Are you afraid of speaking German or English? Do you experience a variety of symptoms, such as feelings of panic, rapid heart rate, increased sweating and the strong desire to avoid the language? You are most probably suffering from foreign language phobia, which is a specific anxiety reaction and can affect individuals who are not characteristically anxious in other situations. Read more: Phobia of speaking German: You don't have to live with it!
In general, using a foreign language can create anxiety, as the individual is confronted with a very unsettling mental challenge. I often compare speaking a foreign language with having to dance and do maths at the same time. Throughout my years of experience as a therapist for foreign language phobia, I have identified 5 main reasons for panic symptoms:
Subconsciously suppressed emotions can come out when speaking a foreign language, and this can cause fear. A lack of self-confidence can lead to foreign language anxiety when the person fears a shameful situation. Fear of conflict can be a cause, because using a foreign language stirs emotions and can make them more visible to others. A lack of healthy boundaries can create foreign language phobia, as a foreign language enforces the feeling of being powerless. Finally, the fear of seeming uneducated is a very common reason for foreign language phobia, especially in highly competitive environments, where people are scared of making mistakes and of being judged. Read Matthew's story: "I knew how to speak German, but I just couldn't get it out"
I am bilingual (British/German) and I have been working as a foreign language phobia therapist for several years, mainly for the languages English and German. At the beginning, I will analyse your problem and help you to understand where the anxiety stems from. To reach this, I don't need to go back into the past. Instead, I focus on the here and now and on what is happening between you and me. In my view, it’s only the interpersonal therapeutic relationship which can help clients to overcome their anxiety. My work is based on behaviour therapy, psychoanalysis, art therapy and the inner child method. Read more about me, my fees and where my office is located.
You can book a free first session with me, so that you can decide whether you would like us to work together. To book the free session, you can send me an email or call me: +49 40 46090233. When writing me an email or reaching my voicemail, please do not forget to leave your phone number and the times I can reach you, so that I can call you back. Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you!