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ASSERTIVE DEFENSE OF THE SELF: BUILDING CONFIDENCE IN YOUR ABILITY TO HANDLE CRITICISM AS A PATH TO FREEDOM FROM SOCIAL ANXIETY

When we experience high levels of anxiety in social situations, or have urges to avoid or escape, it is typically because we are worrying that other people will criticize or judge us. A feeling of intimidation and vulnerability may persist due to thoughts such as “What if they notice that I’m nervous ?, What if… Continue reading

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SOCIAL ANXIETY IN PURSUING ROMANTIC RELATIONS: TAKING REJECTION PERSONALLY

Romance, a minefield of social anxiety triggers Many aspects of pursuing romantic relationships are major social anxiety triggers for many people. How do you relate to these scenarios? Initiating conversation with someone you find attractive. Sending a first message online to someone you find attractive. Conversing in person with someone you find attractive. Having a… Continue reading

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SOCIAL ANXIETY TREATMENT: EVIDENCE-BASED TREATMENTS

The following is a narrative of a fictitious character, Ms. Anonymous (Ms. A), and her treatment for social anxiety. This case illustrates how evidence-based methods can be applied in therapy to help alleviate symptoms and recover from social anxiety. Again, Ms. A is a fictitious character, and any resemblance to a real person is purely… Continue reading

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“BUT WHAT ARE THEY REALLY THINKING?” SOCIAL ANXIETY AND THE STRUGGLE WITH UNCERTAINTY

Many outcome studies have shown cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, to be the most effective approach to overcoming social anxiety. While core interventions of CBT such as cognitive restructuring and behavioral experiments (learn more about these strategies here) can help people to make great improvements to their social anxiety symptoms, one trait that can have… Continue reading

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SOCIAL ANXIETY: A SMALL SHIFT, A BIG IMPACT

Me, my thoughts, and my emotions Most individuals experience successes and failures during social interactions. Although it is helpful to be mindful of internal experiences and one’s own behaviors, too much focus on these things often exacerbates cognitive and behavioral symptoms of social anxiety. A negative filter When compared to individuals who are not socially… Continue reading

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BRINGING SELF-COMPASSION TO SOCIAL ANXIETY

To see one in all and all in one is to break through the great barrier which narrows one’s perception of reality. -Thich Naht Hanh. The illusion of the self and learned beliefs If you have ever experienced social anxiety intensifying to the point of significant distress or interfering with your goals in life, you… Continue reading

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ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY

One of the most challenging aspects of social anxiety are the thoughts that come with the experience. People struggling with social anxiety experience a barrage of negative self-judgments and the fear that others view them in that same negative light. Over time, these self-judgments lead to avoidant behaviors such as disengagement in social interactions, substance-use… Continue reading