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Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety (SA) can be described as a marked uneasiness in a social situation. It can involve the fear of embarrassment, humiliation, and scrutiny by others. This fear is fed by an increased anxiety that may be experienced in a social and or performance situation. Some may fear public speaking, crowds, making a presentation, initiating a conversation, dating. Individuals may fear doing or saying something that may be judged as wrong, crazy, silly, etc. These individuals may be affected by a wide range of social situations. Social anxiety may cause individuals not to participate in feared situations in order to decrease their anxiety levels. These fears can affect individuals socially, occupationally, and interpersonally.


The preferred treatment for Social Anxiety (SA) is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This therapy uses an approach called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). ERP allows individuals with SA to experience the specific events that causes their anxiety, while learning to tolerate the anxiety rather than avoiding the situation to quickly experience some relief. An Automatic Thought Record (ATR) may also be used to assist individuals with learning to challenge their maladaptive SA thoughts and replace them with more realistic, objective thoughts, that may help keep anxiety at bay.

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