It often includes apprehension of performing in public, embarrassingly in front of others, or even in waiting lines. This disorder can interfere with work and everyday activities. When a person fears meeting new people or being around people in general, he or she avoids these situations. Others suffer a bit when making contact with friends or family since they are apprehensive about the reaction they will receive. Sometimes social phobia may be expressed in refusing to mingle or form bonds with others.
Most Effective Social Phobia Treatment
The most effective social phobia treatment focuses on facing one’s fears by gradually exposing them over time. This cognitive behavioral approach, which calls for the therapist to slowly expose the patient to his or her fears, helps patients gradually overcome their anxieties and conquer them. Cognitive-behavioral therapy usually follows a structured series of exposure therapies.
Exposure therapy offers a social phobia treatment based on confronting the symptoms and thinking through one’s fears in different social situations. This process usually takes longer because patients need to gradually expose themselves to different situations in order to feel comfortable with them. In CBT, exposure therapy is done systematically and is accompanied by a mild form of psychotherapy. A patient begins by evaluating his or her symptoms in a daily basis and seeking out ways to avoid the feared social situations. Once the symptoms have been recognized, the patient is then guided through various exposure processes until such time that he or she can face them freely in his or her social environment.
The Second Treatment Change
The second treatment change works on the development of a potential mediator. Potential mediators play an important role in the initial and subsequent processes of CBT. The potential mediators function as mirrors that reflect a patient’s behavior and attitude towards social phobia. When the mediators develop, they become reliable and are able to provide information about how the affected person reacts to certain situations and how he or she reacts when exposed to specific situations.
Another treatment change refers to cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy aims to change a patient’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It also examines different types of methods of coping and how these can be utilized to help an affected person overcome his social anxiety disorder. As social phobia has its basis in cognitive processes, this disorder is treated using cognitive therapy. It involves a series of discussions, exercises and monitoring of patients’ social interactions.
A paper presented by van den Akker et al., in 2021, examined the effectiveness of a cognitive behavioral approach in the treatment of social phobia. Their study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showing evidence that cognitive therapy provides significant improvements in patients’ social phobia symptoms. The study compared two different sets of social phobia control. One set of patients underwent cognitive behavioral therapy and the other group had a control group that did not undergo therapy. Both groups showed significant improvement in terms of their mean score on the social anxiety scales.
This is not to say that social anxiety disorder cannot be cured. There are indeed many people who overcome this disorder and lead normal lives. What is important is that sufferers get the help they need early on. Cognitive behavioral therapy is among the most effective social anxiety disorder treatments available today.