Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), also called “Social Phobia,” is a very common type of anxiety disorder characterized by intense, persistent, and pervasive fear of being negatively judged in social situations.
SAD is more severe and disabling than shyness and can affect a person’s ability to work, participate in day to day tasks and activities, and create and maintain social relationships.
Approximately 7% of adults in the US may meet criteria for this disorder (15 million Americans!) Symptoms often begin in the early teenage years, though sometimes can be present in childhood.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a goal-oriented therapy that focuses on catching and modifying negative thoughts and behaviors that perpetuate social anxiety. In CBT, we work together to identify and challenge the thoughts that trigger your anxiety, shame, and avoidance behaviors. We use techniques to gradually expose you to feared situations. Over time, this reduces your anxiety and increases your confidence in social situations.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) , focuses on accepting your symptoms and moving towards your values. In ACT, we explore your goals and what is important to you, and then work on developing acceptance and mindfulness skills to help you live in line with those values. Rather than trying to eliminate anxiety, we aim to help you manage it and move forward in your life.
Both CBT and ACT are highly effective treatments for social anxiety, and the approach we take will depend on your specific needs and goals. I offer a supportive and non-judgmental environment where we can work together to overcome your social anxiety and help you live a fulfilling life.
Learn more about social anxiety on the ACBT Website