Social anxiety is awful to live with. Everyone experiences slightly different thoughts, emotions and physical symptoms which can range from being uncomfortable to completely terrifying. There are often complex reasons why you might develop social anxiety which can make it challenging to deal with it on your own. Also, the very nature of social anxiety can make it difficult to talk to friends and family about what you're experiencing and sometimes their well-intentioned attempts to help can actually make anxiety worse.
If you read self-help books, access CBT through the NHS or Google ‘how to beat social anxiety’ you’ll end up with loads of information about how to try to rationalise your thoughts and use logic to overcome it. These kinds of help look at controlling the symptoms of social anxiety, not the underlying cause. Doing this can be helpful but more often than not it isn't a permanent fix. The majority of my clients have tried one or more of these things but found that it doesn't work for very long and their social anxiety returns.
The most effective way that my clients have found to overcome their anxiety combines two processes. We need to understand why you experience social anxiety. This includes looking at possible causes, how your life is being affected now and how the anxiety cycle is being maintained.
Alongside this, we can practise some skills which you can use between sessions to start controlling the symptoms. These can include diaries to monitor thoughts and uncover underlying beliefs, relaxation techniques and different ways of behaving and communication that help to control anxiety.
We will work together in a friendly, supportive and collaborative way. You will never be judged or criticised by me. Counselling is a highly confidential activity which is focused on helping you.
Do you want to start working on overcoming anxiety?
The first step is to give me a call or text me on 07908 861505 or send me an email at email@example.com. I may not answer straight away but I will always reply as quickly as I can. If you don't like talking on the phone that's not a problem, just let me know in your text or email and I'll make sure that I text or email you back instead of calling.
I'll invite you in to have a free initial meeting with me which, depending on availability, will usually be within a week. This meeting can last up to an hour. During the meeting I'll take some basic admin information from you, explain my confidentiality and data protection policies, we'll discuss the social anxiety that you're experiencing and I'll give you some information about how we might work to manage your anxiety. You'll then have a chance to ask me any questions that you want and you can then decide if you'd like to work with me or not.
If you're not sure if you want to work with me that's not a problem at all, I'm perfectly happy for you to take a few days to consider it. It's important that you work with the therapist who feels right for you, if I'm not that therapist then I'll be very happy to give you the details of some other people in this area who may be able to help you.
If you would like to work with me then we'll book our first appointment which will usually be within a week of us meeting.
I know that the thought of opening up to someone can be scary (if not terrifying!) but remember, you are in control. We'll go at your pace to discuss what is important for you. I work very hard to be friendly and supportive during counselling and so far no one has left because I'm scary!
As well as specialising in anxiety, I have experience of supporting clients with:
- Low self-esteem
- Low confidence
- Identity issues
- Relationship problems
- Relationship breakdowns
- Work-related stress
- Childhood abuse
- Negotiating life transitions
Contact me to discuss if counselling can help you.