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Social Anxiety (Social Phobia)

SocialAnxiety (Social Phobia)

SocialAnxiety (Social Phobia)

Socialphobia is also known as social anxiety disorder. It is characterizedby persistent high-level fear for social situations and interactions.The disease is recognized as one of the common psychopathologies witha prevalence of 7% in all individuals, both old and young. Socialphobia has been widely understood to begin during early life. Theonset of most social anxious adults was identified at the age of 11years. Its impacts have now become significant on the life andactivities of children. A good example of social phobia is where achild lacks close friendships and hence the likelihood of droppingout of school increases compared to their non-anxious counterparts.When left untreated, social anxiety can lead to other detrimentalactivities such as substance abuse and mental health issues in lateryears of life. However much the prevalence of this disorder hassignificantly high adverse consequences in people, it is paramountfor us to understand the cause of the disorder despite the limitedinformation available. Several papers and studies have been conductedto shed more light on the pathogenesis of social anxiety [ CITATION Gar13 l 1033 ].As such, the ultimate objectives lean toward the much-neededcontribution to improving treatment for social phobia. This paperlooks at a research study concerning the use of Cognitive Behavioraltherapy in the treatment of Social Phobia, the significantinnovations, and techniques that can successfully address thebarriers to the issues raised.

Hypothesis/ Purpose

Itis eminent that there is a real disconnect between psychotherapyrelated studies and the real-world practices. Cognitive behaviortherapy is one of the major components involved in this gap. Thisdetachment has brought up several unwanted consequences especiallyconcerning practice standards that are below the optimal levels. Alsoa lack of sufficient input from practitioners on the ways and methodsof improving research and making their activities more relevant. Theresearch attempts to bridge the gap by ensuring inclusion ofpsychotherapists and researchers in a feedback loop. As such, CBTtherapists in the treatment of social phobia are actively involved.The purpose of the study is to accurately identify and document therate at which potential problems act as barriers to the successfulimplementation of CBT, especially in real-life environments. Theexperiences of practicing psychotherapists in treating social phobiaare evaluated, and the variations of techniques compared to otherdisorders are identified. The most significant barriers identified bythe participants include patient enthusiasm, comorbidity, exposurelogistic issues, resistance and the severity of the social phobia(McAleavey et al., 2014).


Thestudy used a systematic approach to developing this particular surveyin a manner that delved deep into the social phobia issue rather thanthe panic disorder. As such, the primary structure was retained whileoffering an emphasis on features that are unique to SP and that hadadverse effects on treatment. Additions were made based on theavailable CBT Treatment manuals. Apparently, the inclusion ofdemographic variable paved the way for the specificity on SP. Thesurvey focused on eight sections including SP symptoms, otherproblems, patient expectations, beliefs about SP, motivation, socialaspects, issues related to CBT applications and relationshipchallenges. The survey took approximately ten minutes to complete(McAleavey et al., 2014).

Results/ Discussion

Fromthe research, it is clear that psychoeducation, cognitiverestructuring, and behavioral homework are the core techniques used.On the other hand, the least applied therapies are group therapy,motivation, mindfulness, communication training and relaxation.However, all these methods are recognized as important components ofCBT for SP. Apparently, psychoeducation is indicated as the mostwidely accepted technique in SP treatment. It is thus evident thatthese core elements are successful in the real-world practice and notnecessarily available for research. However, techniques such as grouptherapy were much less common, and they represent a real failure ofdissemination. This is primarily because research supports grouptherapy and motivation enhancement as the standard interventions forSP. The diverse responses go on to show that there is considerableheterogeneity among the sample selected (McAleavey et al., 2014). Thelimitations faced were related to Directive resistance, issues to dowith different social dynamics among patients and logisticaldifficulties (Hudsonaa &amp Dodd, 2011).

Conclusion/ Summary

Asseen in the above discussion, CBT has been proved to be an effectiveapproach in the treatment of SP. This study, therefore, helps us toidentify possible loopholes that lead to treatment failures. SinceEST does not seem to as efficient as CBT then, further study can bedone based on actual practice to find a better way of improving itseffectiveness. From the study, one can also realize the importance ofcontinuous feedback process between researchers and the practicingpsychotherapists. In this way, treatment improvements, failures, andmisconceptions can be addressed promptly. It is also clear that theresearch was done well and it is accurate [ CITATION Mar12 l 1033 ].Thisis due to the level of feedback received and the practice-basedapproach of including the practitioners. It is a real-life analysisof events taking place on the ground. The research is also importantas it suggests valuable sections for researchers to focus upon andthus improve CBT for SP (Hudsonaa &amp Dodd, 2011). All communitieswill ultimately benefit from continuous treatment improvement andbetter options for the disorder. Finally, the survey onpractitioners ensures proper monitoring and service evaluation sothat they may be more efficient while the confidence is gained inresponse to the findings.


Davis, M. A. (2012). Literature Review on Counseling Groups for Social Phobia. Graduate Journal of Counseling Psychology, 2-13.

Garcia-Lopez, L. J. (2013). Treating social anxiety disorder. Madrid: Piramide.

Hudsonaa, L.J. &amp Dodd, F. (2011). Introduction to special issue on social phobia in children. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 449-453.

McAleavey, A., Castonguay. G.L. &amp Goldfried, R.M. (2014). Clinical Experiences in Conducting Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Social Phobia. Elsevier: Science Direct, 21-35.