Social Phobia Symptoms Psychotherapy

Social Phobia Symptoms Psychotherapy

Social Phobia Symptoms Psychotherapy

Social Phobia Symptoms Psychotherapy 600 300 Paterakis Michalis
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Social phobia is a type of phobia like all other types with the difference that it refers to the social part of life. That is, to the most essential. In other words, it refers to the relationships that man enters into in his life. In personal relationships, in professional relationships, in family relationships, in friendly relationships. So such a phobia concerns the whole life of man. Unfortunately, the result of such a phobic reaction, which lasts over time, is the gradual withdrawal of the individual into his narcissism and the interruption of relations with other “objects” as we say in psychoanalysis, i.e. with other people, situations, experiences.

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Social Phobia Symptoms Psychotherapy – Symptoms of social phobia

Let’s look at the main symptoms that characterize this disorder. Symptoms help us recognize a condition but do not help us treat it. Healing is getting in touch with all that lies behind the symptoms, discovering their roots and making amends for what has gone wrong. So describing the symptoms doesn’t help us. It just gives us temporary relief because we can see that what we’re dealing with has been described, it’s recognisable, so others have it and so we’re not being fingered and it also gives us hope that there will be a cure since the experts are looking for it. Treatment for social phobia is psychoanalytic type psychotherapy. That is, the therapy that takes place once a week on an individual level, 45 minutes at a time, and there, in the relationship we develop with the therapist, all the repressed, hidden, repressed emotions that create conflicts emerge. We find the defenses that prevent us from getting in touch with these feelings and over time we soften them. During the sessions, the treated person talks freely about what comes to his mind, we analyze his thoughts, the dreams he sees in his sleep and what happens between the therapist and the treated person. Below we will say a few more things about treatment but first of all let’s look at the symptoms of social phobia:

  1. Marked and persistent fear of one or more situations in which the person is exposed to the gaze of unfamiliar people or possibly receives the scrutinizing glances of others. The person fears that they will act in a way that will humiliate or embarrass them.
  2. Exposure to the phobic social situation almost always causes anxiety which may take the form of a situationally associated or situationally triggered panic attack.
  3. The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or irrational
  4. Phobic situations are avoided or endured with intense anxiety or discomfort
  5. Avoidance, anxious anticipation, or discomfort associated with the phobic condition significantly interferes with the person’s usual daily activities, occupational functioning, or social activities and relationships, or there is clear distress about having the phobia.

The treatment of social phobia

All phobias such as specific phobia, or such as agoraphobia and including social phobia, with the exception of very severe cases that have withdrawn and do not leave the house or that have become involved with addictions to relieve themselves and where necessary medication, therefore all phobias, are treated within a proper psychotherapeutic relationship. Phobias, as you can hear in the video I made on this subject, are nothing more than feelings that are not in the consciousness of the person suffering, and that have been repressed. They have been repressed, that is, they have been suppressed because they hide some tension or some forgotten discomfort. This discomfort is not allowed to come out. But she knocks on the door and wants to express herself. She has energy in her. The feelings we repress don’t die.

They hide in a warehouse of the mind keeping their urges until they find a way to surface. So they are asking for their rights. They knock on the door of consciousness, causing the person to defend himself vigorously. So on the one hand is the desire of the repressed desire and on the other the prohibition that enters. In therapy we try to reduce the inhibition so that the desire comes out. But to do this, a special framework is needed. It needs a therapeutic framework where the therapist will monitor what is happening and where to intervene in order to make corrections. So these feelings when they are more repressed, find an indirect way to show up. They become fears. Covered fears, of course, so as not to be recognized and not to cause great tension. Thus, they become afraid of airplanes, of animals, of people, etc.

Trying to heal ourselves

Nothing is that easy in this world. The self is truly complex, and trying to understand it is an undertaking that one cannot do alone. It is not a matter of intelligence or education or ability. Nor a matter of skill and determination. Our self is unconscious. We don’t know him. It takes many years of psychoanalysis to get to know him and approach him with understanding and real sensitivity. And this is not done with the help of friends and acquaintances no matter how willing they are to help. The self is the relationships we have put into ourselves since the beginning of our lives. We see these relationships in the therapeutic relationship. We see what they hide, what they suppress, how we feel in there.

And we make small fixes over time. Anger, fear, hopelessness and loneliness are definitely very important elements that we cannot bear. But emotional rejections have many other things to do with sexuality and aggression. We don’t put these aside. We see them. We bring them to consciousness. We don’t let them go to waste. Because we know they are not lost but just waiting to be expressed. They are important. So the self is the totality of all these feelings and defenses we put up to keep tension and discomfort at bay. Therapy helps to see and repair them.


*republication of the article is prohibited without the written permission of the author

See also: The importance of mother figure in our life

See also: The roots of stress in our mental life

The process of psychotherapy requires commitment, dedication and is addressed only to those who seriously see that they need to change their lives. If you are thinking of starting this journey, call me at 211 71 51 801 to make an appointment and see together how I can help you.

Mixalis Paterakis
Psychologist Psychotherapist
I accept by appointment
Karneadou 37 Kolonaki
Tel: 211 71 51 801

    Πατεράκης Μιχάλης
    Ψυχολόγος Αθήνα


      Psychologist Athens