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How Effective is Hypnosis for Social Anxiety?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 17, 2024
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Hypnosis for social anxiety can be very effective, but the degree to which this treatment works depends on the person. The reason for the social anxiety, other solutions that have been tried, and additional factors can also influence the effectiveness of the treatment. Ideally, hypnosis for social anxiety should be undertaken with a willing and eager participant who has reasonable expectations. In this case, hypnosis for social anxiety has the potential to be very effective.

As a medical treatment, hypnosis is often treated with suspicion. Not all people believe that hypnosis is effective as more than a placebo, and many people believe that hypnosis is not effective at all. It is difficult, however, to disregard the large number of anecdotal accounts claiming that hypnosis can be very effective at changing thought patterns and behaviors. Particularly for problems that exist only in the mind, such as fears and attitudes, hypnosis can be extremely effective. Hypnosis for social anxiety can fall into this category if anxiety is a reaction to specific situations, not a general chemical imbalance.

People who try hypnosis for social anxiety often find that it is highly effective, particularly when they have made a resolution to overcome anxiety before seeking hypnotic help. For many people, the confidence brought on by a session of hypnosis can be enough to overcome anxiety. When a person who believes he or she suffers from anxiety is actually suffering from hesitation and fear of embarrassment rather than anxiety caused by an overactive fight-or-flight response, hypnosis can be very effective. This condition is better thought of as a lack of confidence rather than anxiety, because anxiety is a serious condition that may include panic attacks.

Some hypnotists are often more effective than others, either because they are more skilled or because the patient is more trusting. Also, self-hypnosis and tapes for hypnosis are usually less effective than personalized attention. People who are uncomfortable with the idea of going to a hypnotist may still find hypnotism software and tapes effective, but this is somewhat rare.

Often, people who have had little success with therapy and counseling find hypnosis to be very effective. In general, hypnosis is not usually as effective as medications for anxiety, but can make a good alternative if a person is attempting to get off anxiety medications. Social anxiety is a highly personal disorder, and which method will work best depends on the individual. If hypnosis for social anxiety proves effective, there is no reason to argue about which part of the hypnosis treatment affected the mind because results are more important than method in hypnosis.

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