A Unique & Essential Library of Clinical Interviews
Social Anxiety runs the spectrum from performance anxiety, public speaking anxiety, and toxic perfectionism to selective mutism and pervasive social avoidance. Many of the millions impacted fear being noticeably nervous, as in erythraphobia (fear of blushing), hyper-hidrosis (sweating), and voice shaking. Social anxiety remains a complex challenge for the mental health professions as most sufferers never seek help due to embarrassment driven detachment and avoidance.
The following clinical interviews may be the most documented clinical success with social anxiety. These interviews are with real patients who had the courage to tell their stories. Their stories represent the development and attainment of a “high performance mind”, which is the essence of The Berent Treatment Methodology. If you listen carefully you will gain insight into the healing process.
Social Anxiety & Social Phobia Interviews
School Phobia, Social Phobia, Social Isolation, and Depression “Cured” - From School Refusal to “Social Butterfly”
The last thing 16 yr. old “Arthur” wanted was to go to therapy when he was in the midst of his school phobia. This social anxiety-driven problem had persisted since elementary school. He spent his days depressed; in his room playing computer baseball. His only friend was his cousin. His parents “didn’t know what to do”, but they learned how to enlist him in treatment. In this interview Arthur describes his metamorphosis into a “social butterfly”. You can actually see “Arthur”, and other patients, in the vide of The Sally Raphael Show, which aired in 1988. It is accessible on this website.
Involuntary Virginity & Intimacy Anxiety Resolved
“Steve” is a 37 yr. old businessman and part time stand- up comedian. He describes his long term struggle; “I didn’t like being touched. Holding hands would cause panic. I avoided dating. I was caught in an endless loop of obsessing about the next step. I wasn’t in the moment”.
20 Yr. Old Emerges From Avoidance, Depression, & “Primitive” Functioning - Treatment Resistance Resolved
Numerous variables can enable primitive functioning, which is defined as “spending the minimal amount of energy required to sustain a baseline lifestyle”. “Baseline” refers to substantially substandard emotional growth and development. In this case the variables include learning challenges which drove performance anxiety, family distress and divorce, fragmented parenting, and an overall compulsion on the patient’s part to detach from expending brain energy while avoiding responsibilities, and social and career challenges. In addition, unresolved and recycling anger and regae was a toxic dynamic. The patient describes his evolution from the prison of detachment, avoidance, and depression to the point where he was developing motivation for healing.
A Profile of Anger: Bullied as a Child
Anger and rage occur at different levels of consciousness. Anger is energy. Unresolved; it recycles and drives obsessive worry , anxiety, and a myriad of problems from substance dependence to pain. Internalized anger causes depression. While it may sound a bit weird, repressed anger is the core emotion which drives panic. “Eric” describes the “energy” of his anger as it relates to anxiety and depression with insight into the social “pecking order”.
College Athlete Resolves Social Anxiety and Obsessive Disorder
“Jack”, a standout golfer, discusses the process by which he resolved his conversation anxiety, social avoidance, and obsessive perfectionism. His healing journey started when his parents initiated treatment when he avoided going to a cocktail party during school vacation. He never would have initiated treatment on his own. His anxiety was driven by his fear of sweating and conversation challenges. With his anxiety under control he proactively advanced his career and social life.
The Quarterback Metaphor in Therapy: “Jerry”, Mid 30’s Resolves Long Term Social Anxiety Disorder
This interview highlights the need for the proactive thinking and behavior required for true resolution of social anxiety. There is absolutely no way that anxiety resolution can occur via passivity. Learning and skills acquisition, requires action. This action refers to a system of skills including mind-body self-regulation, emotional management, cognitive re-structuring, and behavioral immersion. In other words, the quarterback may drop the ball or throw an interception, but he creates motion. Facilitating the motion of learning is a crucial element for healing social anxiety and its’ insidious and complex layers of avoidance.This interview highlights the need for the proactive thinking and behavior required for true resolution of social anxiety. There is absolutely no way that anxiety resolution can occur via passivity. Learning and skills acquisition, requires action. This action refers to a system of skills including mind-body self-regulation, emotional management, cognitive re-structuring, and behavioral immersion. In other words, the quarterback may drop the ball or throw an interception, but he creates motion. Facilitating the motion of learning is a crucial element for healing social anxiety and its’ insidious and complex layers of avoidance.
School Phobia, Avoidant Personality, Learning Disability: an Orthodox Jewish Perspective - From School Refusal to a Graduate Degree
With special insight into the avoidance-dependence dynamics of a close knit and loving family, “David” describes his struggle with learning disabilities, social anxiety, phobic avoidance, and eventual success. David’s healing journey evolved from hiding in his dorm room in college; not going to classes, alone and depressed, and avoiding all social interaction to obtaining an advanced degree, becoming an administrator in a mental health agency, and creating an active and rich social life.
The Power of Alcohol & the Xanax Beta Blocker “Cocktail”
“Sam” remembered experiencing anxiety since he was 15 in high school when there was any situation where he was the focus of attention. His anxiety became especially debilitating in college where he would skip the first day of classes to avoid the panic that would occur during introductions in class. He realized that his use of Xanax and beta blockers was becoming a crutch as he always kept them at ready, in his pocket, when there would be any situation where he could be the focus of attention. He was desperate to “hide any possible symptom”. He became an expert at obsessively analyzing in advance possible performance scenarios, during meetings, so that he could take his medicine exactly at the right time. This became a compulsion and an ingrained way of life. “Power drinking” beer became an integral part of his social culture as a teen; especially during football days. Sam turned the tragedy of his DWI into an empowering treatment experience.
Discovering “Self-Nurturing” After Decades of Self-Help and Therapy
“Richard”, a successful businessman and dedicated family man describes his “core” work of self-acceptance that had been eluding him after experiencing “every type of motivational technique from positive thinking to programming your unconscious”. His long term struggle with social anxiety grew out of his “conflict with authority figures and his father”. He had lived with his “unauthentic self” stating that his many previous attempts at self-help and therapy dealt with this concept in a “cursory manner”.
Intimacy Phobia Resolved - “I Had Been Celibate My Whole Life.”
“Mike” a corporate vice president describes his long term suffering; “I never had the possibility of finding a girlfriend. I was petrifies about finding a real relationship. Now I can let loose and socialize”. This interview includes dramatic insight into the cognitive distortions and self-esteem challenge that drive intimacy anxiety and phobia.
Depression and Social Anxiety: A Christian Perspective
“Joe”, a banker, had originally not been aware of the term ”social anxiety”. He knew” something was wrong” as he was searching for help with his “depression. He describes his problem as being “a gradual thing during a few years”. He was “avoiding people, avoiding family, and lost touch with church”. He stopped “engaging in conversation where once people wanted to get to know me”. He” used to be at the forefront” but “stopped offering opinions”. Here he describes his descent into emotional turmoil and recovery.
Listen to Jonathan Berent: WFAN Radio
For your education and entertainment, Jonathan discusses sports, public speaking and performance anxiety, angry loners, selective mutism, and more!
An Audio Introduction from Jonathan Berent
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