Social anxiety causes an excessive and controlling fear when faced with social situations. People who suffer from this disorder avoid situations that involve other people such as: phone calls, parties, dates, meetings, public speaking and in extreme cases even just going out in public. When the avoidance starts to control your life, you should consider talking to someone about it.
A doctor may prescribe you medicine to help with your anxiety. They also may suggest speaking to a counselor. There are several different approaches a counselor may take to help you with social anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The most commonly used method to address social anxiety is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This type of therapy works to change your way of thinking and behaving and will help you find ways to cope, which in turn will relieve your symptoms. CBT helps you understand how your thinking is distorted and will teach you to think in a different way. You learn how to understand behavior and how to problem solve in order to deal with uncomfortable situations. Your counselor may have you role-play different situations and will likely give you homework that will help you develop skills and change your way of thinking and behaving.
A less common, but still beneficial, type of therapy a counselor may use for social anxiety is Interpersonal Therapy, which focuses on your relationships with other people. This strategy involves a lot of talking on your part and active listening on the counselor's part. Your counselor will get information on your relationships and will explore and address how you communicate and problem solve in your relationships. They will also help you learn how to adapt to situations and how to relate to people.
Another form of therapy a counselor might try is Psychodynamic. This views your anxiety as part of a larger problem and looks back at childhood for the answers. It explores the possibility that your social anxiety stems from some type of conflict early on that left you with a fear of rejection and a fear of imperfection. The counselor will help you find previous conflicts and work through them in order to improve your present anxiety.
You are not the only person suffering with social anxiety, but everyone's situation is different. Individual counseling will likely utilize one of the above forms of therapy in order to help relieve your particular symptoms and make socializing easier for you. You don't need to suffer or miss out on activities anymore!Share