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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 […]

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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 […]

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IS CANNABIS THE NEW SOLUTION TO SOCIAL ANXIETY?

As of 2019, 33 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing marijuana in some form. 11 of those have laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use, in addition to the country of Canada. A Turn of the Tide for Cannabis in the USA Social norms and the stigma of cannabis use are beginning […]

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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 […]

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FOSTERING PRIDE TO HELP OVERSOME SOCIAL ANXIETY

The perils of beating ourselves up “I can’t believe I said that! I’m such an idiot!” “I made the conversation so awkward and boring!” “I came across as so anxious and weird! How can I ever face these people again?!” “I made such a terrible impression! I’m humiliated!” These are just a few examples of […]

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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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SOCIAL ANXIETY AND SMALL TALK: THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF MAKING CONVERSATION

“I’m bad at meeting people.” “I’m socially inept.” “People dislike chatting with me.” “I’m a boring conversationalist.” “Others can see that I’m anxious which they’ll think is weird, or will make them uncomfortable.” “I’m an introvert. I shouldn’t be expected to mingle. Chit chat is for extroverts!” “I hate small talk!” These are common hot […]

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SEX, MEN, & SOCIAL ANXIETY: MALE SEXUAL PERFORMANCE ANXIETY

“Performance” anxiety, indeed! That’s precisely the problem: thinking of sex as a performance, as something we are doing that is being scrutinized and evaluated by an audience. This performance mindset leads many men to be self-conscious, self-critical, worried, tense and anxious while being sexual. This in turns often results in bringing about the very problem […]

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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 […]

MAKING FRIENDS WITH YOUR ANXIETY

Anxiety is a function that is built into the human nervous system, for better or for worse. Understanding that it is natural (though seldom logical, and almost never comfortable) allows space for questions such as, “What would it feel like to fully accept anxiety when it is present?” “If I stopped fighting, what would happen?” […]