A teaching assistant with two young children, and a qualified dance instructor, Daisy* had a busy social life as well. She hadn’t told me over the phone exactly what she wanted to see me about, but having excluded a couple of things I told her that I was happy to see her.
When she came to see me I asked what she wanted to talk about. “Well, it must be obvious” she said, “it’s happening right now.” “I must be bright red” she added, “it’s so embarrassing”.
Social blushing can have a real effect on people’s lives. Talking to Daisy it became clear how it was affecting her. She had avoided opportunities at work, was thinking of giving up dance teaching, found excuses not to go on nights out with people she didn’t know well, and could not date anyone, all because of her fear of blushing in public.
Whilst the blushing was not as intense or noticeable as Daisy thought I understood that to her it was very uncomfortable and that it was affecting her life. Having discussed some different ideas Daisy decided to try two techniques – scrambling, and a trigger.
Scrambling meant taking Daisy through her stages of blushing, and getting her to experience them all in “slow motion”, before speeding them up, and chopping and changing the order. At the end of this Daisy already found it much harder to automatically move from the first stage of her blushing to the second, and so on.
The trigger that Daisy chose was quickly squeezing the end of her nose, and the feeling that she wanted was as if a cool flannel was being placed on her upper chest, just below her throat. Teaching her to associate these was easy, and gave her control over her blushing, as at any time she could discreetly and immediately feel any heat or discomfort being relieved.
The main thing that Daisy took away from her session though was the confidence that the two techniques gave her – the confidence to start taking opportunities and meeting new people again.
Daisy’s real identity has been protected, and she is happy to share her story of successfully using hypnotherapy for facial blushing.