Problem Solving

Problem Solving

Problem-solving is an effective way to manage stress. Much of the time our stress is due to us dwelling on the causes and consequences of our problems. This is unproductive. To get out of this cycle of rumination, focus on solutions instead. Structured problem solving can help with this. Give it a try using the acronym ‘SOLVE‘ below.

Select A Problem:

  • e.g. I’m craving alcohol right now (and I want to cut back on my drinking)

Identify your Options for solving this problem and the = Likely outcome of each:

  1. Go for a run = temporary distraction, get endorphin high, feel proud for doing it

  2. Drink a little = temporary pleasure, I might just stop there – though I usually don’t, and end up drinking more than I should

  3. Drink a lot = temporary pleasure, hangover, regret

  4. Get rid of the alcohol = irritation at wasting the alcohol/money, less temptation

Select the Very best option and take action:

  • e.g. go for run

Evaluate the effectiveness of your solution, and make changes if needed:

  • e.g. The run took my mind off my cravings and I felt less stressed. When I got home though, I got triggered as there was wine in the fridge. I’d better get rid of it.

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Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety Treatment Sydney CBD

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Social Anxiety Treatment Sydney CBD: In-person & Online Sessions Available

Speak with a social anxiety psychologist today:

Social Anxiety

a person needing social anxiety treatment sydney cbd

What Is Social Anxiety?

At the core of social anxiety is a fear of appearing foolish or shameful in front of others. This fear can range from mild to severe. Shyness can be thought of as a mild form of social anxiety. Social anxiety disorder lies at the other more severe end of the continuum and disrupts a person’s life.

What Causes Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety typically emerges in the mid-teens. It can come on gradually, or it can be triggered suddenly by a specific event.

Social anxiety can run in families, which suggests there may be a genetic component. Bullying in childhood may also have an effect. Having an inhibited or shy temperament may also increase a person’s risk.

Common situations that trigger social anxiety include:

  • conversations with new people

  • public speaking

  • eating in public

  • writing in front of others

  • speaking over the phone

  • using public toilets

  • Having others see oneself blushing, sweating, trembling, or stuttering when speaking

How Is Social Anxiety Treated?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been shown to be an effective treatment for social anxiety. CBT teaches people the skills to manage their anxiety in social situations. These skills include attention training, thought challenging, and exposure therapy.

Attention Training

One way to lessen social anxiety is to lessen self-consciousness. CBT helps people to become lessen their self-consciousness by encouraging them to focus away from themselves and onto what they’re doing. For example, a person would be encouraged to focus on the conversation they are having – e.g. what the other person is saying, what questions they want to ask, what opinions they want to share etc.

Thought Challenging

CBT helps people to challenge the thoughts that are making them anxious.  Much of what drives social anxiety are underlying beliefs like ‘I must perform well’, ‘I mustn’t make mistakes’, ‘people will judge me – and that will be awful’. Understandably, this makes a person quite anxious when socializing. CBT encourages people to challenge thoughts that say they ‘have to’ perform well and not make mistakes. People are also taught to take other people’s opinions less seriously.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy teaches people to face their fears in small steps. It involves a person identifying a social situation that they want to become more comfortable in first. Then, a person breaks down the goal into easy, medium, and difficult tasks. They then work their way through these tasks starting with the easiest ones. For dating, as an example, a person could research dating websites and sign up for one (easy), message one person they like (medium), and ask for (or go on) a date (hard).

(Exposure therapy and CBT are some of what we use for social anxiety treatment in sydney CBD and online)

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been shown to be an effective treatment for social anxiety. CBT teaches people the skills to manage their anxiety in social situations. These skills include attention training, thought challenging, and exposure therapy.

Need Help? Social Anxiety Treatment Sydney CBD & Online

Get Counselling With A Social Anxiety Psychologist

We are psychologists in who specialise in treating social anxiety using CBT. Please get in contact to learn more.

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Sleep Tips

Sleep Psychologist Sydney

Blog / Sleep Psychologist Sydney

Sleep Psychologist Sydney: In-person & Online Sessions Available

Counselling for issues and problems with sleep – help for sleep disorders and all other issues.

a man seeing a sleep psychologist in sydney

Sleep Tips

Sleep is important for physical and mental health. The following tips may be helpful for those trying to improve the quality of their sleep.

Develop a Routine

Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day (including weekends). Keep your daytime routine the same as well – don’t avoid things because you haven’t slept well.

Relax

Wind down in the hours before bed. Avoid stimulating activities (e.g. work, problem solving, planning, studying) and practice relaxing ones (e.g. take a bath, read a book, practice relaxation, drink caffeine-free tea).

Dim The Lights One Hour Before Bed

At least one hour before bed, dim the lights as low as possible. Science has shown that our bodies over time have evolved to use light and the absence of light to as indicators of what time of day it is and therefore when to wake up and fall asleep. If you have bright lights on right before you try to fall asleep your body assumes that the sun is still up and not time to fall asleep yet. It can take an hour or so for the body to feel ready to fall asleep.

Get Comfortable

Make your room dark (e.g. use face masks, close blinds, avoid devices or at least dim the screen or apply a ‘blue light filter’), quiet (e.g. use ear plugs, or listen to relaxing music or white noise such as a rain soundtracks on YouTube), and comfortable (e.g. use fans, air-conditioning, hot-water-bottles etc). 

Write Your Worries Down

3a.m. is not the time to solve problems. If you’re worrying whilst lying in bed, write your worries down and work on them tomorrow. Then, practice relaxing activities.

Don’t Force It

If you haven’t fallen asleep after 20 minutes, do something relaxing until you feel sleepy.

Don’t Clock Watch

Don’t check the clock to see how much time you have(n’t) got left until you have wake up. This just causes stress, making sleep even less likely. Turn your alarm away from you, and put your phone out of reach.

Avoid Screens

Turn off your computer, phone and TV at bedtime. The light/brightness from the screens may interfere with the onset of sleep. Alternatively, turn the brightness of the screens down, use a ‘blue light’ filter, and watch only ‘mindless’, non-stimulating programs.

a girl needing to see a sleep psychologist in sydney

Exercise

Try to exercise every day. Avoid doing it in the 4 hours before bed though as it can be over-stimulating.

Avoid Naps

Napping can interfere with your sleep routine at night. Naps over an hour long, or that are later in the day, can be particularly disruptive.

Avoid Caffeine, Nicotine, and Alcohol

4-6 hours before bed, avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate, and some medications) or nicotine (e.g. cigarettes) and alcohol. These may interfere with you falling and staying asleep.

Try Therapy: See A Sleep Psycologist In Sydney, Online Or In Your City.

Sleep problems and disorders can be helped with the use of evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) with a professional therapist.

Sleep Psychologist Sydney: Get Help In-person Or Online:

We are sleep psychologists in North Sydney who treat sleep problems and sleep disorders using CBT. Please get in contact to learn more.

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Have a question about our sleep psychologist in Sydney or online or not sure where to start?

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