February 1, 2017
As part of the National Social Anxiety Center’s (NSAC) ongoing service of disseminating and promoting evidence-based treatment, I’d like to share the below two articles of interest:
This Norwegian study corresponds with the results of a 2014 meta-analysis which demonstrates that, for most people, CBT is more effective than meds for treating Social Anxiety Disorder, and is even more effective than CBT + meds over time. Possible explanations for the reduced effects of combined treatment over time (CBT + meds) include the use of meds as a safety behavior and the external attribution of gains made, as well as the possibility of side effects and withdrawal symptoms triggering negative anxious thoughts and leading to relapse.
I’m curious if this result is congruent with clinician’s experience in treating SAD over time, and how you have navigated the impact and/or side effects of medications?
“Study Finds CBT Alone Best Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder”
The study below adds to the increasing proof that evidence based
psychotherapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy have a neurobiological impact as well as a psychosocial one. Change the mind and you change the brain!
“Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) associated with neuroplasticity one year after treatment.” Mansson KN, Salami A, Carlbring P, Boraxbekk CJ, Andersson G, Furmark T. (2017). Behavioural Brain Research, 318: 45-51 Link to abstract.
Manson et al., (2016), in a randomized controlled cross-over design examined long term structural and functional changes in the brain using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in subjects with social anxiety disorder after receiving internet delivered CBT. Treatment responders (54%) showed reduced left amygdala gray matter volume on their MRI one year after treatment. The change in function that had been reported earlier by the same authors as occurring immediately after treatment was not seen one year later. The study adds to the growing evidence that effective treatments like CBT impacts human neuroplasticity in the long term.
Robert Yeilding, Psy.D.
Representative of NSAC Newport Beach / Orange County (Anxiety and