What Is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety (or chronic shyness) is an extreme apprehension about social situations, in which the person anticipates being negatively evaluated or examined by others. The fear of criticism or scrutiny can be most severe when meeting strangers or in situations where evaluation from others is likely, such as giving a presentation or going on a romantic date. Consequently, many sufferers will actively avoid situations where evaluation from others is expected. A person with social anxiety can hold fears of dreaded events occurring in social situations, such as having nothing to say in conversation, fainting, nausea or blushing. When confronted with feared social encounters, an individual with social anxiety is likely to worry extensively before the event and may completely avoid the situation.
Psychologists at Spectrum Therapy have extensive experience in providing an effective service for adults suffering from social anxiety. We understand that social anxiety can interfere in every part of your life and can cause you to become isolated with a diminished quality of life. Our Psychologists can help you to overcome these barriers and often disable fears you have about social situations allowing you to enjoy your life more.
We can help you through social anxiety by using a combination of mindfulness techniques and by helping to identify the root cause of your social anxiety.
How We Can Help
The Psychologist will want to develop a picture of you as a person. Many questions will be directed to you about earlier history of childhood, relationships and general functioning. At Spectrum Therapy, symptoms of social anxiety are considered only part of the person and that your condition does not define who you are. It may be useful to explore what life might be like for the individual if their symptoms of social anxiety were more manageable. Typically, the role of avoidance and its impact on the quality of your life will also be assessed.
Mindfulness & Relaxation Training:
Mindfulness and relaxation training can be very helpful in minimising the disabling effect of bodily symptoms during periods of anxiety. Throughout all these endeavours you will be supported and psychotherapy will be conducted at a pace comfortable for you.
Once the initial history taking has been completed, the Psychologist will share their clinical impressions and some realistic goals will be agreed. Levels of problematic symptoms will also be monitored over time. Typically, you will be encouraged to examine and question the utility of problematic thoughts, which maintain the symptoms of social anxiety. A number of useful strategies will be taught in order to approach problematic thoughts associated with your condition. Another area of intervention is helping you to become more aware of the vicious circle of avoidance. You will be trained in a variety of strategies to equip you to face anxiety provoking situations in small, manageable steps.
Not Sure We Can Help
Then book in for a 30 min informal chat with one of our clinicians in person or by phone.