Psychotherapy For Social Anxiety Disorder
If you or a loved one is struggling with social anxiety disorder, psychotherapy can be beneficial. Not only will it relieve symptoms but it may also give you more assurance in social situations.
Psychotherapy is a therapeutic process in which an experienced therapist assists you with challenging negative thoughts and feelings, as well as controlling fear-based behaviors and thoughts.
If you suffer from social anxiety disorder, your doctor may suggest medications to help ease symptoms. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other antidepressants work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, making them a suitable first choice for treating social anxiety since they typically have minimal side effects and are well tolerated by most individuals.
Benzodiazepines can also help alleviate your anxiety, though they may cause unpleasant side effects. Taking medication on a regular basis will improve your quality of life and prevent relapse.
Psychotherapy for social anxiety can help you recognize and modify negative thoughts about yourself as well as re-learn coping skills. Studies have proven that it’s the most successful type of therapy when it comes to conquering social anxiety, according to experts.
Psychotherapy comes in many forms, each tailored to specific needs and objectives. Popular options include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, and family therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most popular psychotherapy for social anxiety disorder. This therapy helps you recognize and manage the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that cause you distress.
In your first session with your therapist, you and they will break down your problems into discrete components. Afterward, you’ll discuss how each of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affects the other.
CBT helps to alter unhelpful thought patterns that lead to distress and boost self-esteem. Additionally, it teaches strategies for dealing with various social situations.
One popular technique is cognitive restructuring. This encourages you to confront negative thoughts about yourself that are untrue or unrealistic and reframe them into more helpful beliefs.
Your therapist may teach you techniques to manage stress in the moment, such as breathing exercises and mindfulness. This can help keep you calm and focused during social situations even when impulsive behavior such as pronouncing someone else’s name incorrectly or taking away your dinner partner’s drink is likely.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
ACT (Accelerated Cognitive Therapy) is a psychotherapy that has proven particularly successful at treating social anxiety disorder. It encourages individuals to allow negative thoughts and feelings to come and go without becoming overwhelmed by them.
Contrary to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), ACT does not aim to eliminate all negative thoughts or emotions. Instead, it teaches you how to accept them and find value in them – helping you cope better with difficult circumstances.
The first ACT principle is cognitive defusion, which involves distancing yourself from unpleasant “private experiences.” These include your thoughts, feelings, images, memories, urges and sensations – things which will always be part of life but which you can work to reduce their influence over you.
ACT has also been shown to be successful in treating other mental health conditions, such as OCD and eating disorders. Furthermore, studies have demonstrated that it increases psychological flexibility – an asset for those dealing with chronic pain.
Support groups provide a safe space for those suffering from social anxiety to share their stories, receive emotional and practical support, and find solutions. There are various kinds of groups such as in-person gatherings or online discussion boards.
Groups may feature a trained facilitator who offers guidance and support as members work through their difficulties. Furthermore, these sessions could focus on developing coping strategies and techniques to help manage anxiety levels.
The group could also provide participants with friendship and understanding of others’ struggles, potentially increasing their self-awareness when managing anxiety and improving quality of life overall.
When selecting a support group, factors like group size, location, facilitator qualifications and the culture and dynamics of the group should all be taken into account. Make sure your selection aligns with your needs and objectives.