Social anxiety currently affects about 15 million adult Americans (source: adaa.org/), making it one of the most widespread emotional disorders in the country. Unlike popular perceptions, social anxiety doesn’t just have to involve public speaking. It can also show up as trouble speaking with bosses or other authority figures, discomfort in small groups, or even difficulty making eye contact during conversation. Besides making interpersonal relationships difficult, untreated social anxiety can also damage professional careers and lead to missed opportunities.
How can therapy help?
Social anxiety is often caused by fear of judgement and other deep-seated emotional convictions. With a therapist, sufferers of social anxiety disorder can explore these underlying causes and put them into perspective. Often, therapy will involve developing a “toolkit” of CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) skills that can help stop discomfort before it turns into an overwhelming feeling. Therapy for this condition can also include roleplaying and working to improve overall social skills.