Helping people with social anxiety with Cordelia Miller Muhammad | POP 870

Helping people with social anxiety with Cordelia Miller Muhammad | POP 870

Do you work with clients that predominantly experience personal or social anxiety? How can you help clients to feel calm and present both in session and in reality? Why should you make sure to invest in your personal peace?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about helping people with social anxiety with Cordelia Miller Muhammad.

Podcast Sponsor: Therapy Notes

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Meet Cordelia Miller Muhammad

A photo of Cordelia Miller Muhammad is captured. She is the founder and CEO of Shifa Living. Cordelia is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Cordelia Miller Muhammad is the CEO and Founder of Shifa Living, PLLC.  She is a Board Certified TeleMental Health provider and licensed clinical social worker in the states of Illinois and Michigan.  

It is her mission to empower adults and adolescents who struggle with fear, worry, or self-doubt.  And because for them, the opinions of others matter a lot, they rarely feel like what they have to offer is enough.  

In recent years, she’s focused on building a successful virtual private psychotherapy practice specializing in the treatment of Anxiety.  Practice wisdom has taught her that emotions are like wild animals, either you manage them, or they will manage you.  

Visit Shifa Living and connect on Instagram and LinkedIn.

In This Podcast

  • Invest in your personal peace
  • Helping clients to feel calm
  • Classically helpful tips for treating anxiety
  • The difference between social anxiety and general anxiety
  • Cordelia’s advice to private practitioners

Invest in your personal peace

The biggest “Aha” moment [for me] was when I realized how my anxiety was getting in the way of me being able to recognize some of the things that were happening in the room.

Cordelia Miller Muhammad

One of the most powerful tools that Cordelia learned was that being in a “relaxed body” would help her much more in the therapy room than anything else.

If she was calm, present, and able to self-regulate her feelings, then it would be easier for her to be there and be present with someone else.

When you’re getting ready to work with someone else, if you’re not scanning and paying attention to what’s going on inside of you, then you’re not necessarily going to be available [for] the client.

Cordelia Miller Muhammad

So, Cordelia makes sure to invest in her peace before a session begins with a client so that she can offer them the best therapy.

This practice extends to clients as well. Therefore, Cordelia will invite her clients at the beginning of a session to relax their physical bodies because it will also help them to have a productive session.

Helping clients to feel calm

If the majority of your clients are people that struggle with social anxiety, then teaching them actionable skills to still their minds and calm their bodies is a key tool in empowering them to self-regulate.

This is helpful for them both in session and in their personal lives. 

At the beginning of some sessions, Cordelia will invite her clients to do a check-in to see how they are feeling because often, with anxiety, clients can get stuck in anticipating the worst of a situation.

The self-compassion is what helps the client to be able to give themselves a break … and give themselves the benefit of the doubt.

Cordelia Miller Muhammad

By balancing a dose of self-awareness and self-compassion, Cordelia invites clients to learn how to witness themselves growing and developing.

Classically helpful tips for treating anxiety

  • Bodywork like massage and yoga to relieve built-up tension and notice what changes in the body can feel like from a tense state to relaxation
  • Sound healing frequencies for clients to listen to while doing basic tasks to practice feeling calm and to destress
  • Practicing guided meditations for beginner clients to ease them into meditation to teach them how to become more present

The difference between social anxiety and general anxiety

It is important to understand social anxiety through a cultural context. There are typically two types of clients that experience social anxiety:

  • Some have a lot of self-criticisms about how they think they are perceived by those around them in a social setting
  • Some people may avoid a social situation because they want to avoid being treated differently

There’s this hesitancy to show up and to express themselves when they’re feeling like they are in a setting where they [experience an] anticipatory fear … that [they’re] going to be humiliated or judged.

Cordelia Miller Muhammad

One of the biggest tools that Cordelia equips her clients with is trust in themselves so that they can be brave in those moments when they experience fear.

Cordelia’s advice to private practitioners

Pay attention to what’s important to you because that’s how you find your niche. In that area, don’t wait on getting more skilled so that you can become a more effective clinician in your zone of genius.

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Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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