Do you withdraw from social situations due to anxiety or fears of judgment by others?
Do you find yourself unable to build meaningful social relationships due to excessive shyness?
Social anxiety results from excessive worry or concern about negative judgments by others. Many people experience this anxiety physically, with excessive sweating, trembling, and rapid heartbeat. Excessive shyness typically results from the belief that one isn’t “good enough”, or a perceived lack of social skills. These feelings and beliefs often result in avoidance of social or performance-based situations (such as public speaking). Other shy or socially anxious people simply endure social and performance situations, but with great distress. Some may “self-medicate” with alcohol or other drugs. Social anxiety and excessive shyness include the following experiences:
- Worry, fear, distress, and/or anxiety in most social interactions
- Fear of social judgment or negative evaluations by others
- Avoidance of social situations (often interfering with work, school, or other obligations)
- Enduring social situations with difficulty or discomfort (may include various responses such as sweaty palms,
- difficulty speaking, racing thoughts, rapid heartbeat, and panic attacks)
- Fears of embarrassment or humiliation
- Lack of self-esteem or a negative, inadequate view of one’s self.
Some anxiety in social situations is typical, and most people experience some worry during presentations or interviews. Also, people are often shy when meeting new people or in new social situations. However, when social anxiety or shyness impedes building and maintaining relationships, interferes with work or school, or deters from achieving goals, help is available.
The counselors and therapists at our Center have many years of training and experience in alleviating social anxiety. Our approach incorporates the five most effective methods for social anxiety and shyness, based on current research evidence:
- CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) and CBT-R (Cognitive Behavioral Replacement ) — correcting and replacing
negative, distorted thoughts, beliefs and behavioral habits associated with anxiety and worry
- Mindfulness Training — an approach that includes focused awareness, meditation, breath work and relaxation
- Supportive counseling and psychotherapy
- Stress management techniques for social situations
- Structured practice exercises for social situation