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Social Phobia

Social Phobia and Social Anxiety Resolved Easily with Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Understanding Social Anxiety and Social Phobia

Social anxiety and social phobia affect an enormous number of us to some extent or another.  It is very likely that some, if not many, of the following list will be familiar to you:

  1. Don’t like being put ‘on the spot’
  2. Find it very difficult to talk publicly or to give presentations
  3. Find large groups of people intimidating
  4. Find it difficult to make friends
  5. Lack confidence in social settings, being shy
  6. Find parties and small talk difficult
  7. Suffer with pre-exam or pre-test nerves
  8. Try and stick to the rules
  9. Sense of being watched
  10. Find talking on the phone difficult
  11. Frequently blushing, stuttering or stammering
  12. Find maintaining eye contact with people difficult
  13. Hiding, or keep yourself below people’s level of perception
  14. Fear of being judged, criticized, mocked or rejected
  15. Shy bladder (not wanting/able to urinate in public urinals)
  16. Sexual performance issues (e.g. impotence, premature ejaculation)
  17. Feel as though people may find out that you’re a fraud

For many people social anxiety and social phobia creates significant problems in their lives, often without them knowing the root cause.  The issues created via social anxiety and social phobia can seep out into every aspect of your life:  perhaps you choose to live alone, or begin to avoid social interactions; you lack confidence in your abilities and your lack of confidence creates difficulties on your work; you fail to get appointed to jobs you are more than capable of doing due to your lack of faith in yourself and this leads to others questioning your abilities too; you may dress in dull or dark colours to try and hide yourself, or perhaps you over-eat as a way of avoiding unwanted attention and/or flattery; you don’t challenge others in order to avoid conflict; or you may be chronically insecure about your relationships with others which can progressively undermine even the strongest of relationships.

There are few statistics about the extent to which people suffer with social anxiety and social phobia, and those that are published come with hefty health warnings about the likely inaccuracies.  What we do know though is that almost everyone, at some stage in their life will experience feelings related to social anxiety.

Social-anxiety.org.uk state:
Millions of people around the world suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder (also known as Social Phobia) and related conditions. Despite being the most common type of anxiety disorder and the cause of much impairment and suffering, it is under-recognised and under-treated.

However, perhaps because by its very nature sufferers of Social Anxiety are reluctant to talk about their problems or seek help, the condition is still not widely known amongst the general public, and was only recognized as a disorder in its own right as recently as 1980.

How Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Can Help
Perhaps there is an upcoming event that they would like specific help with.  For example, you may be due to take your driving test (again!) and don’t want to fail it due to nerves; or perhaps you are due to give a presentation to your team at work and are dreading it.  For these types of issue, hypnosis, combined with suggestion therapy will enable you to reduce your anxiety and feel more in control.
It will provide you with a greater sense of self; it will boost self-confidence and self-esteem; it will help you build on your self-belief and you will have a strong visual image of yourself being calm, self-assured and successful in your upcoming event.

An added bonus is that hypnosis is wonderfully relaxing and reduces stress levels. 

We have substantial experience of helping people to reduce anxieties over specific events and you would need just one session a week or two before the event in question.

Ongoing and Pervasive Issues with Social Anxiety or Social Phobia
Perhaps your issues are more long term or pervasive and you have found that social anxiety or social phobia is having a limiting effect upon your life?  Or perhaps you would like to remove and resolve all future issues with social anxiety?  In these circumstances it is likely that you would benefit most from a course of analytical hypnotherapy (pure-hypnoanalysis). 

This type of therapy would provide you with all the benefits of hypnosis with suggestion therapy, whilst also helping you to fully resolve your issues with social anxiety and social phobia, leaving you free to enjoy a more fulfilled and relaxed approach social interactions in the future.

We have found that social anxiety and social phobia can be very effectively treated using pure hypnoanalysis and issues can usually be resolved within 8 sessions.

Pure Hypnoanalysis
Pure Hypnoanalysis is the single most effective form of therapy available in the world today, for the resolution of anxiety, depression, phobias, fears, eating disorders and other psychological and emotional problems/symptoms.

Pure Hypnoanalysis is a highly developed form of hypnoanalysis (sometimes called hypno-analysis or analytical hypnotherapy) Hypnoanalysis, in its various forms, is practised all over the world, though only IAPH Members are trained to practice the amazing 'Pure' version. To understand why Pure Hypnoanalysis is SO effective, please read the transcript below.

This form of hypnotherapy can TOTALLY RESOLVE the CAUSE of unconscious anxieties - leaving the sufferer free of their symptoms for life!

Pure Hypnoanalysis usually takes 8-12 weekly sessions, lasting about an hour each.

Below is the transcript of a lecture given by Rob Kelly FIAPH in 2004 , on how/why Pure Hypnoanalysis works (Rob is the guy who developed this therapy - from normal hypnoanalysis)

‘Pure’ Hypnoanalysis, a special type of hypnotherapy, is an amazing therapeutic process, developed to help people to permanently resolve their unconscious anxieties and conflicts, freeing them from their symptoms and problems in life .

Pure (adjective): unmodified, untainted, simple, unaffected, true, clean.

Hypnoanalysis (noun): "a therapeutic technique in which a client is relaxed into hypnosis, and using free-association, sets out to release and resolve bottled-up emotions, conflicts and anxieties "

If you were to try and think of a ‘yard-stick’ to somehow measure the severity or intensity of one symptom against another, you could use the experience of ‘getting over the death of a loved-one’. Most schools of psychology (and your own experience) will tell you that it takes ‘the average person’(1) a couple of years to get over the death of a loved one. (Now, this is such a difficult and varied experience to generalise for the purpose of this explanation, but such a common experience, that most people will either have had some direct or indirect experience of it). When I say a couple of years to get over the death of a loved-one, I mean the initial effects of the death of a loved one – those (necessary) experiences that create what is known as ‘grieving’. A grieving process is very similar for most people: you miss your loved-one, you think about your loved-one, you dream about your loved-one, you cry about your loved-one, you talk about your loved-one, lots of places/people/feelings remind you of your loved-one….. all of these experiences bring the thought of your loved-one into your mind (or consciousness, to be specific) and you feel some sort of emotion. You may feel sad, you may feel guilty, you may feel pain, or loss, or anger, or shame, or happy, or any other type of emotion… the bottom line is the same though: the thought of your (recently-passed) loved-one comes into your mind, and you feel emotional.

The thought comes into your mind, and you feel the emotion...
Now, anyone who has ever lost a loved-one will know that the first few days/weeks/months are the hardest. This is because during the ‘early grieving days’, the emotions are at their strongest, and last the longest. The longer the grieving process goes on, the less and less the emotion bubbles to the surface, and you find it easier and easier to get on with your life. Within a couple of years, the thoughts and ‘negative memories’(2) come into mind less, and less, and less, and the ‘sufferer’ feels ‘more free’ or ‘less depressed’, or ‘less held-back’ at time goes by…..

Immediately after the loss, you cannot even think about your loved-one without breaking down and sobbing……. A couple of years later, you can talk about them freely without being affected at all… you are no longer thing about the ‘negative stuff’, and you are able once again to think about the pleasant, happy memories: you are resolved!

I call this the ‘Natural Therapeutic Process’

Time doesn't heal - the release of emotion does.....
The famous saying ‘time heals’ is not strictly true. Time doesn’t heal, it is the emotions and experiences that arise (into consciousness) OVER time, that heals. It is the slow, deliberate, natural ‘drip drip drip’ of emotions arising over time, which allows people to resolve emotional trauma.

The same analogy can be used for ANY emotional or psychological ‘trauma’: car crashes, disease, a relationship break-up, rape, assault, war, abuse ….. and less obvious trauma as well: divorce, sibling rivalry, school anxieties, fighting, childhood insecurities, acne, blushing, ‘growing pains’..

This is a perfectly NATURAL process, which people have been using since they were living in caves! It is a superb process/technique, because each person will go through the process at their own natural rate - depending on many factors, including: the size of the ‘trauma’, how stressed they are, how supported they are, whether they have a loving spouse at home, whether they have good ‘coping mechanisms’, what personality type they have…. People resolve things at their own pace. (Have you ever noticed how some of your friends get over things very quickly, yet some are still conflicted many years later?)

So, the average person can (effectively) resolve a major emotional trauma (the death of a loved-one – our ‘yard stick’) in two years. Two years later, they are getting on with their lives…

Why then, are some people afraid of; spiders, dogs, flying, darkness, being alone, being judged, wetting themselves etc all their lives? If they could get over the death of a loved one in two years, how come they still have their fear of spiders twenty years later?

The same question can be asked in relation to symptoms: Why is it that diets don’t work? Why is it that most ex-smokers put on weight? Why is it that most depressed people stay depressed, compulsives stay compulsive, nailbiters stay nailbiting, obsessives stay as obsessive, shy people stay shy?????

How come all these emotionally-driven symptoms remain, to a greater or lesser extent, year-in, year-out? (3)
The answer is very, very simple: the emotional conflict causing them, is ‘bottled up’(4)
If the emotional conflict is bottled-up and hidden away, how can a person get over it?
How can you ‘get over’ something you don’t remember? You can only ‘grieve’ if the memory/experience is coming into your mind….. if it is not in your mind, how can you cry about it, talk about it, shout about it?
All of the symptoms listed on this website are caused by ‘bottled up’ emotional conflicts, that the sufferer has no idea they have!

See Alans’ video testimonial – his chronic IBS and Social Phobia were caused by bottled up emotions.

See Sams’ video testimonial – her pathological fear of being sick (emetophobia) was caused by bottled up emotions.

Alternatively, you could talk to any one of the 250,000 people every year, who have their anxieties resolved by releasing their bottled-up emotional conflicts, after seeing an IAPH therapists.

So… the most ‘natural’ form of therapy, is one that utilises this natural therapeutic process that everybody has within themselves – this is EXACTLY what ‘Pure Hypnoanalysis’ does: it allows the person to quickly and easily resolve the bottled up emotions that were causing the symptoms, and the symptoms completely disappear, for good.

Does that sound too good to be true? Does that sound unbelievable? Ask yourself this: look back to when you were a teenager, and to when your first relationship ended – the first time you were ‘dumped’ by a boyfriend or girlfriend…Remember how devastated you felt? Remember how depressed/angry/sad/lonely you felt? You may even have gone ‘the whole hog’ and written some poetry about it! (as did I) You probably felt that life just wasn’t worth living, and that life was never going to be the same again… You don’t feel like that now though, do you?

Looking back on that incident 20 years ago, you don’t feel the same about it now, do you? You don’t STILL feel sad/depressed/angry/alone about the break up. Even if you really sit back and think about it, try and remember it all, in all its glory, you CAN NOT and WILL NOT feel those horrible feelings now – because you are over it.

You have dealt with it, you have grieved for it, you have resolved it, and it will NEVER bother you again.

Something that was traumatic, emotional, frightening, sad, painful etc doesn’t bother you AT ALL anymore, because you have resolved it.

Much like the analogy above of the grieving process in respect of the death of a loved one, you have resolved the bulk of the emotion, and are able to get on with your life.

What would have happened though, if, for some reason, you couldn’t or weren’t able to grieve about your teenage relationship ending? Let’s say it was SO emotional, that you simply couldn’t face up to it, and you bottled it all up…. (this is called ‘repression’ – a repression occurs when the emotion is so strong that the persons psyche completely ‘hides it’ from their consciousness: it is not ‘forgotten’ like the way we sometimes forget things, it is totally hidden from consciousness – repressed) All those emotions would still be with you now, buried in the back of your mind, causing you untold grief and anxiety..

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could create a safe, caring, trusting, confidential relationship with a therapist, and slowly release those bottled up emotions?

Sounds great? But how do we know where to find those emotions?
If the emotions are completely bottled up, and hidden away from consciousness, how do we access them?

That is the 6,000,000 dollar question!

Resolving emotional conflicts....
The answer is, of course, that we don’t have to FIND those emotions (we don’t have to find them when getting over the death of a loved-one.. we don’t have to find them when getting over the breakdown in a relationship) those emotions WILL COME TO THE SURFACE BY THEMSELVES – if the correct therapeutic relationship is created, AND the therapist ALLOWS the clients Natural Therapeutic Process to work – rather than telling the client what they believe is wrong, and what they believe the client should do, in order to be freed from their symptoms (more about this later)

So, every person that has a psychological or emotional symptom has some bottled up emotions that are causing those symptoms. To naturally and completely get rid of those symptoms we must allow those ‘repressed’ emotions to come to the surface so we can resolve them… So the only truly effective therapy is one that allows those ‘bottled-up/repressed’ emotions – how many therapies actually do that?(5)

The answer to that question (as far as we can tell) is: just one – ‘Pure Hypnoanalysis’

To understand why the above is the case, we must look at what other types of therapy actually do…

A closer look at other therapies, and how they work...
Let’s take a fairly simple case of ‘social phobia’ (sometimes known as social anxiety. Social phobia is caused by bottled-up/repressed feelings of shame and guilt. The sufferer feels ‘judged’ by other people, and avoids places and situations where they might feel ‘on the spot’ or embarrassed – particularly in public.
If the social phobia sufferer went for traditional counselling, the two of them would probably discuss the situations and experiences that were ‘triggering off’ the phobia (relationship/stress/work/confidence etc) The sufferer might feel a bit better, and feel a but more in control, BUT they would still have their phobia and it would still be having a profound effect upon their life.

If the sufferer went for psychotherapy, they would probably receive a more in-depth version of the counselling above. Without getting to the bottled-up CAUSE of the phobia though, the sufferer can only obtain a limited resolution.

If the sufferer went for some CBT, they would probably feel more control of their life, and find life easier… but the phobia would still be there, affecting their life

If the sufferer went for normal hypnotherapy (sometimes called ‘clinical’ or ‘suggestion’) they would have one or two sessions and feel quite a lot better, BUT the emotion would find another way out, and the symptoms would soon likely return with a vengeance!

If the sufferer went for normal ‘hypnoanalysis’(6) (not the IAPH ‘Pure Hypnoanalysis’ version) they would probably get a lot better, but probably wouldn’t get to the CAUSE of the problem, and hence wouldn’t get the full, amazing resolution.

If, however, the sufferer went for a course of ‘Pure Hypnoanalysis’, they would very likely bring to the surface ALL the repressed/bottled-up emotions that were causing the phobia, freeing them from the symptoms completely and permanently.

Please don’t think I am saying that these other forms of therapy aren’t successful, because they are. They are all able to help people to change their lives – when they are used in the correct setting, for the right sort of problem. You wouldn’t go to a ‘grief counsellor’ for help with a phobia… you wouldn’t go to an NLP practitioner if you were contemplating suicide… you wouldn’t go for four years of psychotherapy if you were simply frightened of flying!

If your problems or symptoms in life are caused by bottled-up/repressed emotions, then there is no better therapy to help resolve them, than ‘Pure’ Hypnoanalysis.

So how does ‘Pure’ Hypnoanalysis work?
Pure Hypnoanalysis simply creates a safe, trusting and confidential environment where the natural therapeutic process can work, ALLOWING the client to slowly bring all the bottled up emotions to the surface. It doesn’t rely on ‘therapist insight’, ‘fishing techniques’, regression techniques or any other ‘invasive’ techniques in order to work effectively. Create the right relationship, show the client how to utilise the natural therapeutic process, and in six or seven sessions the bottled-up emotions will be resolved.

What happens in a typical session?
Over a period of about 6-8 weekly hour-long sessions(7) the client is gently relaxed into a very light hypnotic state (they are wide-awake, fully in control, but very relaxed) and whilst is this relaxed state, asked to verbalise recollections that spring into their mind. This free-association(8) of experiences very quickly allows the client’s subconscious mind to ‘push to the surface’ experiences that relate to the ‘bottled up emotion’ (go back five minutes and remember the description of what happens during the natural therapeutic process ….. experiences keep on coming into mind and they keep on linking back to the ‘trauma’ (the bottled-up emotion) until all the emotion is released)

Other types of hypnotherapy (and other therapies) attempt to use the technique of 'free association' but (as far as we know) do not use it in its 'purest' form as taught within the IAPH. This is because UNLIKE many other therapies, ‘Pure’ Hypnoanalysis DOES NOT RELY on insight or intellect - in other words it doesn't rely on what the therapist (or the client) deems is important / significant. Our research suggests that many therapies fail to utilise this natural therapeutic process because the therapist has either tried to a) short cut it (e.g. pin point regression techniques) b) determine what they THINK is causing the clients symptoms c) intervene too much in the therapy process and inellectualise / interpret what's happening. All of these things simply slow down or halt the natural process of simply allowing the emotions to surface in a very caring, non-judgemental atmosphere(9)

The lack of understanding of (what I have referred to as) the natural therapeutic process, is, in my opinion, the single biggest reason why there are so many different types of therapy available today: everyone is attempting to ‘control the symptom’, rather than ‘resolve the real underlying cause’.

Why would anyone chose to go through their life,
continually fighting to get control over individual symptoms
(weight, smoking, phobias, depression etc) when they can permanently resolve them in just a few sessions?

A summary of Pure Hypnoanalysis...

Pure Hypnoanalysis as taught and practised by the IAPH has been in a constant state of development since 1974, and - we believe - is the most effective effective form of therapy currently available in the world.

Most other forms/types of therapy don't get to the underlying CAUSE of the problem (the unconscious causes of the anxiety/symptoms) and totally resolve them..... what they do is to try and 'mask' the symptom somehow - like putting a plaster over it . Pure Hypnoanalysis offers a complete and permanent resolution.

Our therapy - unlike psycho-analysis, counselling, and many of the psychotherapies, - does not rely on 'therapist insight'..... it's NOT about the therapist telling you what they THINK is the cause of the problem, or what their INTERPRETATION of the problem is, or about them being clever enough to guess what is going on in the back of soemone else's brain..... it is about simply allowing the client to bring-up what is important and resolve it. completely and permanently.

Pure Hypnoanalysis only takes a few (weekly) sessions - usually just 6-10. In fact, you will only ever be charged for a maximum of 12 sessions


(1) Average European middle-class person.
(2) Not so much ‘negative memories’, but memories accompanied by unpleasant or negative feelings (loss, sadness, guilt, pain etc)
(3) It’s a terrible fact to face up to in the year 2007, but most anxious, depressed, stressed and phobic people remain fairly anxious, depressed, stressed and phobic most of their lives. Yes, they get better for a while, and yes, symptoms come and go, but on the whole, though the person may change in many ways as they older, they tend to remain as ‘neurotic’ (emotionally conflicted) all their lives.
(4) For ‘bottled-up’, you can substitute many other psychological terms such as repressed, suppressed, denied, disavowed, dissociated
(5) Actually do it every time, not just sometimes, or occasionally, but every single time.
(6) ‘Hypnoanalysis’ is a generic term for ‘any analytical technique using hypnosis’ To the vast majority of therapists who practice Hypnoanalysis, this usually means a ‘fishing trip’ whereby the therapist is using lots of different techniques whilst trying to find the cause of the problem (fishing around). These ‘different techniques’ all attempt to bypass the natural resolution process and ‘force’ bottled up or repressed emotions to the surface. In my
experience these ‘fishing’ techniques very rarely find the cause of the problem, and if they do, if they ‘force’ the emotions to the surface before the client is good and ready, generally speaking, the client finds them very difficult to deal with, and not very therapeutic!
(7) A course of ‘Pure Hypnoanalysis’ can take as few as six sessions, and as many as twelve. How long the therapy does take, is dependent on many factors including: the nature of the symptoms, the age and personality-type of the client, and the client-therapist relationship.
(8) Freud was the first to use Free-Association (in psychoanalysis) but it was/is nothing like the pure and clean version we use in Pure Hypnoanalysis. True free-association is about getting the right connection from each experience that a client relates….. it is NOT about an intellectual exercise where the therapist interprets the clients recollections – this is not necessary in Pure Hypnoanalysis
(9) There are hundreds of books available on different therapeutic techniques, techniques to be used both within the hypnotic state, and within the normal waking state (traditional psychotherapy) Most of these techniques have been developed to help the client overcome some sort of ‘mental block’, ‘resistance’ or ‘barrier’ that is stopping therapy from working correctly. In ‘Pure Hypnoanalysis’ these invasive, therapist-interpreted techniques are not necessary.

If you would like to be able to practise this amazing therapy, please click here to go to our training course page.

IAPH data and feedback shows that there is a no faster, more effective or liberating therapy available today. You can achieve more in eight hours of Pure Hypnoanalysis, than four years of traditional psychotherapy. The rapid nature of the therapy (just 8-12 sessions) means that anyone, from any background, can now have access to this amazing life-changing intervention.