Most people feel nervous or shy in some social situations. The majority of us manage to get through these uncomfortable moments unscathed. People with social phobia (or social anxiety disorder, as it is sometimes called), however, worry about future social events for weeks before they happen. The strong and irrational fear of being judged by others or of being embarrassed impairs the ability to function in at least some parts of daily life. Social phobia sometimes runs in families and often starts during childhood. A mental health professional can be helpful in coping with both normal feelings of social anxiety and social phobia that gets in the way of your life. While the exact causes of social phobia vary from person to person, a therapist can work with you to identify possible triggers.
Local Experts in Social Phobia
Some people actually like being the center of attention: weird, huh? Lets be clear - the goal is NOT to make you become more extroverted. It is simply to help you feel more comfortable being in social situations so that these can become enjoyable, rather than dreaded events.
Social phobia includes habitual self-reinforcing patterns of avoidance. It stems from both biology and environment. While we have less control over biology, we can address underlying beliefs, often framed as adaptation to an overly-critical, low-empathy, or insecure caretaker. From an internal-parts perspective, it can be viewed as internalized oppression.
People with social phobia (or social anxiety disorder, as it is sometimes called), however, worry about future social events for weeks before they happen. The strong and irrational fear of being judged by others or of being embarrassed impairs the ability to function in at least some parts of daily life. A mental health professional can be helpful in coping with social anxiety.
Social anxiety can severely interfere with your quality of life. Common symptoms include uncomfortable body sensations, anxious thoughts, and avoidance behaviors. My approach helps you to develop the skills that will allow you to handle your fears and addresses the negative thoughts that hold you back. Since fear of embarrassment or humiliation is at the heart of this issue, that is addressed too.
Social Phobia can be such a crippling struggle and I love to help people build the confidence and skills necessary to function in society in a way that they can be proud of.
Methods of treatment used are evidence-based, supported by research, and by the American Psychological Association (APA). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Exposure and Response Prevention are the most scientifically supported methods of treating social anxiety, so are the main methods I use in working with clients.
Introverts, perpetual shyness, social avoidance. These topics are more and more commonplace in our social media obsessed culture. Learning to practice self care and developing a nuanced understanding of our social triggers is a survival skill in itself.