Social anxiety disorder occurs when a person is fearful of embarrassment and potential scrutiny while in social or performance situations. Those who have been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder have a persistent fear and avoid situations where the anxiety might be triggered.
Your mind has created catastrophic stories related to your social or performance related fears. Using acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), you will learn new ways to relate to your thoughts, feelings and sensations you feel in your body. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) will be used to help you face social and performance situations. We will tailor an exposure therapy program depending on what types of situations you are avoiding. With practice, you can develop confidence to handle social and performance situations.
You will define the pace at which you will work on exposure tasks. ERP tasks will be practiced at the office so that you are coached through it. Practice between sessions is crucial to see good results. We may also take “Field trips” to complete ERP outside the office to wherever you experience triggers, including school, work, or public places.
Helpful Treatment Augmentations
Family therapy is often useful so that your family members have a plan to support you in ways that will help you reach your goals. We will address problematic behaviors that affect your relationships and interfere with your progress. Together, we will find alternative strategies that can help you.
Compassion focused therapy is useful for clients who feel guilty, are self-critical and lack self-compassion.
Medication can be a helpful addition to your therapy. If you are not currently taking medication for your anxiety, and we determine that it may be useful, a referral to a physician will be provided.