Social Anxiety Disorder
Stanley E. Hibbs, Ph.D.
668- 0350 x 221
Does being nervous or uncomfortable around other people keep you
from doing things you want to do? Does
being the center of attention make you feel nervous and self-conscious?
Millions of Americans experience severe anxiety in a number of
social situations. When
such anxiety interferes with the quality of a person’s life, we call
it “Social Anxiety Disorder.”
Perhaps you have seen the TV commercials for Paxil, an
antidepressant medication that has been approved by the FDA for the
treatment of social anxiety. Medication
can help reduce anxiety in social situations, but many people prefer a
non-medical solution. Fortunately,
there is substantial research evidence that suggests that
cognitive-behavioral therapy is a very effective method for overcoming
In cognitive-behavioral therapy, the client is taught how to
control the physical symptoms (e.g. rapid heartbeat, difficulty
breathing, muscle tension) that often accompany social anxiety.
The client is also taught how to overcome his/her fears by
developing more positive ways of thinking about the situation.
The therapist acts as a coach who encourages the client
throughout the whole process. If
the client lacks the social skills necessary to feel comfortable, these
are taught as part of the treatment.
Personally, I love coaching people through this process, because
I can see them literally set free from the bondage of fear that may have
held them down for years. If
social anxiety is holding you back, I urge you to seek help from a
psychologist who uses the cognitive-behavioral approach.
E. Hibbs, Ph.D.