Social anxiety is a form of anxiety that affects some people by making it difficult to interact in certain situations and with people. A person could experience a fear and anxiety being in social situations, or having to speak in front of people. People who experience social anxiety can be very sensitive to criticism, rejection and fear being evaluated by others. This type of anxiety can cause people to avoid situations. There is much that can be done to help people who suffer from this type of anxiety.
Why see a therapist?
You may be experiencing indecision, stress, conflict, sadness, frustration, anger, anxiety or another emotion. You may want to make a change in your life, your relationship, or your behavior and recognize that a professional, verses a friend, could assist you in making those changes. In an environment where you feel comfortable and safe sharing your concerns, we will discuss your reasons for seeking therapy and your specific goals. Every client is unique with unique needs. Based on who you are and what you are experiencing, we will work together to so you make progress in reaching your goals, move forward in your life, and make any of the changes you desire in your life.
What’s next? Please call or contact me to make an appointment.
We all have areas in our lives that we want to improve. The first step is to learn how to more calmly and objectively view our problem or area of our life we want to change. Then we can better use our intelligence, knowledge, energy and resources to solve the problem or make those changes.
Often it is our thoughts and beliefs that create our feelings. Therefore, it can be important to identify and understand our “automatic” thoughts to better understand our patterns and challenge some of our underlying beliefs. My role is to guide you to identify and understand how your thoughts may be creating negative feelings and what you can do about it. Of course, not only is it our patterns of thinking that sometimes get in the way. There can be other behavioral patterns that may need to be changed in order to feel better and accomplish your goals. I work with clients to identify their goals, understand barriers to achieving their goals and then make changes so that clients can better attain their goals and the life they desire.
Therapy is really a collaborative process. We talk, sometimes we role-play, sometimes there are assignments…whatever works. Most of my clients are highly intelligent. Yet, no matter how smart or how accomplished you are, you can still have problems or issues you just can’t seem to conquer on your own. Sometimes you just need a confidential third party who is skilled in listening, reframing what is happening, identifying patterns, and opening up opportunities to explore alternative ways of looking at something.
Basically, all therapists offer their clients a supportive process where clients end up having more options, strategies, and choices with regard to their thinking and behavior.
Transitions and Life Changes
Some transitions are predictable such as a marriage or children going to college and others are unpredictable such as the loss of a loved one or a divorce. Transitions can be difficult. They require making important life decisions, dealing with feelings, and getting support. They include:
- Starting a new career or a new job, leaving a job or looking for a new job
- Starting a new relationship
- Ending a relationship, as in separation or divorce
- Deciding to live with someone, getting engaged or married
- Issues around having children, parenting or children leaving to go to college
- Dealing with the loss of a loved one
- Creating a new life because you moved or retired, or are making other life changes
Most people go through various stages or phases when going through a transition. And, some transitions are more difficult than others. It is important to understand these stages so you have a context for understanding what you are feeling and experiencing. Emotions are normally triggered during any transition and can include sadness, depression, anxiety, frustration, grief and anger.
There are many strategies for helping clients reduce stress, all of which can help a person cope, learn techniques, modify habits, and create a less stressful mindset and life. I was certified in hypnotherapy years ago and find it can be helpful for certain clients in certain situations.
As stated in Psychology Today….
“Stress is simply a reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium. In other words, it’s an omnipresent part of life. A stressful event can trigger the “fight-or-flight” response, causing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol to surge through the body. A little bit of stress, known as “acute stress,” can be exciting—it keeps us active and alert. But long-term, or “chronic stress,” can have detrimental effects on health. You may not be able to control the stressors in your world, but you can alter your reaction to them.”
Chronic stress can cause “dis ease”.
In addition, The challenge for clients dealing with stress or very stressful situations is to learn strategies to reduce the stress level so that the stress doesn’t overpower or paralyze or develop into panic attacks.
Most human beings have experienced anxiety. Anxiety can occur in certain situations (situational anxiety) or a person can feel anxious much of the time. It is important to understand the roots of the anxiety but just as important to learn tools to decrease anxiety levels so that one can function and take care of normal life responsibilities. Anxiety can lead to panic attacks where a person may have shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and sometimes feel like they may die. It doesn’t last long but it is very uncomfortable.
Most people experience anxiety around normal life transitions. These life transitions, whether positive or negative create anxiety, and sometimes intense anxiety. What most people lack around transitions is basic information that can help them make sense of their emotions so they can move through their life transitions more effectively. Most people focus on the externals of the transition and ignore working on the emotions activated during the transition.
For various reasons some people need to improve their social skills. This can be because they are shy, experience social anxiety, or have other issues that make it necessary to learn and practice social skills. Social skills are the skills we use to communicate with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures, body language and image. Social skills include speaking, listening, building rapport, and how we present ourselves. Building stronger social skills can help build confidence, relationships and career opportunities. Social skills can be taught, practiced and learned.
We all have a picture of who we think we are in terms of how we look how we act, what we are good at, what we are not good at. This is our self-image. Our self image is based on all our experiences and the interactions we have had with people, starting with our parents. Self-esteem relates to feeling loved, accepted for who we are, and whether we feel valued, specifically how much we value, love, and accept ourselves. People suffering from low self-esteem may feel like no one likes or accepts them, that they are not worthy of love, and don’t appreciate their own self worth. People with healthy self esteem feel good about themselves and take pride in who they are and what they do. Many people experience problems with self-esteem at certain times in their lives. The good news is that self esteem can change over time and can be improved.
Therapist in Boca Raton serving Broward and Palm Beach counties including Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Coconut Creek, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.