Our expert says:
People who really want hypnosis are often those least likely to benefit from it. Too many people see it as a form of magic, as a quick fix, not requiring long or hard work on their side.
The evidence for it being effective in the long run on its own, is very scanty.
It may occasionally be useful when it's used as PART of a treatment plan, provided by a properly and broadly trained psychiatrist or psychologist. I strongly recommend AGAINST its use as a single treatment or by anyone who is NOT a proper specialist shrink. There are no proper recognized qualifications for someone to practise as a "hypnotherapist" and someone I know in America managed to get his pet cat qualified with certificates as a Hypnotherapist, and a member of some major pro-hypnosis organizations !
And I wouldn't say its safe in the hands of others - while there may be no complications, there can be major problems caused by its incautious and naive use.
On the other hand, Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ( CBT ) has loads of good evidence of effectiveness and safety, and especially for the sort of problems you describe - improving self-esteem and self-confidence, losing anxiety in social situations and about being able to speak in public. Many proper specialist shrinks, especially psychologists, now provide this form of therapy, which has long-lasting benefits, and help you learn ways of coping with these situations that trouble you, so that you can not only deal with whatever is troubling you now, but be better able to handle problems that might arise in the future.
What you seem to describe is basically social anxiety disorder, which with CBT and perhaps also some meds which are also used to treat depression, can usually respond well and without the treatment taking too long
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