Could this be too effective initially to work when really needed?

Forums General Discussions and Specific Issues Confused and Not Sure Where to Start Could this be too effective initially to work when really needed?

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  • #21760
    AvatarRHTW
    PSTEC User

    I have recently downloaded your PS click files to help with with a particular social phobia issue.
    I have a fear of public speaking which happens in even quite small groups.

    It manifests itself in two main ways.
    Initially when someone mentions that I will have to formally speak, I get a rush of adrenaline and my heart starts to race massively. (Say around a level 8 out of 10)
    This happens if the time to speak is only a few minutes away or even if it is several weeks away.
    Then when I actually am speaking my heart will tend to be racing.(around a level 6 or 7) I find this terribly embarrassing in itself as it is usually clear in my voice that I am nervous and can then lead to me worrying more at that time.

    Whilst I am aware that this is something that will have been caused by something in my past, it has not been possible for me to pinpoint a specific event where this first manifested itself.

    Also (unhelpfully I believe), when I remember specific events where I have had to speak in the past, they tend not to bring up any real stress or emotion (maybe a 2 or a 3) even though most I will remember as being quite embarrassing.

    Because of this, I am wondering if it is likely to mean your technique will not be particularly successful for me. The distraction method tends to mean that in combination with my inability to raise much stress from previous scenarios that I almost immediately lose ALL focus on the event I am trying to exorcise. I therefore am left wondering if all I am effectively doing then is listening to an audio track. Can you offer any additional advice for me in this regard?

    #24125
    AvatarPeter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    Hi RHTW

    If you cannot recall any feelings from past events try imagining a fictional future event. Imagine all the worst things that can happen, a real worst case scenario. This is safe in that it is in a potential future but if you can imagine it then it is real enough for you to Click Track. So imagine yourself having to give a talk remember that heart racing feeling imagine your talk sounding nervous, then run a Click Track with that future mind. Try as hard as you can to imagine your nervous self talking in front of a critical important audience while tapping in time with the Clicks.
    As long as you are focussing on your problem while Clicking then they will do the job even if not as efficiently and may take more sessions.

    Please get back to us and let us know how you got on or if you have any more questions.
    Peter

    #24126
    AvatarRHTW
    PSTEC User

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for your reply. I ran the clicktrack four times at the weekend. Did my best to get a clear picture in my head of both previous and imagined situations. No luck unfortunately. I had a group event on the Monday and felt the same adrenaline surge at the same level when I was asked to tell everyone a little about myself.

    #24127
    AvatarPeter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    Hi RHTW

    Fear of Public Speaking is an issue I would expect to respond well to PSTEC as it is easy to identify and recall. However in your case it seems to be more of a problem.

    A number of points occur to me. Although I accept that PSTEC will not work for 100% of everybody, in cases where it does not, it is usually because PSTEC is not being used correctly for some reason or other. If that reason or problem can be found then we are halfway to getting PSTEC to work for you. The luck involved is in me being able to help you effectively not in you being one of the very rare unfortunates who PSTEC does not seem to work for.

    If I throw out a few ideas then perhaps you will find something helpful.

    An adrenaline rush is in itself not a bad thing, it can be the driver to enable you to be a really good speaker. Ideally you want it to be generated by the excitement and wanting to talk to others rather than it making you feel like you want to hide under a rock. What is it?

    Can you identify what elements of giving a talk worry you the most? Fear of “drying up”,”stuttering”,”looking stupid” or perhaps it is just the other people, all those eyes “looking” at you. Any ideas?

    I find listening to the Click Tracks most effective when using “over the ear” headphones, it seems like Tim is talking more directly to me and not to the the room. Having said that once the you start tapping you just focus on trying to tap in synch while doing your utmost recall the negative feelings and keep on recalling them, it is hard I know but keep on trying. Forget Tim's voice, just your feelings and tapping.

    You do not have a strong response to recalling past occasions. Do you have any sense of shying away from recalling those previous events, of not wanting to? A sort of fear of the fear. This sort of negative feedback loop happens to “blushers” who “know” that they are going to blush in advance of it actually happening.

    Do you have any other social anxieties?

    In school were you happiest at the back of the classroom letting others ask the “stupid” questions?

    Enough for now,
    Peter

    #24128
    AvatarRHTW
    PSTEC User

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for your very detailed reply, and for your questions.

    Regarding the adrenaline rush, it is very much one of fear rather than excitement. Whilst I appreciate that excitement can bring similar physical effects I can safely say that if I won the lottery the excitement would be still only be around half of the rush that this fear induces.

    I've considered before the issue of what bothers me about public speaking and see it as;
    Fear of being looked at (how other people see me)
    Fear of my voice sounding shaky (Sometimes the adrenaline means I am taking a breath at the wrong time or failing to take a breath)
    Fear of going red and blushing
    Fear of being judged
    Fear of feeling panic

    I'm not sure why but over the years I seem to have acquired the ability to cope better with and eliminate the feelings from past events and experiences.

    I can relate this also to a very different situation. I remember once doing a skydive and on recalling it even years later I would be conscious of my heart racing massively. That no longer happens when I think about that event. It is very similar when I try to recall the public speaking situations. I have written down about 12 different events in the past where I have had to do public speaking of one sort or another and none bring on any strong emotion when I consider them now.
    (This may indeed be from some of the other therapies I have tried in the past.)

    I do still from time to time get a random recollection of something that may have embarrassed me or angered me in the past and can get so involved in it sometimes that I can vocalise some of my concious thought at the same time without realising it immediately.

    I would say I do have other social anxieties but not as strong as the public speaking one. All tend to relate to how I believe I am perceived by other people.
    If I have to travel somewhere new I don't worry so much about getting lost as I do about getting stuck in heavy traffic or steering into the wrong lane.
    I have had myself arrive at the front of a new building and have been worried about where the correct door is in case I try the wrong one and people inside see me making this mistake.
    If I am having a conversation with someone I know in public, I will go silent if someone else goes past until they are out of earshot again.

    When I was in primary (junior) school many years ago, I remember being in a community quiz team and making it to the finals. I would have had to answer questions in front of many other people and mostly strangers. I don't remember this bothering me. (Similarly though today, if I was sitting in a group of people and someone asked me a question it would not really bother me either).
    I remember doing school plays and whilst perhaps not really enjoying performing in front of other people I don't remember being particularly scared or worried.

    When I got to secondary school, I do however remember several issues where I had to speak and would have been very nervous and uncomfortable. I can't recall an event that happened in between that would have been a trigger for this.
    I have certainly (figuratively) moved from the front of the class to the rear as time has gone on.

    Hope this maybe gives you a better insight into my situation.

    #24129
    AvatarPeter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    Hi RHTW

    Thanks for your open, honest reply, and sharing it.

    Again some thoughts in no particular order.

    Seems counter intuitive that something that has such an effect leaves not much of a trace or powerful recollection or series of. This may be the result of previous therapies or we are all “barking up the wrong tree”.

    Adrenaline rush is “fight or flight” triggered by fear. This is the most basic of human behaviour drivers, the most immediate. Something bigger than yourself, coming towards you, making loud sudden noises and if it has a large open mouth full of teeth, any or all of these will get you “going” or “freezing”. This is the fear of personal damage, injury or worse in a word, danger! This might be thought of as instinctive but it is a learnt behaviour from other people around us usually our parents when we are young and very impressionable. Imagine a baby old enough to climb out of it's pram unnoticed by it's parents and crawling across the road, it has no fear of the cars coming towards it, it has no understanding of the danger it is in. Now the parents suddenly notice the peril their child is in and rush to pick it up out of danger. The parents now shouting “how did you get out” “don't do that to me” and at each other “I thought you were looking after him” “No you were”. Their strong emotions sensed by the baby now make it cry. It has learnt fears,  but not as yet it's highway code. We are still essentially palaeolithic hunter gatherers with a thin veneer of civilisation over the top, dressed up in fancier fashionable clothes. We have the same feelings but our behaviours are more sophisticated, modified to make us fit in with society, to obey the many rules which make it all work, (most of the time).

    Fast forward some years the baby now at school, learning to socialize. The playgound jostling and group positioning make us learn our place in the pecking order. We also learn how to behave and speak politely in order to grease the wheels of our civilised society. This learning is sometimes engendered in children with the “Don't do that, what would the neighbours think of us” “Behave yourself in public” kind of thing. When I was young brought up as a Catholic, running around in church or even fidgeting in the pew and such childlike behaviour was not acceptable. Consider if we did misbehave people would think we were out of control young animals, tut tut! This is adults pushing their fears into children. But it is done over a period of years with many incidents, with many variations, but no great traumas, on a drip, drip basis, the repetitions making the fears “sink in”. Fast forward again this child is now grown up a reasonably successful person, well liked, but cannot always achieve their aims as they get nervous and worry about what others might think or say about them.

    Having proposed this theoretical history which might explain your sort of  situation, the question remains what to do about it? How to use PSTEC to remove these fears?

    Whilst you can Click Track just generally thinking about your problem it tends to work better with a narrower focus. Once you have had some noticeable success even if on a small minor problem then you know it works and are more likely to have success on a bigger issue, because you “know” it works.

    Even though the fear of public speaking thing might be regarded as an aspect of social anxiety, a small thing, to you it is not. So I suggest breaking down the various aspects of speaking that worry you and Click Track them individually, you have mentioned some.

    [color=rgb(68, 68, 68)]“Fear of being looked at (how other people see me)[/color][color=rgb(68, 68, 68)]Fear of my voice sounding shaky (Sometimes the adrenaline means I am taking a breath at the wrong time or failing to take a breath)Fear of going red and blushingFear of being judgedFear of feeling panic”[/color]
    [/color][color=rgb(68, 68, 68)][/color][color=rgb(68, 68, 68)]
    The first one seems to me to be the main one because you say later

    “[/color][color=rgb(68, 68, 68)]I would say I do have other social anxieties but not as strong as the public speaking one. All tend to relate to how I believe I am perceived by other people.”[/color][color=rgb(68, 68, 68)]
    [/color][color=rgb(68, 68, 68)][/color][color=rgb(68, 68, 68)]
    So your issue is not “Fear of Public Speaking” as such but fear of what others might say or feel about you. This is fear of a potential loss of self esteem.
    [/color][color=rgb(68, 68, 68)][/color][color=rgb(68, 68, 68)]
    This also leads me to suggest Click Tracking any incidents where that anxiety about other peoples perceptions comes “into the picture”.

    This nibbling away at the problem approach might take some time,  but keep going. Many others have found that as they progress incidents and memories that they have not recalled for years resurface. Write down these “random recollections” as soon as you can and Click Track them when you can.

    When you are familiar with the FREE Basic Click Tracks you might find the PSTEC Click Tracks 2015 helpful. As well as being more powerful, there is an extra track which enables bundling together of many related memories/incidents.

    Hope the above gives you new avenues to explore. Please let me know.
    Peter
    [/color][color=rgb(68, 68, 68)][/color][color=rgb(68, 68, 68)]

    #24130
    AvatarDr Steve Price
    PSTEC User

    Hi RHTW

    The beauty of PSTEC is that it is essentially client driven and uses the client's own energy and interest to engage with their therapeutic goals. If there is a downside, it can sometimes be difficult for people to discover the true source of original anxiety or pain especially if they have been in a situation where 'denial' or protection of the source was required of them.

    My guess is that you may be having problems in finding your 'authentic' adult voice (the one that's about to give all those fantastic, insightful, beautiful, inspirational and moving presentations in the very near future)

    There's an interesting video here that you might find helpful in tracking down the source of the self critical (false) voice and I'm sure that once you've found the earlier experience that's been cramping your style you'll discover that PSTEC will help enormously (and very quickly)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83kymrRLLg8

    #24131
    AvatarRHTW
    PSTEC User

    Hi Peter & Steve,

    Thank you both for your comments.
    I will try some of your advice over the next week and see where that gets me.

    Many thanks for your time.

    #24132
    AvatarPeter Bunyan
    PSTEC User

    RHTW

    Please let us know how you got on. Please also do not worry if the process turns out to be more of a marathon than a sprint, you have the time because the results are worth it. Speaking as a runner both events have their attractions, this works for the metaphor as well. Regard this process as an intriguing fun puzzle rather than going to see a doctor and taking the tablets. Not something you have to do because it is good for you but an engaging pastime with pleasurable outcomes. You are not here because you are sick or there is something wrong with you but seeking advice, like going to a golf professional to help improve your swing or putting.

    Steve
    Thanks for the interesting link.
    If you have not done so I recommend this PSTEC Advanced Pt 2 Audio package from Tim and Master PSTEC Therapist Peter Owen. You will find it fascinating!
    Peter

    #24133
    AvatarDr Steve Price
    PSTEC User

    Thanks Peter

    By definition, I suppose, C-PTSD is full of 'hard to reach' corners. But spring cleaning them leaves you with sparkling results!!!!!!!!!  :)

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