Social Anxiety Treatment
Is Social Anxiety Holding You Back From Your Best Life?
Are you constantly worried that you’ll embarrass yourself? Do you suffer from a persistent fear of being negatively judged by others? Has anxiety caused you to avoid the relationships you want and back out of opportunities for growth?
When you’re suffering from social anxiety, you may find yourself worrying about events for days or even weeks before they happen. Ordinary activities that seem easy for everyone else—shopping, dating, or talking on the phone—may cause you to panic. No matter how much you try to talk yourself down, your brain seems to expect the worst possible outcome in every social situation.
How Social Anxiety Wreaks Havoc On The Mind And Body
Social anxiety can affect every area of your life, even your physical health. You may suffer from nausea, excessive sweating, rapid heart rate, and even insomnia. Perhaps your stress makes you freeze up at times, unable to think or speak clearly.
In the end, the hardest part of living with social anxiety is how alone it can make you feel. Everyone else seems to socialize without a care in the world, but you remain trapped in your own head. It’s as if you’re just not living in the moment, like you’re watching life happen rather than living it.
Deep down, you don’t just want to feel better—you want to feel normal. You want to enjoy life as it comes to you and stop worrying about things before they happen. If this is the case, I can assure you that you are not alone. Therapy with me is a chance to freely share your struggles and learn new skills for overcoming social anxiety.
Millions Of People Suffer From Social Anxiety
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) impacts over 15 million Americans and is the second most common anxiety disorder in existence. There is no singular cause for SAD, as it often stems from both social and environmental factors. Sometimes social anxiety is an inherited trait, as it tends to run in families. Other times it is a learned behavior or the result of trauma and abuse. Some people are simply more prone to anxiety than others because of chemical imbalances in their brains.
Social Anxiety Creates A Vicious Cycle Of Isolation And Avoidance
The paradox of social anxiety is that even though it is so widespread, many people struggling with it feel like they are alone. After all, if they’re socially anxious, they’re probably not going to come forward and tell everyone. What this creates is a world where millions of people share the same struggles without knowing it. Their anxiety causes them to feel isolated and their isolation exacerbates their anxiety, creating a vicious cycle.
To cope with their symptoms, many people simply avoid situations that make them anxious. Unfortunately, avoidance usually backfires and only adds to their anxiety. If they refuse to confront their fears, they’ll never have the chance to work through them.
Thankfully, counseling gives you a chance to break this cycle of avoidance without having to worry about judgment or humiliation. My goal is to help you minimize the effect that anxiety has on your social life so that you can become a more confident and empowered version of yourself.
Social Anxiety Treatment Is A Chance To Find Acceptance And Overcome Your Fear Of Judgment
The very idea of talking to a therapist about your struggles may be anxiety-provoking in and of itself. That’s why I seek to make my sessions as safe, comfortable, and judgment-free as possible. Therapy is a time when you can say whatever is on your mind without fearing what someone else will think of you. I want to accept you wholeheartedly and create a space to contain your feelings so that you do not have to bear them alone.
In sessions together, you and I will explore the roots of your anxiety so that we can understand where it comes from. We will look at the underlying themes and patterns that underscore your struggles, allowing you to track your stressors in real time. Moreover, I want to give you coping skills that you can use when your anxiety spikes. Whether you benefit from exercise, the arts, or spending time in nature, the strategies you learn will be exclusively suited to your needs and your situation.
Tailoring Your Treatment Plan
One of the core approaches I draw from in my practice is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The goal of CBT is to look at the beliefs and thought patterns that fuel your social anxiety. For instance, perhaps your fear of judgment stems from the underlying belief that you aren’t worthy of love or acceptance. By addressing your fear at its source, you can attain a new perspective on social anxiety and change how you engage with others.
Additionally, I often use a mindfulness-based approach to help you stay rooted in the present moment when you feel anxious. Many anxiety symptoms stem from focusing too much on the future, living in constant anticipation of what will happen next. By grounding yourself using all five senses, you can learn to slow down and anchor in the here and now, concentrating on your breath, your body, and the essence of who you are.
When you come to counseling, your first goal may be to get rid of social anxiety entirely. This is normal, but it isn’t the focus of therapy. Instead, I want to help you learn to balance your anxiety with other emotions and put it in its rightful place. This way, you will be able to regulate your stress levels when you are with other people and live with more self-confidence and self-acceptance.
You May Have Some Questions About Social Anxiety Treatment…
I’m worried that I will be judged because of my anxiety.
I’ve been a therapist since 2004—I’m not going to judge you because of your social anxiety and I can assure you that your struggles are not abnormal. It’s common to feel a little nervous when you first come to therapy. That’s why I want to go at your own pace. This is a safe space where you can process your fears in whatever way is comfortable for you, ensuring that counseling does not add to your stress.
What if social anxiety treatment doesn’t work?
In many ways, the experience of therapy itself is an antidote to social anxiety. It’s a chance to confront your fears and get social support without the usual stress you feel around others. That’s because my first priority is validating your emotional pain and erasing any fear of judgment. I believe that by easing your anxiety about therapy, you can reduce the anxiety that you feel socializing in day-to-day life. While counseling is certainly not an automatic cure, it’s worth asking what the alternative is. If the answer is continuing to try and fight social anxiety alone, what do you have to lose by seeing a counselor?
What if therapy costs too much?
Just as a gym membership is an investment in your physical health, therapy is an investment in your mental health. Besides, the benefits of counseling can last for the rest of your life, ensuring that you do not have to keep spending time and money on your recovery.
Become A More Confident And Empowered Version Of You
If you’re tired of worrying about other people judging you, I would be honored to help you manage your social anxiety. To get started, you can email me, use the contact form, or call 585-615-6985 for a free, 15-20-minute phone consultation.