Social Anxiety

Do you fear social situations? Do you become nervous and anxious in situations with unfamiliar people or large groups of people? Social phobia or social anxiety is a common problem and can stand in the way of you enjoying your social life or even being able to function in day-to-day life. Clinical psychologists at CBT Professionals have specialised skills in treating anxiety disorders and have been improving social connection and confidence for people for well over 10 years.

What does treatment involve?

A treatment program for social anxiety aims to help you overcome your fear of social situations, leading to greater self-confidence and social competence. Working with your psychologist as a team, you will work to understand the types of thoughts and behaviours that have contributed to your experience of social anxiety, and made it difficult to cope in social situations. When you have a sense of mastery over your unhelpful thoughts, your psychologist will be able to provide you with the skills and tools to slowly introduce you back into the social world.

Why choose CBT Professionals?

All of our practitioners are selected based on a uniting set of values that define us as a truly caring practice. We stand against the practice of generic treatments and know that every case is unique and needs our best care and attention to craft a treatment approach specific to your situation. Furthermore, treating anxiety disorders is one of our specialisations. You can trust that we will deliver evidence-based treatments that provide outcomes.

What will it cost me?

Without treatment, social anxiety can make it difficult to do the important things in your life ranging anywhere from being able to  spend time with friends, talk to new people, attend work, or even just being able to be in a public place such as the supermarket. Left untreated, the increasing number of people or places you avoid can significantly restrict your life and this often leads to the development of depression too. Treatment for social anxiety can greatly assist you to reengage in situations that are important to you, without having to experience the unpleasant sensations that anxiety brings.

CBT Professionals charge a modest fee for service and we are aware that persons in need shouldn’t have the added pressure of services that they can’t afford. To find out more about our fee structure you can look at our Fees page of our website linked here.

How does it work?

There is solid scientific evidence to support a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy style of treatment for social anxiety. Social anxiety does not suddenly appear over night, and treatment does not suddenly work over night either. However, working to understand the experiences and thought patterns that have lead to social anxiety becoming a difficulty for you, will provide a basis for providing new skills, new experiences, and new learning (all at your pace), slowly conditioning you with confidence in social situations, one step at a time.

You will know therapy is working for you as you experience yourself coping with more and more social situations. Life will become less restricted and you will reap the reward of your courage to face your fears, through reengaging with friends, family, and your community.

How we have helped others: A case study

You might be interested in the following case study that we have put together from some of the men and women whom we have helped successfully overcome social anxiety.

Case Study – Tom

When Tom first came to our clinic, he was extremely anxious. He was worried about what to say to his psychologist and worried about looking silly, or becoming embarrassed. Tom said that he wanted to turn around and drive home all the way whilst driving to his first session and admitted to feeling incredibly anxious, that his heart was racing and he felt like “running out the door”.

This was not the only type of situation that was making Tom anxious. The simple thought of being in groups of people and having to talk to others, lead to Tom becoming anxious. He would worry about what others would think of him. He would worry about other people seeing his anxiety symptoms and Tom was especially worried that other people would see that he was “incompetent” and “not good enough”.

During the first session, Tom was reassured by his psychologist that they are only there to help, and do not think any more or less of him because of his difficulties. Almost one in twenty people suffer from social anxiety in Australia. In the first few sessions, Tom and his psychologist worked together to identify the many worried thoughts that were associated with social situations and his anxiety. Tom remembered that he had always been shy as a child; however, his difficulties became much worse after he felt embarrassed and forgot what to say at a work presentation. Tom recalled that from then on he had started to worry about making mistakes in front of other people, and even his friends. Tom had become self-conscious of his blushing and thought others would see this and think less of him.

Over several sessions, Tom was taught ways to cope with his anxiety symptoms. This included learning to recognise when unhelpful thoughts and stories entered his mind like the “I’m not good enough” story and how he could manage these stories when they arrived in his mind. Tom was shown in session how to train his attention to the present moment whilst not allowing the unhelpful thoughts of his mind to control him or get in the way of engaging with people.

The next step in Tom’s treatment involved encouraging Tom to begin reengaging in social situations in small steps starting with ordering a coffee, gradually engaging in more and more challenging social situations and eventually, Tom gave a presentation at his workplace! After four months of work with his psychologist, Tom was seeing friends again, he was feeling more confident in the workplace, and he no longer listened to the negative judgements of himself when they turned up in his head. He was no longer worried about making a fool of himself or being “good enough”. Tom said he was so happy to not be worrying about social events for weeks before they even occurred.

How to get started

If you too, like Tom, want to get back to a life not dictated by your anxiety, please book your private consultation with our caring practice administration staff. Phone 5551 0330 or email us using the form on our Contact Us page linked here.