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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 […]

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USING VIRTUAL REALITY THERAPY TO TREAT SOCIAL ANXIETY

People are inherently social. We band together in social groups at work or in school, we pair up in relationships and bond with friends over sports games. We even go out of our way to join online games or social media groups themed around a common interest. This bonding is deeply ingrained in our psyche […]

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OVERCOMING SOCIAL ANXIETY THROUGH SOCIAL MISHAP EXPOSURES

It is common for those struggling with social anxiety to want to avoid social situations that don’t feel good. While avoiding those situations may lessen your anxiety in the short-term, it is not going to make facing those scenarios any easier in the future. In fact, the avoidance can actually make the anxiety worse! Exposure […]

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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 […]

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SUPPORTING A FRIEND WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY

Have you ever suspected that someone you’re close to is avoiding a social situation because of anxiety? Feeling anxious in social situations is common for many of us, but for some people, it can be debilitating. Your friend or loved-one may be suffering from social anxiety. People often hide their symptoms, so if you notice that a friend […]

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STUCK IN THE AFTERMATH OF SOCIAL ANXIETY AND RUMINATION

What is Post-event Rumination and How Does It Relate to Social Anxiety? “Why did I say that?”  “I was the most awkward person at the party.”  “I was so quiet that no one even noticed that I was there.”  Have thoughts like this plagued you following a social event?  When a person is stuck thinking […]

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LOST IN THOUGHT (part 2): COGNITIVE RESTRUCTURING FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY

Thoughts and Feelings in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Social Anxiety Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has repeatedly been shown to be the most effective treatment for social anxiety disorder for the large majority of people. A central principle in CBT is that what we feel—such as social anxiety—is created not directly by a situation we experience, but […]

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LOST IN THOUGHT (part 1): MINDFULNESS FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY

Upsetting Social Anxiety Thoughts –I don’t know what to say. What do I say next? –I might say something stupid / offensive. –S/he’ll think I’m boring / stupid / unattractive / socially inept, and will dislike me. –What I have to say isn’t good enough. No one will be interested. –They can tell I’m anxious […]

SOCIAL ANXIETY DOES NOT EQUAL INTROVERSION

Many people mistake social anxiety with introversion. Introversion is a perfectly normal personality trait. More precisely, there is a continuum from extroversion to introversion that describes one dimension of personality. Those who are relatively extroverted have an innate disposition to interact with many different people, often in groups. Those who are relatively introverted are more […]