BLUSHINGAbstractThis case study is about social anxiety or ‘blushing’ treatment through hypnosis for a 25-year-old female with a legitimate reason for seeking blushing control. Miss B willingly disclosed her social anxieties during the initial consultation and her enthusiasm to accept hypnotic treatment for the sake of her profession and future. Her initial treatment started with a statement explaining the process and the outcome of her present course of action. Later, I asked her to imagine consciously what it would be like to lose her job and be thrown out of her apartment for unpaid bills and being rejected by other company because of her disability.
Subsequently, preparation for hypnotic treatment commences and she went to a deeper state of relaxation. While in a trance, her subconscious mind listens to the therapist voice, speaking of ways on how to control blushing. Shortly in the same state, her subconscious mind listens to reasoning and persuasion, converting her to a strong-minded person filled with confidence. The session went well and she encouragingly responded to hypnosis. Although there are some limitations in the treatment approach, the overall outcome of the session is satisfactory and rewarding.
Initial ConsultationA 25-year-old sales assistant, Miss B. has been working for five years in a big department store and she is a good friend of mine. Since she is a person of legal age that does not need parental consent and no information other than her stress problems will be recorded, I believe that there is no significant ethical issue involved in her treatment. She admits that she is chronically nervous in social situations particularly when she meets new people and talks to her bosses.
She also often experiences memory lapses during interactions. More importantly, during these encounters, she perceives that others are uninterested or rejecting her, which causes her to feel distressed and unable to say anything during the conversation. She is now afraid (after having been warned by her employer a couple of times) that she might lose her job if she continues to act in this way whilst at work. Her distinctive enthusiasm to undergo therapy is genuinely convincing and using a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate Miss B’s motivation to find ways to cope with blushing or extreme social anxiety stress as a 9.
When asked about what she thinks may have caused her persistent difficulties, she mentioned some significant negative events of her life, such as rejection/ a denied promotion/ physical punishment during childhood/ public humiliation. Miss B. is undoubtedly influenced by the actions of other people and suffering from blushing, which is a manifestation of social anxiety. Occurrences of social anxiety are sometimes accompanied by increased blood flow to the face, a reaction that is identified as blushing.
In a fair-skinned person such as Miss B., blushing easily manifests as a reddening or darkening of the face, neck, ears, and upper chest. However, in this case the client describes it as appearing first as blotches of red that look like a rash on her upper chest, neck, and jaw. It then spreads slowly upwards and often reaches its peak in several seconds. Her creeping blushes tend to occur when she feels she is being scrutinized and evaluated. Since Miss B. is probably experiencing social anxiety in general, I feel it is best to focus the treatment sessions on social anxiety reduction skills and its positive benefits.