Overcoming Social Anxiety and Social Phobia

Many of us experience moments of nervousness and social anxiety such as times just before public speaking or before an interview.

Social anxiety or social phobia is experienced when there is intense fear of social situations that even thinking of them may cause discomfort.  Underlying this, may be a fear of being watched, judged or criticised by other people particularly in public situations.  For some,it may also be fear of acting in ways that will embarrass or humiliate themselves.

It is common for most shy or socially phobic people to believe that other people expect them to behave perfectly and have fear rejection if they do not meet others expectations.  For some, social phobia may be experienced in almost all social situations. However for others, it may only be experiences in certain social settings and gatherings.

When social anxiety or social fear is so intense that you constantly avoid social situations it may be overtaking your enjoyment of life.

Social phobia is very common and affects over 10% of the population at some stage in their life.  In some cases, social phobia may have been a learnt behaviour from family environment. Certain negative experiences during childhood and adolescence may also influence the degree as well as the type of shyness and social phobia.


Types of Social Anxiety

  • Public speaking 
  • School Presentations 
  • Meeting new people 
  • Job interviews 
  • Fear of dating
  • Exams
  • Using public toilets
  • Dealing with authority figures
  • Eating in public 
  • Stage performances
  • Fear of exams


Some experiences of social anxiety or phobia:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Shaky voice
  • Feelings of Nausea
  • Blushing
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Pounding heart
  • Tight chest
  • Dry mouth, clammy hands
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Tense muscles


Often the fear that others will notice that you are nervous adds to the anxiety heightening the fear of the experience


Even Famous people can experience social phobia

Barbara Streisand

Barbara Streisand often experienced social phobia before her performances. During a certain stage in her life it was so sever that she was unable to sing publicly for many years. It was in 1967 during a public performance when she forgot the words to several songs.  Since that experience her fear of repeating embarrassing mistakes and being judged was so great that she avoided singling in public.  However she was able to overcome her social phobia by taking small steps towards recovery and eventually was able to tour and perform in concert in 1994.



 How Insight Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy can Help You.        


Our Philosphy is to provide a  therapeutic, nurturing and supportive environment


At Insight Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy we take a holistic approach towards overcoming  Social Anxiety.  In particular we address individual biological, psychological and social influences that have prevented you succeeding in the past. 

The reasons why you have developed the behaviour is personal and individual, so the way of dealing with it will also be personal and individual.

We work in collaboration with you in designing an individualized program that is tailored to your specific needs and your individual personality.  

We have in depth experience in a range of therapies to help you.  Some of these include:


Take the necessary steps towards your path to freedom

Make an appointment to start your path of Social Confidence