In 2012 Brandon Thomas committed suicide. His parents said it was driven by his “unbearable blushing.” Soon after, Dr. Enrique Jadresic, who has been referenced as the world’s foremost Erythrophobia expert, publicly defined blushing as an “involuntary response,” adding “the best way to treat it is with a sympathectomy;” an invasive surgical procedure where nerves are cut to prevent blushing.
Jonathan Berent, L.C.S.W., has worked with thousands of Erythrophobia sufferers for more than 36 years, and vehemently disagrees with Dr. Jadresic that it is totally involuntary and that a sympathectomy is the best answer. . Berent says, “I’ve seen Erythrophobia lead to social avoidance, depression, & substance abuse. The psycho-physiological dynamics behind this disorder are crucial for medical & mental health professionals to understand if clinical progress is to be achieved on any meaningful scale”.
To help empower blushing anxiety sufferers, Berent created a self-help clinical program. The program is named Warm Hands: Cool Face.
There are 4 basic components:
- The adrenaline control technique
- An understanding of Mind States based on the psychology of transactional analysis
- The Sarnow Method: Core emotional work
- A self-regulation empowering exercise
Berent affirms that “believing that blushing is involuntary disempowers sufferers”.