What is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety is a common experience for most of at some point in our lives, especially when we have had to engage in public speaking. However about 12% of the general population has experienced the symptoms of social phobia, or social anxiety disorder. This is where a person has a marked and persistent fear of social situations where they might embarass themselves. The most commonly feared situations are public speaking, attending parties or meetings, speaking to authority figures, initiating and maintaining conversations, informal speaking and dating. This can be a devestating problem, affecting a persons life in many ways, including lowered career and academic performance, and more difficulty forming relationships and friendships.
How is it Treated?
Social phobia can be treated by a qualified and experienced psychologist, who will use evidence based techniques such as:
- Helping you understand your own social anxiety disorder pattern.
- Challenging and changing your relationship with habitual ways of thinking which create the anxiety.
- Helping you let go of habitual unhelpful behaviours you may do in social situations.
- Decreasing self-consciousness.
- Role play and video-feedback in session.
- When you have gained enough skills and practice in sessions, gradually facing social situations which you may have avoided for a long time to build confidence that you can cope.