How will Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for social anxiety help you?
CBT for social anxiety is an intensive but time limited treatment that can help you to feel less anxious while socialising or even just while you are in the company of others whether they are your friends or strangers. As a result of this therapy, you can expect to experience many changes psychologically. Below summarises some of these benefits.
CBT helps you to learn that others don’t expect as much of you as you expect. You will learn how to clarify clear treatment goals to optimise your social performance and will learn how to determine whether or not you are successful in your social interactions.
CBT teaches you strategies to understand your anxious emotions and negative thoughts and helps you to learn how to not only manage these but even conquer them.
People with social anxiety disorder (SAD) tend to be much more critical of themselves than others are towards them. CBT helps you to become more comfortable in your own skin, and consequently more at ease with others.
When you have SAD you are much more likely to predict that you will do something terrible while socialising which will result in you feeling quite embarrassed. CBT helps you to realise that social mishaps with serious consequences are actually quite rare. You will learn that even if a social interaction doesn’t work out as well as you would have liked, it doesn’t matter as much you fear it will.
Those that suffer from anxiety related conditions underestimate the level of control it is possible to have over their anxiety. CBT helps you to gain this control and lessons the distress experiencing anxiety causes.
People with SAD tend to vastly underestimate their social performance. CBT will help you to learn that your performance is nowhere near as bad you think.
Those with SAD tend to rely on avoidance strategies to help them cope with this problem. Not only will CBT help you to realise how unhelpful this strategy is and why this only maintains your problem, but it will also help you to stop using these unhealthy strategies.
SAD can also make you ruminate over past social performances, making you judge and criticise your performance. CBT helps you to recognise why this is unhealthy and can actually worsen your SAD.
If you would prefer not to see someone face to face, it is possible to receive treatment remotely. Look for a therapist who specialises in working with clients online e.g. through Skype for best results if this option is more appropriate for you.
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About Vickie Norris
Vickie Norris MSc, PG Dip CBT, PG Cert CBT, BA Hons
Vickie is a BABCP accredited CBT psychotherapist with 17 years experience in mental health who specialises in treating anxiety related conditions.