What we're about
Are you willing to commit to overcoming Social Anxiety Disorder and join a small group of like minded fellow sufferers for mutual support and together learn how to transcend social anxiety into fun, excitement and become socially at ease? I am planing a group this fall limited to between 8 and 12 lucky individuals. The course has no charge and is my way giving back having benefited myself from group exercises and cognitive behavioral therapy many years ago which enriched my life as well as my career in ways unimaginable to me at the time. My experience with many members was that they were either underemployed or unemployed as a direct consequence of their social anxiety.
A little bit About Me......I am a retired Business Executive from fortune 100 company. When I joined the company in my early 20's unbeknownst to me I had severe social anxiety. All I knew at the time was that I was having almost daily panic attacks. I felt anxious a great deal of the time and after work would isolate myself at home to recover. I saw a number of therapists and found myself a patient as well as becoming a student of Gestalt, Psychoanalyses, Transactional Analyses, Reparenting, Regression Therapy, EFT, Psychodrama, Exposure therapy, Breathwork, Meditation, Various Medications, Supplements et. al. each benefiting and healing me in one way or another (yes I grew up in a dysfunctional home), however, none , identified let alone knew how to treat my social anxiety. In my 30's Social Anxiety became more mainstream among the therapeutic community, the internet came of age and I discovered that I displayed all of the classic symptoms of Social Phobia, chief among them....eating alone in public, dating, ruminating, writing a check with someone watching, talking on the phone, attending a cocktail party, shy bladder, public speaking terror, going around the room and introducing myself, being put on the spot and asked to explain something, asking for a raise, fear of confrontation, going to a job interview, asking someone for change, reading in public, eye contact....the list goes on and on. Having discovered S.A. and reading every book I could get my hands on I began C.B.T., i.e. Cognitive Behavioral Group therapy. My two teachers were Dr David Burns, author of the Feeling Good Handbook, co-founder of C.B.T. and living legend. See his Ted Talk on YouTube TEDxRENO for a sampling of his technique. The other was Dr Thomas Richards who leads a 3 week live in group intensive workshop in Pheonix and runs the Social Anxiety Institute who himself is a former S.A. sufferer. This is without question your best and quickest therapeutic option. If there is any way you can travel and participate in it don't hesitate. I am not a licensed therapist , however, I believe I've done enough courses, workshops and seminars to have earned a masters degree. I also found through my work with Dr Richards that working with someone who has had the same disorder can be invaluable as no one understands our negative internal focus and dialogue so well. I completed my career as International Director of Sales, travelled all over the world, presented to groups of over 300 people for an hour numerous times, read eulogies, had 6 professional direct reports and an extended team of over a dozen. Things I could have never achieved pre C.B.T. at the Social Anxiety Institute in Phoenix.
I've led 5 previous groups , each 26 weeks in duration where we would meet once a week on Saturdays for 2.5 hours. My experience with these groups was among the most personally rewarding of my life. Members who almost ran away at the beginning before I could answer the door at the end pleaded to be allowed to return and repeat the course the following year having had so much fun and overcome their worst social fears. That same young man who almost bolted wrote me a letter two years later thanking me as not only had he begun dating but that he was now engaged and felt the happiest of his life which he attributed to the work he did in this course. The best analogy I can think of is imagine when you were a child at the amusement park and your family was going on a ride that looked scary and you began to feel increasingly anxious ,sweating, trembling, hyperventilating, scaring yourself silly saying to yourself that you wont be able to stand it, that you might die!, then you experience the ride and after is over you feel exhilarated, you didn't die. You realize the fear your self dialogue created was unfounded, a lie, and the truth is that you really enjoy the rides and find yourself pleading to go on it again! Well thats very much like S.A. and the ride we will take together you will discover too that your fears are unfounded and preventing you from an adventurous fulfilling life. For me S.A. was akin to finding my way out of maze blindfolded, yea you might succeed but it may take you a lifetime to find the way out, its so much easier to work as a group and learn from people who've already found the way!
About you... This group is exclusive to Social Anxiety, Social Phobia sufferers. Ive had some folks with General Anxiety, Aspergers Syndrome, PTSD, Introverts, Shy people, Socially awkward among others issues and this group isn't a fit, the program is very specific to Social Anxiety only. After the first introductory meeting we will determine if we have a committed group. The success of the program hinges on group continuity and attendance. The group is open to all , men, women, LGBT where btw the incidence of SA is more than double that of the general population. Min age is 18. The value of this program if you were to pay someone would cost several thousands dollars, Please understand that it is limited to a max of 12 people and space will be given to some combination of the most financially in need and most committed to confront their fears and complete the program.
If this sounds like something that interests you let me know if your willing to attend the first meeting and learn more about it. You will not be asked to speak or make any commitments. The start date, time and frequency are all negotiable, first lets see if we have a committed group willing to put their negative self talk aside and do what it takes to transcend this disorder. If your hoping for a magic pill to resolve your depression and anxiety think again, because for us its self inflicted by our irrational and dysfunctional thinking no medication will ever change how you talk to yourself or how you think! We will set out to expose this internal negative dialogue and replace it with rational nurturing realistic thinking that will change your life forever. The course is progressive meaning that each weeks work builds upon the previous making attendance absolutely critical to your success. Please keep that in mind before you express interest in joining.