Speaking up in a classroom and other group settings causes Justin intense anxiety. He feels like people are staring at him, which makes him self-conscious and uncomfortable with the way he looks and sounds. As he becomes nervous, he begins to worry about looking nervous, leading to a vicious cycle of increasing anxiety.

Larry Cohen, LICSW, A-CBT: began his clinical practice, Social Anxiety Help, in 1990, which became one of the two founding regional NSAC clinics in 2014.

Larry Cohen, LICSW, A-CBT;
Cochair and cofounder of NSAC;
Representative of NSAC District of Columbia.

Session 1

Larry and Justin discuss how Justin’s focus on himself in social situations is adding to his anxiety Larry suggests that, for homework, Justin practice external mindfulness through curiosity training during conversations in the coming week.


Session 2

Larry and Justin discuss his progress in practicing external mindfulness. They then plan an experiment for Justin to conduct in order to test his hot thoughts and predictions that are making him socially anxious.


Session 3

Larry and Justin discuss what he has learned through his experiment last week. Larry gives Justin suggestions on additional situations to continue testing his anxious hot thought and predictions through experiments.



National Social Anxiety Center therapists have recorded samples of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions with socially anxious persons. The therapists are real NSAC clinicians. The persons portraying the clients are actors. It is our hope that listening to these sample sessions will give you a good taste for what doing CBT for social anxiety is like. We also suggest homework ideas, complete with handouts you can download, that you will likely find helpful to pursue on your own.

These audio recordings are a joint project of Meomind and NSAC. Meomind offers a library of pre-recorded simulated therapy sessions about a great many concerns for individuals who are interested in receiving psychotherapy but may have difficulty accessing it due to cost, stigma, and/or lack of provider availability. Listeners are matched to the most relevant sessions in the library based on their self-identified mental health needs. Please visit or download the Meomind app.