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Therapy for Social Anxiety

Do you experience intense anxiety or nervousness when faced with social situations?

Do you fear being judged or criticized by others?

Are you always worried about making mistakes, looking bad, or being embarrassed in front of others?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you may have a social anxiety disorder. 

Social anxiety disorder is an intense and persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. While it is normal to feel nervous in some social situations, people who experience daily social anxiety tend to avoid everyday interactions that cause them significant fear, anxiety, self-consciousness, and embarrassment because they fear being scrutinized or judged by others. 

People with Social Anxiety Disorder often experience significant distress in the following situations:

  • Being teased or criticized
  • Being the center of attention
  • Being watched or observed while completing a task
  • Having to say something in a formal, public setting
  • Meeting people in authority, such as important people or authority figures
  • Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations
  • Feeling easily embarrassed
  • Meeting other people’s eyes

Psychotherapy for Social Anxiety Disorder

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is an evidence-based therapy that is commonly used to treat social anxiety disorder. CBT teaches you different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to social situations to help you feel less anxious and fearful. CBT also can help you learn and practice social skills, which is very important for treating social anxiety disorder. Exposure therapy is a CBT method that focuses on progressively confronting the fears underlying the social situations that you've been fearing and avoiding. 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Another treatment option for social anxiety disorder is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). ACT takes a different approach than CBT to negative thoughts and uses strategies to help you "accept" negative thoughts and feelings. ACT uses methods such as mindfulness, values clarification, acceptance, and goal setting to reduce your discomfort and social anxiety. 

Learning coping skills in therapy sessions can help you gain the confidence you need to improve your ability to interact with others.

If you feel you may have a social anxiety disorder, I encourage you to contact me today for a consultation.