Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~

Looking for a better life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of personal development, combined with personal support from expert life coaches.

Explore Article Library

Social Anxiety (And Other Things I Didn't Know About Myself)

Mid life for me, as most people, is a time of personal review, trying to fathom the twists and turns in life that have brought me to where I am today. Among the questions I have asked myself is: What led me to specialize in treating social anxiety? Upon private reflection, the most compelling reason is that I, like many of my clients, have suffered from that disorder. We are in good company. Just over 10% of North Americans can expect to suffer from social anxiety at some time in our lives.

Social phobia (social anxiety disorder) is characterized by excessive or unreasonable fear of being judged by others in social or performance situations such as public speaking, eating, or working. The anxious anticipation, avoidance, and distress we suffer in these feared situation(s) interferes significantly with our everyday activities, and can lead to a life of underachievement and loneliness.

The good news for people suffering from social anxiety is that the condition is entirely treatable using Cognitive Behavioral therapy. To understand how this treatment works, it is important to understand two things about social phobia. The first is that it is a learned response. This means, like any bad habit, these learned responses can be replaced with other, more adaptive behaviours 'ones that leave us feeling calm and confident rather than fearful and avoidant.

The second thing to be aware of, although social phobia can seem like an overwhelmingly huge problem, it can be broken into three parts. The three parts are physical reactions in our body, distortions in our thinking, and changes in our behavior associated with high anxiety. Once broken into parts, each of these three parts may be targeted with a set of treatment techniques that can be readily taught to practically anyone.

Physical reactions such as changes in breathing, muscle tension, flushing, and sweating can be relieved through the use of relaxation techniques. Distortions in our thinking, that cause us to perceive social situations as more dangerous or threatening than they really are, can be managed through a procedure called cognitive restructuring. Last, and most important, behavior changes can be dealt with through exposure. Exposure works by teaching our nervous system not to overreact.

In my experience, the most effective way to provide the combined treatments of relaxation, cognitive restructuring and exposure is in a weekly group of 6 to 8 people, over a 12 week period. Over the past 8 years, my cognitive behavioral groups have been 80 to 90 percent successful with socially anxious people as young as 13 and as old as 85. Of course, most people with social anxiety have to be encouraged to join a therapy group. I simply tell them, 'Invest your anxiety in a calmer future!'. Call me or my assistant Nancy at 881-1206 or check out our Web page at for further information.


Do you suffer from an Anxiety Disorder?

It's normal to get anxious once in a while. It's a problem if you answer 'yes' to all of the following.

- I often feel more tense or upset than can be explained by the level of threat or danger at the time.
- I sometimes take extreme measures to reduce my anxiety such as drugs/alcohol, being angry or withdrawing.
- I experience significant distress and/or loss of ability to function in important areas of my life as a consequence of my anxiety.

If your anxiety is about social or performance situations where you fear embarrassment or humiliation, you could have social phobia.

About the Author

Dr. Cook is a registered clinical psychologist and founder of Aegis Psychological Services Inc.. His speciality is helping people with stress and anxiety-related conditions, including job-related and post-traumatic stress.


Careers & Employment
Grief & Loss
Kids & Teens
Public Speaking
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

A great way to support your Trans4mind Training is to use these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Generalized Anxiety Treatment ~ Use hypnosis as a generalized anxiety disorder treatment and you can feel calm today.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
Search on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Trans4mind Training is the best thing we've ever done! It's a series of interactive video workshops covering the key challenges we all face in life - to help you achieve greater inner peace and true fulfillment.
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd