We invite you to learn about the experiences of some of our former clients. Take the time to view, read and/or listen to some of these personal stories to see the quite varied ways that doing cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for social anxiety has helped many people turn their lives around. Each client’s experience working in CBT is unique. Your personal experience is likely to have some similarities as well as some differences to the stories told here.


33-year-old African American female; District of Columbia (video story)

“I needed to present this facade of perfection.
I didn’t want to be another stereotype.
For me, I was representing my entire race
at such a young age, at 14.”

44-year-old single, female nurse; District of Columbia (written story)

“My life is different now. I feel like I can be who I always was inside.”

33-year-old married white woman; Maryland, suburban DC; (video story)

“I felt like I didn’t really fit in with most people….I felt like I was just bad at having conversations, that I never knew what to say.”

37-year-old white, male writer; Colombia, South America; formerly of the District of Columbia (written story)

“I struggled with shyness and low self-esteem, specifically with regard to my physical appearance and feelings of attractiveness.”

56-year-old gay, male, retired investment banker; District of Columbia (audio and written story)

“It is possible to find personal strength and happiness.”

26-year-old African American woman; District of Columbia (written story)

“I was living too much in my head instead of being mindful and in the moment in social situations.”

24-year-old gay man; District of Columbia (written story)

“Did I fit in? Was I gay enough?”

30-year-old African-American woman; District of Columbia (written story)

“I was bullied by all of my classmates…I am a good person. No one can ever make fun of that.”

29-year-old South Asian man; District of Columbia (written story)

“Would people notice my nervousness? Would I say something dumb?”

57-year-old white lesbian, District of Columbia (audio story)

“Now it just seems like the experiments I did in the very beginning look so easy to me, that I could do it without even thinking or without becoming at all nervous.”

25-year-old white man; District of Columbia (written story)

“Just having any person stopping by my cubicle at work would bring feelings of trembling, blushing, sweating, and extreme tension.”

36-year-old white male professional; San Francisco (written story)

“I look confident, but inside I’m anxious and exhausted.”

33-year-old white transgender woman; Maryland, suburban DC 33-year-old transgender, white woman; Maryland, suburban DC; (written story)

“I fell into a core belief that I’m fundamentally different and defective and that I have nothing in common with those I perceive to be ‘normal.’”

34-year-old Jewish man; Costa Rica, Central America; formerly of Silver Spring, Maryland, suburban DC (written story)

“I finally had the courage to do things I’d always hoped I’d be able to do.”

27-year-old Hispanic woman; Maryland; immigrant from Peru 27-year-old Hispanic woman; Maryland, suburban DC; immigrant from Peru (written and audio story)

“People are finally starting to see me differently. I’m pretty confident that there are going to be more great things along the way that are still there for me to discover later.”

27-year-old Hispanic woman; Maryland; immigrant from Peru 36-year-old African-Caribbean female; District of Columbia (written story)

“I felt tense, self-conscious, and paralyzed by the fear that others would notice my anxiety and ridicule or think less of me. I feared that asserting myself would erode my relationships and alienate cherished family and friends.”

Do you have a personal story of learning to overcome your social anxiety you wish to share?


If you are a former client of an NSAC-affiliated clinic or clinician, we welcome you to share your story if you believe doing so will be helpful for you. Sharing your story—or not doing so—will have no impact whatsoever on any future services you may seek from any NSAC-affiliated clinic or clinician.


You may put your story in writing, audio recording, or video. Discuss any of the following: how social anxiety affected your life; what you learned in therapy that was most helpful for you in lessening your social anxiety; how your life has changed as a result of your work.


NSAC reserves the right to decide which stories will be posted or not based on how helpful we believe they will be to other consumers. NSAC also reserves the right to edit for length and clarity, but we will get your approval on any changes before posting your story.  All stories will be posted anonymously. Once posted, you retain the right to have the story removed from our website at any time.