Hypnotherapy - Social Anxiety Forum

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post #1 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Hypnotherapy


Hypnotherapy is therapy that is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis. While being hypnotized doesn't have any specific therapeutic benefit, apart from the relaxation, a hypnotized person has certain characteristics, one of which is that suggestions given to hypnotized subjects are far more effective. Hypnotherapy is often used to modify a subject's behavior, emotional content and attitudes, as well as a wide range of conditions, including anxiety.

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post #2 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Mildly beneficial, if at all


Social Anxiety Background
Social anxiety has affected me since I was in elementary school. While it was triggered initially by a traumatic experience, it is something that runs in the family and I certainly had a predisposition for. Some examples of how it manifested itself over the years: avoiding certain types of social situations and friends, avoiding public speaking, avoiding the opposite sex completely, hiding in the library during lunch, the thought of just walking down certain hallways at my highschool terrified me, fear of being around large groups of people, fear and avoidance of going to parties or social gatherings, etc. My social anxiety started to get severe when I dropped out of college after one quarter because of my social anxiety. That's when I started to get uncomfortable just leaving my apartment and hit "the bottom" so to speak. Through treatment with group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR) for mild Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and medication I've been able to live the balanced life that I value and form healthy friendships and relationships.

Other Treatments

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR) and medication. I found all of these to be much more beneficial than hypnotherapy.

Treatment Experience

I pursued hypnotherapy in two ways, through hypnosis CDs and through actual hypnotherapy with a hypnotherapist.

I bought CDs for building confidence, overcoming social anxiety and even a custom made CD made by a hypnotherapist specifically for me. While they may have had some small effect, I certainly didn't notice it any real changes. And I wasn't going in skeptical of them. I really wanted them to work and believed that they would.

It's a similar story with the hypnotherapist I saw. I didn't notice any positive effects from it beyond the placebo of wanting to believe that there were changes happening.

I have heard that some people just can't really be hypnotized. Maybe I've never really been hypnotized and just can't be? Regardless, I found CBT and EMDR to actually bring about real, long term change.
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post #3 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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My Hypnosis Experience


(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by Fayee
Treatment Experience
In previous years I had developed what I believe to be severe social anxiety and it was crippling. I felt panic just thinking of being in a social situation. What would I say? What will people think of me? What if they see me turn red? What if, what if, what if? It became such a serious issue for me that I would have rather stayed home than to have dealt with the stress. It toll it took on my body.

I couldn't talk to anyone about it. Everyone that knew me couldn't understand, blew me off saying that it would pass, telling me that I didn't have a problem. I was dying inside. I am NLP practitioner and Coach so why the @#[email protected][email protected] was I having this problem.

I knew it wasn't healthy. I knew that if I didn't face it that it would continue. I wanted help! After trying many different ways to fix it, I found a Hypnotherapist I was comfortable with and chose to try hypnosis, IT CHANGED MY LIFE.

Prior to learning about hypnosis, I was intimidated by it but I soon learned the truth.

I went in for a few sessions where the Hypnotherapist guided me through a number of processes. After a few sessions, I noticed that my thought process had changed. The funny part of it is that even though the same questions were running though my mind, my reaction to them was different.....who cares!

I now have relief. The pain in my gut that I used to feel is no longer there. It's changed. Everyday I get better and better. Infact because of this experience, I now practice Hypnotherapy and specialize in Anxiety for women.
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Ok but not what i hoped for


(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by Metal898

Other Treatments
Another treatment that is often associated but not directly the same is N.L.P or (Neuro linguistic programing)this is used alot by self improvement gurus like Paul Mckenna and has proven to be quite successful.


Treatment Experience
I also had a similar experience ive spent alot of money on hypnotherapy i even went to see some one in Harley street in London. I have noticed differences although they were temporary. I had been using hypnosis CD's for a few weeks after my sessions however i had a reaction to one of them which causes me to feel really uncomfortable and light headed when i use the CD's. I found that once i stopped using them i reverted back to my old behaviors and habits. I now don't know whether any changes actually happened or whether it was a placebo effect caused by my belief that i was getting better. However my therapist stressed that i needed repeated use of the CD's over time to make the changes so maybe that might be why it hadn't worked as well as i hoped.
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post #5 of 97 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Very relaxing


(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by Sloppy Joe
Social Anxiety Background
Severe social anxiety - has improved through medication, therapy
Treatment Experience
I never expected hypnotherapy to work; when a therapist suggested teaching me self-hypnosis, I resisted. Once another therapist suggested it I decided to give it a try, and I'm glad I did. No, I don't think it's a cure. But it provides an opportunity to truly relax, and for those whose anxiety makes them feel constantly wound up - and who, like me, can't seem to follow relaxation tapes and techniques - this is a wonderful system to try.
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post #6 of 97 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Drew View Post
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by Fayee
Treatment Experience
In previous years I had developed what I believe to be severe social anxiety and it was crippling. I felt panic just thinking of being in a social situation. What would I say? What will people think of me? What if they see me turn red? What if, what if, what if? It became such a serious issue for me that I would have rather stayed home than to have dealt with the stress. It toll it took on my body.

I couldn't talk to anyone about it. Everyone that knew me couldn't understand, blew me off saying that it would pass, telling me that I didn't have a problem. I was dying inside. I am NLP practitioner and Coach so why the @#[email protected][email protected] was I having this problem.

I knew it wasn't healthy. I knew that if I didn't face it that it would continue. I wanted help! After trying many different ways to fix it, I found a Hypnotherapist I was comfortable with and chose to try hypnosis, IT CHANGED MY LIFE.

Prior to learning about hypnosis, I was intimidated by it but I soon learned the truth.

I went in for a few sessions where the Hypnotherapist guided me through a number of processes. After a few sessions, I noticed that my thought process had changed. The funny part of it is that even though the same questions were running though my mind, my reaction to them was different.....who cares!

I now have relief. The pain in my gut that I used to feel is no longer there. It's changed. Everyday I get better and better. Infact because of this experience, I now practice Hypnotherapy and specialize in Anxiety for women.
just like that you,you leaned to be a hypnotheropist???????? no wonder i dont rate theropy in any form
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post #7 of 97 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 10:06 AM
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I have tried hypnosis in the past and it did nothing for me. I guess you can count me in with the group that says it is bunk.

If I could find some good medical literature on the subject I might change my mind.

~Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me~
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post #8 of 97 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 10:20 AM
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Here's an effective one. Not exactly hypnotherapy. But more of a tension relaxation exercise.

"Personal Shielding to Deflect Hostility" - "powerful stress reduction training",
by Richard Driscoll, Ph. D.

The good thing is that it is to the point, more biologically scientific, short and not expensive. About $14 at Amazon and it's in CD form now. No generic bs about hypnotizing oneself to fake self-esteem.
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post #9 of 97 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 05:56 PM
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I'm currently going to hypnotherapy twice a month. I'm honestly not getting much out of the therapy itself. It's very hard for me to be in the present moment within my body. I can't seem to shift my consciousness away from my thoughts. I find the practice similar to a guided meditation, and I can understand how it would be helpful for someone with social anxiety. That said, I think it's important first for me to work on meditation on my own, learning how to quiet my mind.

Anyway, I continue going to hypnotherapy because my therapist has been through social anxiety. She knows what it's like, and can empathize with what I'm going through. I'm sure many of you can understand how important it is to find a therapist that understands what social anxiety is.

Please, call me Mike.

My SA and Depression blog: Unhappy Happiness

My CBT log: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...es-log-102328/
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post #10 of 97 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mjhea0 View Post
I'm currently going to hypnotherapy twice a month. I'm honestly not getting much out of the therapy itself. It's very hard for me to be in the present moment within my body. I can't seem to shift my consciousness away from my thoughts. I find the practice similar to a guided meditation, and I can understand how it would be helpful for someone with social anxiety. That said, I think it's important first for me to work on meditation on my own, learning how to quiet my mind.

Anyway, I continue going to hypnotherapy because my therapist has been through social anxiety. She knows what it's like, and can empathize with what I'm going through. I'm sure many of you can understand how important it is to find a therapist that understands what social anxiety is.
Thats very true man, i said to the lady i was with that theres no point of me coming back until i can quiet my mind easier.Went again yesterday after i'd practiced a bit and got good results, i even got told i look much better this morning despite a ridiculous lack of sleep and truth be it i feel alot better.

Even when i couldn't find the problem it was still very beneficial mentally.Definitely recommend it myself.
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post #11 of 97 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 06:25 PM
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Thats very true man, i said to the lady i was with that theres no point of me coming back until i can quiet my mind easier.Went again yesterday after i'd practiced a bit and got good results, i even got told i look much better this morning despite a ridiculous lack of sleep and truth be it i feel alot better.

Even when i couldn't find the problem it was still very beneficial mentally.Definitely recommend it myself.
Glad to hear that it went well! I know it sounds simple to quiet your mind, but it's so freaking hard! I mean, there's always going to be thoughts; it's just about whether you grab onto them or not.

I'm under a firm belief that my issues need to be addressed not only at the rational level (with CBT, drugs, etc.) but also at an intuitive level. I think that CBT eventually lets you change the way you feel: changing your thoughts can change the way you feel. But with CBT, it seems more like it's a top-down approach. With meditation and hypnotherapy, with practice, I can go deeper into my intuition, coming to greater understandings about myself. Sure, what's there isn't always fun to look at, but it's still worth it. That said, I don't think it's necessary to go that route to work on social anxiety. In my opinion, social anxiety starts and ends in my head -- i.e., it starts and ends with irrational thoughts. So, in that sense, if you want to focus solely on social anxiety, hypnotherapy just can't compare to CBT as a form of treatment.

Please, call me Mike.

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post #12 of 97 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 06:48 PM
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Glad to hear that it went well! I know it sounds simple to quiet your mind, but it's so freaking hard! I mean, there's always going to be thoughts; it's just about whether you grab onto them or not.
I just affirmed to myself that i expect nothing good or bad out of this session i will just let myself surrender to what was happening.Well i was no monk but you definitely don't have to be completely blank, you just need to be deep enough to know the difference between your thoughts and what is going on inside of you...i mean come on to fully train your mind down to a blank state of mind takes real hardcore training buddha styles.

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I'm under a firm belief that my issues need to be addressed not only at the rational level (with CBT, drugs, etc.) but also at an intuitive level. I think that CBT eventually lets you change the way you feel: changing your thoughts can change the way you feel. But with CBT, it seems more like it's a top-down approach. With meditation and hypnotherapy, with practice, I can go deeper into my intuition, coming to greater understandings about myself. Sure, what's there isn't always fun to look at, but it's still worth it. That said, I don't think it's necessary to go that route to work on social anxiety. In my opinion, social anxiety starts and ends in my head -- i.e., it starts and ends with irrational thoughts. So, in that sense, if you want to focus solely on social anxiety, hypnotherapy just can't compare to CBT as a form of treatment.
True that Hypnotherapy works in the way that i guess you let go of your problems, CBT makes you grab your problems by the balls and make you the boss lol.So yeah i pretty much just stated exactly what you said.xD

Both good though, i'm going to give myself some time and see how my anxiety pans out if theres still disconnection from people well i work a bit on CBT again(i did it in the past but it was brief).
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post #13 of 97 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 01:15 AM
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Two things, Hypnotherapy cannot enter a mind that is not relaxed.If your mentally ill you mind belong,s to the depression monster an he lets nothing through he dont want to.So hypnotherapy has no chance when ill with mental issuies, plus you useually have med,s thats all ready blocking that sort of activaty. SECOND CTB here is you therapy in one sentance all the things that are scareing you are not real. tell yourself there not. if it work,s you have just finished your cbt course because that is all the theropy is in a nut shell, an you can either do that yourself or you carnt its that simple.
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post #14 of 97 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 09:42 AM
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SECOND CTB here is you therapy in one sentance all the things that are scareing you are not real. tell yourself there not. if it work,s you have just finished your cbt course because that is all the theropy is in a nut shell, an you can either do that yourself or you carnt its that simple.
I don't believe CBT is that simple. It seems like you believe that CBT is about will power. I don't agree with that. Well, I guess it takes a certain amount of will to go through the CBT process, but the actual changes that take place in your mind is not about will. If will mattered, I would have willed my anxiety away a long time ago. I'm sure most of us would have. CBT is not about waking up one morning and convincing yourself that the things that scare you are not real; it's about systematically changing your thought processes. It's about reprogramming. In my opinion, at least.

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post #15 of 97 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 10:43 AM
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I don't believe CBT is that simple. It seems like you believe that CBT is about will power. I don't agree with that. Well, I guess it takes a certain amount of will to go through the CBT process, but the actual changes that take place in your mind is not about will. If will mattered, I would have willed my anxiety away a long time ago. I'm sure most of us would have. CBT is not about waking up one morning and convincing yourself that the things that scare you are not real; it's about systematically changing your thought processes. It's about reprogramming. In my opinion, at least.
CBT is about flight or fight. if in group therapy, its hard to even sit in on the group.i have seen people run from the room in fright. one to one i dont know we dont have that luxury in england . You have a course an then they drop you like a stone AN SAY GET ON WITH IT.
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post #16 of 97 (permalink) Old 11-17-2010, 06:25 PM
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I have tried hypnosis in the past and it did nothing for me. I guess you can count me in with the group that says it is bunk.

If I could find some good medical literature on the subject I might change my mind.
Here's one study at the NIH. If you're expecting hypnosis to put you under a magical spell, well that's movie stuff. It can help with relaxation, but it's not going to have a dramatic effect. I wouldn't spend a lot of money on it, but if you have a therapist that's willing to do it, it wouldn't hurt to try.

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I've got to say I am a little puzzled as to why one person on this thread who is experiencing hypnotherapy seems to feel they need to or is being directed to shift their consciousness away from their thoughts. What on earth is the point in that? It doesn't work for a start either because you get stuck in one massive thought loop where you have to think that you're not going to think and that when you do think you have to think to shift your awareness from whatever you happen to be thinking about...you're gonna end up with more thoughts than you know what to do with.
Isn't hypnosis about concentrating on one thing specifically? I think it's sort of like guided meditation in that respect.

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The conscious and subconscious model of the mind is ridiculously out of date but it still lingers about the place when people talk about hypnosis. I'm taught in the pin point awareness, wider mind model of the mind.
Ack! How is it ridiculously out of date? If anything we know more about the subconscious now than ever before. It just has very little to do with the Freudian claptrap that gets attached to hypnosis.

"They had to laugh, otherwise it would be too terrifying." -Bukowski
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post #17 of 97 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 04:41 AM
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Dout it


If you go for hypnosis in deep depression an on antidepressants, no way are you going to penatrate your mind with crap hypnosis. You are takeing power ful drugs to correct your thoughts , somebody playing tapes of peru pipes an telling you to relax is total on utter garbage. If you wanting to stop smokeing an are perfectly well otherwise , the kick up the arse from the theropist may work. Think about it why are we all takeing phyc meds if hypnosis is the cure,
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post #18 of 97 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 09:54 AM
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I've got to say I am a little puzzled as to why one person on this thread who is experiencing hypnotherapy seems to feel they need to or is being directed to shift their consciousness away from their thoughts. What on earth is the point in that? It doesn't work for a start either because you get stuck in one massive thought loop where you have to think that you're not going to think and that when you do think you have to think to shift your awareness from whatever you happen to be thinking about...you're gonna end up with more thoughts than you know what to do with.
I agree that it is almost impossible to shut off all thoughts when directed to, but letting thoughts pass like clouds is an important part of hypnosis and meditation. Instead of grabbing onto the thoughts, you just let them pass. It's not easy to do, obviously. We all get dragged into our thoughts; it's okay. But, in meditation especially, the process is about getting to the point where thoughts have less and less control over you. That is, where you can stop grabbing onto them.

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post #19 of 97 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 11:13 AM
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true


listen to this, a guy i know went for hypnosis to help stop smoking. The therapist told him when he came round his mouth would taste foul when he thought of a cig. This is not made up its the real deal , he was asked to discribe the taste in his mouth ,an he said chicken. ie, fowl ///chicken i near on wet myself.
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post #20 of 97 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 03:45 PM
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I agree that it is almost impossible to shut off all thoughts when directed to, but letting thoughts pass like clouds is an important part of hypnosis and meditation. Instead of grabbing onto the thoughts, you just let them pass. It's not easy to do, obviously. We all get dragged into our thoughts; it's okay. But, in meditation especially, the process is about getting to the point where thoughts have less and less control over you. That is, where you can stop grabbing onto them.
It can be a part of some forms of hypnosis if the person wishes it to be so but hypnosis is not an absence of thoughts nor necessarily or automatically a clearing of the mind (as, even in mediation, a full clearing of the mind of thoughts would be a state of consciousness we all know as death.) When you see, hear, think and feel nothing, you're dead not in hypnosis or meditating.

Being "directed" to "shut off all thoughts" would be pretty pointless in most forms of hypnosis and I think the confusion does come if you start to look at hypnosis as automatically being like some sort of meditation. In many forms of hypnosis you are engaging with thoughts and beliefs, and things going on in the mind but on a variety of different levels of awareness.
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