Experience gained from the complete recovery from 10+ years’ Social Phobia.
The treatment of Social Phobia includes 2 principles:
The correction of low self-esteem (inferiority complex), and the build-up of self-confidence, namely “total acceptance of yourself”, In Eastern Philosophy Therapy, it is called “Original Form” or “to do nothing”, it is the root-removing principle.
Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Desensitization Therapy and NLP etc. A large amount of social practice can quickly remove the symptoms. It is symptom-removing principle.
The combination of principle 1 (root-removing principle) and principle 2 (symptom-removing principle) can lead to the complete recovery from Social Phobia.
If we only apply principle 1, some people are still be able to completely recover, theoretically all the social phobia sufferers can completely recover only by applying principle 1, but my years of treatment practice has proved that principle 2 can greatly shorten the treatment process and many of my clients have said it is a very important part.
Without principle 1, we can quickly remove the symptom, but the root is still there.
Like that we cut a tree down without eliminating its root. On the surface, maybe we can behave freely and normally, but from the bottom of our hearts, subconsciously, we still feel something is remaining there, we still feel we are not truly confident, the root is not eliminated, and it will thrive upon the warm and damp environment, namely “recurrence”.
Mentioned above is the comparison of eastern therapy and western therapy and their respective advantage and disadvantage in treating Social Phobia.
My name is Heixi, a psychological counselor from China, now I would like to share 10 years’ research findings and the experience gained from treatment practice with all the people throughout the world, I wish those self-help sufferers can learn something from my article, if my therapy can give you some enlightenment or help in overcoming Social Phobia, I think my long march towards my dream, “saving all the tortured souls from mental purgatory” , will have a good start.
On the other hand, I wish professional psychotherapists and counselors could study my therapy and exchange their views with mine, because I myself have tested this therapy for many years during the treatment practice and the practice has proved that it is a complete solution for Social Phobia rather than a hollow theory from any psychological textbooks and works. Please forgive my overconfidence, I just simply wish I can give those who are suffering in the ***l of Social Phobia a hand, I also welcome any comment and criticism from any experienced professional therapist.
The concrete measures are listed as follows:
systematical and step-by-step desensitization, gradually expose yourself to the environment and situation you are scared of -- control yourself and behave normally within measure, try your best to get a success experience every time---this is the guideline.
Group training and exposure, namely speak, sing or perform talk show before a large audience until complete desensitized, usually this period is 3 months, I believe currently it is the most effective and quickest way to remove symptoms, for example, the Carnegie Sociality Training Class.
Treatment of low self-esteem and confidence, such as “feeling of shyness”, “feeling of inferiority to others”, “being afraid of seeing people eye to eye”. To deal with these inveterate negative thinking mode, we must apply the essence of eastern therapy such as “completely acceptance of yourself”, “let the symptoms be there and do nothing to consciously change it” , “go back to where you came from in your heart”, eastern therapy can completely eliminate the core and root of Social Phobia, and it will never recur.
Thus, with the combination of western therapy to remove the symptom and eastern therapy to remove the root, sufferers can completely free themselves from Social Phobia and never fall back into it.
Here I must point out that in the practical treatment, we should combine group therapy and individual therapy as well as customize our therapy according to detailed and different symptom on the basis of the guiding principle, all in all, the key word is “flexibility”.
Some people may suggest that we only apply eastern therapy since it can remove the root and completely solve the problem, there is no need to add western therapy such as desensitization therapy, CBT and Exposure Therapy.
At first, I also thought that way, it can be theoretically proved, in real life, some people only apply eastern therapy and quickly recover.
However, in practical clinical treatment, it is not as simple as that. If we only apply eastern therapy without western therapy, the curing effect is not satisfactory and the treatment process is too long.
Eastern therapy can also be called “Natural Therapy”, The difference between eastern therapy and western therapy is like the difference between Chinese medication and western medication, the merit of Chinese medication lies in the fact that it can improve the immunity and completely free people from the disease, but the tardy progress prevents it from being the quick solution of some acute disease such as massive haemorrhage, however western medicine can quickly remove the symptom such as sore throat, snuffle or snivel in cold, but it have difficulty to prevent people from contracting cold because the immune system has not been reinforced. So if we combine the eastern therapy and western therapy together, we can learn from each other's strong points and offset each other’s weakness.
In my view, OCD and the other neurosis have the same essence with Social Phobia.
Concrete step for your reference:
How to expose yourself and go through desensitization.
Suggestion 1: choose a job in which large amounts of communication is unavoidable, only intensive social practice can give you the social skill you are lacking in. For example, lecturer, trainer, salesman are some very good jobs for social phobia sufferers.
If you are a student, please try to avail yourself of any opportunities to communicate with people. If you are afraid of speaking before a large audience, try to frequently attend speech contest, debate contest, singing contest and so on. If you have difficulties in making friends or you tend to feel nervous when staying with people, try to attend any communication society. Please do it step by step from the easiest thing for you, be well prepared before each challenge, try your best to gain some experience of success every time.
The guiding principle is “try to get yourself involved in the situation you are afraid of”, but do it step by step to get systematical and gradual desensitization.
Suggestion 2: Apply some eastern philosophy methods together with intensive exposure, be prepared for any failure and unsatisfactory results, you will definitely encounter some failure experience at first, and you tend to feel depressed and frustrated, accept the feeling of depression and frustration. It is normal of you to feel frustrated, it is the normal response, please do not fight those negative feelings, if you didn’t feel frustrated when meeting failure, then it would be abnormal of you.
Please pay attention to the principle of “step by step”, if you suffered from a very severe failure at beginning, you may be scared of trying once more and avoid any similar situation. So if you want to make quick progress, you must do it under the guidance of an experienced psycho counselor.
Suggestion 3: Accept yourself. This is the basis of all the social practice and social exposure. Without this,even if you remove all the symptoms on the surface, you still tend to feel unconfident and inferior from the bottom of your heart. One famous local lecturer has once told even if he can behave decently before a large audience, he still feel he is lacking in confidence.
Therefore, we can completely recover from Social Phobia only when we eliminate not only apparent symptoms but also inner root with the combination of western therapy and eastern therapy.