Do you ever avoid interacting with people because you are afraid that you are ‘too awkward’ or people won’t like you? Have these thoughts ever impacted on your ability to establish meaningful friendships? Or led to difficulties interacting with colleagues? Or difficulties participating in conversations with other mothers from school?
National Psychology week is here again from November 11-17. This year, the theme is the Power of Human Connection, with a focus on helping people to improve their social skills and connections, and enhance their relationships.
In my clinical practice, I have a passion for working with people who experience low self-esteem and social anxiety. I often hear from clients who experience such express concerns that they have difficulty interacting with people or avoid social situations because they are too anxiety-provoking. It seems that self-beliefs that they are “too awkward” or have “nothing to offer” mean that they often avoid interacting in social situations, whether it be at work, with friends or with family. Often this leads to further feelings of worthlessness and provides no opportunity to either improve their social skills or learn that the interaction may go better than they anticipate. Even more so, avoiding social interactions denies people the opportunity to build healthy relationships and experience the satisfaction that comes from quality human connections. Meaningful relationships are often crucial for people’s overall well being.
If you perceive yourself to struggle with social skills or building connections with people, and have for a long time, it can understandably seem hard to begin changing the way you have interacted with people. It can be perceived as too overwhelming to begin facing situations that you have previously avoided because you feel you are too awkward or won’t connect.
In my clinical practice, it has been a privilege to be able to see client’s who have felt helpless in regards to building connection and enhancing relationships, take slow steps to confront their anxiety and build their confidence. Psychologists can assist people through therapy and skills building to build more meaningful relationships and address the barriers that can get in the way.
Michelle Dean (M Clin Psych, BA (Hons – First Class), brings her genuine care and compassion for people, along with her keen insight and analytical abilities to her work.
Through her various roles, she has developed a deep understanding of how these difficulties develop and impact on people in different life stages. Michelle has been able to assist her clients in developing skills to manage their anxiety and depression, along with enabling them to develop a healthy sense of self and greater self confidence. Michelle is a high calibre and compassionate professional and she is wonderful at being able to see the complexities of a clinical presentation and bring her therapeutic work down to a manageable and structured approach.