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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Social Anxiety

The role of cognitive behavioural therapy for social anxiety disorder.

Social anxiety may appear to be a foreign concept in this society, but it is more common than most think. There are millions every day that are affected by this sort of anxiety. When you are feeling anxious and alone in a social setting, there is most likely someone across the room who is feeling the same way.

What is social anxiety?

Social anxiety refers to a mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety it is considered irrational since many of the fears that cause anxiety are sourced from our imagination, which is a result of ruminations (excessive overthinking). For people with social anxiety disorder, ruminating is a common side effect.

Social anxiety is a disorder that often presents with a variety of different emotional, behavioural, and physical symptoms. Taking the time to learn about these symptoms is important.

How do I know if I have Social Anxiety?

The common behaviours of social anxiety can present as avoidance, isolation, and depression which can often cause the person with social anxiety to turn to the internet when personal issues arise.

Excessive google searching, which often provides differing and inaccurate results, frequently presents itself in people with social anxiety. This behaviour can bring uncertainty and catastrophizing thoughts.

Taking a break from the screen will help a lot more than doom scrolling. A digital detox can be a great first step toward managing social anxiety, however, there is more that you could do. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be

woman of colour with social anxiety cbt

What is Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) refers to a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve mental health. It is not strictly reserved for social anxiety disorder but is commonly used in different mental health interventions due to its success rates.

Seeking help from a mental health professional is one of the most effective ways to treat social anxiety. There are many different kinds of mental health professionals in Australia, i.e counsellors, therapists, social workers, psychologists. It is important to find the right mental health specialist who is trained in more than one approach and find what is a good fit for you. One of the more common approaches used to treat social anxiety disorder is known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This therapy is considered to be the treatment of choice for social anxiety in numerous research studies.

CBT is preferred over medication and traditional talk-therapy and is prevalent in the mental health field. There has been extensive research on the efficacy of CBT of social anxiety disorder, depression, and trauma.

Ruminations for people with social anxiety disorder majorly consist of negative thoughts and beliefs which are almost always untrue. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy comes in to help people with social anxiety reframe those automatic negative thoughts. The leading principles in CBT involve the belief that our thoughts affect our feelings, which in turn influence our choices in behaviour. For example, if someone with social anxiety has the automatic negative thought that nobody likes her this may lead to her feeling scared which may influence her behaviour choice of not attending her friend’s birthday party. CBT helps those with social anxiety learn to replace those automatic negative thoughts with positive true thoughts instead.

How does therapy work?

In today’s modern world your counsellor may not be located in your city as technology allows us to see our therapists from anywhere in the world. Therapy can be accessed online or in person and can range from 45 minutes to an hour. Therapists are trained in asking thought provoking questions which allow the conversation to flow naturally with you only discussing what you are comfortable with. You are in control of what you want to disclose in a session. Multiple counselling sessions are often recommended.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapists often give clients homework so that they can practice and utilise the skills they learned. This homework may include worksheets and journal prompts to help clients reframe their negative thoughts. The goal of therapy is never for someone to become reliant on their therapist, but instead to provide clients with the tools they need to help themselves.

Where do I find a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist?

You can check with Dr. Google. You can ask your GP(General Practitioner) for a recommendation or referral. You can check directories. You can ask family members or friends. You can check with local associations. Or you can contact myself for a free consultation call at