more consistency (though not in as dramatic a fashion, more of a buildup type thing) .
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoxCerberus View Post
The best way to do this IMO, and a way that will make you understand what it feels like to be very very confident is to go to a crowded area (mall or whatever) and start singing LOUDLY and dancing like a lunatic for 5-10 minutes.

Do it with a friend or you won't be able to force yourself. The second you pass that "indifference threshhold" you go from zero to hero instantly.

.
We'll call that "plan b"
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemonstale View Post
I'm hoping to do some exposure therapy but I'm not quite sure what to do or where to start. I was thinking something were I could get used making small talk to people and get used to holding a conversation or something.

Does anybody have any experience with this?
have a lok at my reply int he thread titled ''what are you doing to overcome sa''

you need to break your exposure down in to certain catagorys
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 04:25 AM
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Do you also suffer from depression? Then I'd discourage you from forcing yourself to doing expossure therapy in an acute period of depression just for the sake of it!
Most likely you will not have the emotional strength to take up the challenge and take a fair bit of setbacks!
If you do it anyway and you fail, your fears and anxieties will most likely increase. It will have the wrong learning effect and only confirm your negative attitude.

On days you feel good and you push yourself a bit further to do something and it turns out well, the positive experience will help you to perceive these kinds of situations in a more positive way. The more often the better! But it's no quick fix and takes some time but it's still worth trying in any case.

Do you know what exactly triggers your fear or anxiety? If you haven't figured that out, exposure therapy should not be the main therapy of choice. SA is not like fear of spiders, fear of flying or fear of heights. It is very complex.

The problem with social anxiety is that we do not only have fears of certain situations but fear the reactions and valuations of others in general in everyday life and almost constantly. And most of the time we even know that our fear is irrational.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 05:11 AM
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Oh God my therapist is pushing me to do this and I can't fathom it. I don't think I'm at that stage yet...

But she did suggest (for me) taking a different route to school, and through school. Because I have an intense fear of going out of my normal way.

what cannot be said will be wept
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 07:12 AM
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You could try something like a fear pyramid to help with exposure, bear in mind not many SA sufferers succeed with exposure unless they combine it with other therapies such as CBT.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoxCerberus View Post
The best way to do this IMO, and a way that will make you understand what it feels like to be very very confident is to go to a crowded area (mall or whatever) and start singing LOUDLY and dancing like a lunatic for 5-10 minutes.

Do it with a friend or you won't be able to force yourself. The second you pass that "indifference threshhold" you go from zero to hero instantly.

If you can pull this off you'l feel AMAZING probably for a week. You will be untouchable and wil dominate any social situation without even thinking about it. I know because I've done it several times. And I don't care how ****ed up you think you are. Arguably the more insecure and afraid of people's opinions you are the more dramatically you will be confident after you do this exercise.

It basically has the effect of weed x1000 with a ton of energy instead of lethargy thrown in.

Check out my thread for something that will make you confident with a bit more consistency (though not in as dramatic a fashion, more of a buildup type thing) .
Hm, sounds like a good idea but I'm not sure. When I was younger I never liked singing in front of people, but now I don't mind it at all. I will sing loudly in a girly voice to a Mariah Carey song or something in front of people I don't even know and not really care. In fact if I'm riding in a car with somebody I don't know that well I find it easier to sing along with the radio than to carry a conversation with them. I guess it depends on the person.

As far as exposure to small talk, I think that would be the best place to start for me at least, and probably a lot of other people. I would suggest just going to the mall or any public place and talking to an employee or person waiting line for food. It's funny because I used to work at Footlocker for almost 4 years and never really felt any anxiety talking to customers, though I would struggle sometimes if the conversation strayed from talking about shoes or sports.
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