Psychilogical Therapy for Scopophobia the Fear of Being Stared at or ‘Seen’
Scopophobia is the Fear of Being Stared at or the fear of being ‘seen’ and may occur for a number of different reasons.
It is known that one of the consequences of the extended lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has been ‘guilt’ about going outside, particularly with people making negative remarks about other people’s lifestyle choices on social media.
In some cases Scopophobia may also be related to ‘social anxiety‘, the fear of being ‘judged’ by social peers or society.
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Scopophobia is almost certainly a sub-category of social anxiety and involves worrying about what others might be thinking about you, or feeling judged by somebody who might seem to be staring at you.
Whilst the feared object or situation may seem, to other people, to be ‘ridiculous’ or ‘silly’, the person who suffers from Scopophobia knows only too well that the Anxiety that they experience is real enough.
We completely understand this here at TranceForm Psychology and will treat you and your Scopophobia seriously.
For many years Psychologists have been aware that our minds are more than capable of producing a real biological reaction to any given situation and so as long as the Scopophobia sufferer “believes” that the object or situation they fear represents danger to them, then they will experience real fear.
The majority of people who do suffer with Scopophobia recognise that their fear is “irrational” but continue to experience it regardless of this knowledge. This is why simply being told to “snap out of it” rarely produces a solution!
The symptoms of Scopophobia are very similar to other specific phobias and will often include:
- Worrying about being judged
- Avoid public spaces
- Being quick tempered
- Feelings of dizziness
- Prickly sensations like pins and needles
- Aches & Pains
- Dry and Sticky mouth
- Sweating Excessively
- Migraines and Headaches
Scopophobia Symptoms are generally automatic and uncontrollable and can seem to take over a person’s thoughts which frequently leads to extreme measures being taken to avoid the feared object or situation, what are known as “Safety” or “Avoidance” behaviours.
Unfortunately, for the sufferer, these safety behaviours have a paradoxical effect and actually reinforce the phobia rather than solve it!
Scopophobia may be the result of negative emotional experiences that can be either directly or indirectly linked to the object or situational fear.
Over time, the symptoms often become “normalised” and “accepted” as limiting beliefs in that person’s life – “I’ve learnt to live with it.”
In just as many cases, Scopophobia may have become worse over time as more and more sophisticated safety behaviours and routines are developed.
The good news is that the vast majority of people who suffer from Scopophobia will find a course of Psychological Therapy helps enormously.
TranceForm Psychology is able to offer a range of different psychological treatments for Scopophobia including both ‘cognitive’ (thinking) based talking therapies as well as therapies based on ’emotional’ content such as EMDR & Analytical Therapy.
Cognitive Therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and the Changing Limiting Beliefs (CLB) Programme tend to regard the symptoms of Scopophobia as being due to ‘unhelpful thinking styles‘ or patterns of thinking that directly ‘create’ the ‘feelings’ of anxiety and stress when encountering the phobic object or situation.
These types of therapy are often referred to as ‘brief’ or ‘directive’ therapies and tend to focus on the thinking that is occurring ‘now’ rather than as the result of a ‘past experience’.
This relationship between thinking (cognition) and feelings (behaviour) is the central pillar of these types of therapy and is supported by a substantial body of scientific evidence.
Psycho-Dynamic Therapies such as Psychoanalysis are fundamentally different to the cognitive approaches as they consider that events and influences experienced in the earlier formative lives of the person can cause, or at least “pre-dispose”, a person to suffer in a specific way in later life.
The aim of psychodynamic therapy is to help a person to explore, understand and resolve these causative issues following the doctrine of “cause and effect”. In these types of therapy, the relationship between the therapist and client is considered as an important factor in the solution to the problems.
You can read more about Psychodynamic Therapy V Directive Therapy approaches here.
FREE Initial Consultations
We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial assessment to chat about your Scopophobia problems or counselling needs. During this 50 minute consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are avalable using our Zoom online platform (see online therapy here).
At Tranceform Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapy relationship as being key to making any personal change or improvement, so it’s very important to be able to meet PRIOR to agreeing any kind of help.
In fact, research suggests that ‘most’ of the therapeutic benefits derived from counselling are due to the positive, unconditional relationship that is created during the therapy sessions rather than the specific ‘mode’ of therapy used.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications, without pressure or coercion.
For most mental health issues we recommend following our 10 session Tranceformental CBT Programme (an advanced version of empirically established Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to overcome a wide range of mental health and behavioural problems.
CBT is a proven, evidence-based form of therapy for developing a fundamental level of understanding into the dynamics of your problem, but also for learning new coping skills and strategies for sustainable change over your life.
Tranceformental CBT is available On-line as well as a one-to-one format in the clinic.
Visit Online Counselling for more details.
The Changing Limiting Beliefs Programme was a 'state-of-the-art' approach to overcoming mental health problems that is grounded in scientific principles and based on the subjective nature of reality.
Today Tranceform offer a course of evidence-based therapy based on an understanding of core beliefs and values called Tranceformental CBT.