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On the last five tracks we have discussed the evaluation phobias. Two main phobias we have focused on were agoraphobia and social phobias. The last three tracks examined social phobias and concentrated on public speaking phobias on the last track.
On this track we will discuss 2 techniques for overcoming social phobias. The two techniques discussed on this track are decentering and time projection. As you listen to this track, you might consider how to implement these techniques with your client. If he or she suffers from something other than social phobia, could these techniques still be productive?
Clearly, for the cognitive intervention of decentering to work, the client may need to adopt the perspective of another person. A shift in focus on Brenda’s part was necessary for decentering to benefit her. Brenda was preoccupied with her own internal reactions. The result was that she noticed little about others’ reactions to her. Paradoxically, Brenda attributed keen powers of observation and utter objectivity to those around her. In one session, Brenda stated, "I know they are watching me closely, because I watch myself just as closely." How might you have responded to Brenda?
I stated, "You say that they are watching you in the same way as you are watching yourself. What about how they look at themselves?" Brenda’s response was limited, but she did agree that others likely watch themselves closely as well. I followed by asking, "So, you’re watching yourself. How closely do you watch others?" Brenda stated, "I watch others rather infrequently. My observations of them and their actions are limited." In this way, Brenda’s cognitive set regarding others watching her changed. She came to realize that the attention of most people is similarly restricted, and she became more relaxed in social situations.
#2 Time Projection
I suggested to Ted that he imagine that he goes to several family functions. I stated, "After the bad incident at the fourth of July picnic, imagine that you attend several other family functions this year. Now imagine next year’s fourth of July picnic." Ted stated, "I see myself standing in a group. I’m nervous about what I might say next, but I know I’ll say something."
On this track we discussed 2 techniques for overcoming social phobias. The two techniques discussed on this track are decentering and time projection.
On the next track we will discuss exposure. Three techniques regarding exposure will be presented on this track. The three techniques for exposure are the initiation technique, cognitive avoidance, and the critical decision technique.
Online Continuing Education QUESTION 13
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