Systematic desensitization Hierarchy of anxiety program
It is evident that my friend is suffering from extreme anxiety, which is why he turns to alcohol for solace to escape it. If you see a person excessively drowning themselves in alcohol, then there is a probability they are battling a larger inner issue. It is common for college students to struggle with social anxiety. For them, anxiety can be triggered by the slightest events, including having to ask for permission to visit the bathroom or answering questions wrongly. It makes their heart race quickly and they feel sick.
A systematic desensitization program would go a long way in ensuring that my friend gets rid of her anxiety without necessarily using alcohol. Systematic desensitization is a behavioral technique whereby individuals are gradually exposed to anxiety-triggering places or objects while at the same time being exposed to a kind of relaxation to reduce anxiety symptoms. The first step would be helping my friend determine that they need to speak to someone. This can only happen if the person recognizes they have a problem, The next step is to learn a relaxation technique that they will incorporate into the program to help them get over their social anxiety. I will advise you to choose between meditating, visualization, diaphragmatic breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation. The third step is to instruct them to sit down and note down a list of their fears. This will help him know what triggers his anxiety attacks. Next, I will tell him to sort the fears according to intensity. The fifth step will be exposing them to the listed fear to help them overcome it.