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People who suffer from social anxiety are intimidated by all social interactions to a greater or lesser degree. In particular they find parties and social gatherings difficult to cope with. As a result, they tend to avoid these activities, and this has the effect of intensifying the problem. On the other hand they may take alcohol which reduces the level of anxiety but may lead to alcoholism.

People with social anxiety will often choose employment in areas where they do not have to interact with other people as they are more comfortable working on their own.

Individuals tend to seek treatment for their social anxiety when it becomes imperative that they function in a social setting. This may have come about because of office reorganisation to an open plan system or it may be that they are required to attend a family wedding or for a variety of other reasons.

This condition responds well to hypnotherapy and during the course of treatment patients are introduced to a graded series of social situations until they are anxiety free. During the treatment the hypnotherapist rehearses forthcoming social events with the patient. It is emphasised that the rehearsal and the actual event should follow closely one on the other as this maximises the effectiveness of the treatment. Great attention is paid to the detail of the event during the rehearsal under hypnosis so that it can more easily be translated into the actual situation. In addition the patient is taught self-hypnosis which he or she is encouraged to practice on a daily basis.

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