Social Anxiety Therapy
Meredith Kurry, LCSW
Does the idea of being social stress you out?
Do you struggle socially, often battling anxious or dreadful feelings in public settings?
Does your mind resort to negative thoughts and anticipate the worst-case scenario no matter the situation? Do you fear being criticized or feel like others are always judging you?
Whether at a coffee shop, grocery store, restaurant, or party, we all deserve to have a pleasant time while we’re out and about. But when you’re in public, the commotion of everything happening around you may feel overwhelming and draining to your senses. As a result, you may struggle to have a good time and feel like the odd one out.
Living With Social Anxiety Can Feel Lonely
You may find it difficult to relax your mind because you obsess over the smallest details. Perhaps the idea of being social causes you to ruminate on your physical appearance or worry about getting rejected or ridiculed. When you feel overtaken by these thoughts, you might withdraw from your friends, family, or any situation that puts you in the eye of others. Deep down, you know that you deserve to be social and enjoy yourself in a public setting. But the fear of criticism, embarrassment, and panic that sets in can be too much, causing you to avoid experiences that would deepen your relationships. Living with anxiety might make you convinced that you will never thrive socially or be alone forever. But working alongside a therapist can help you overcome the weight of social anxiety, allowing you to feel more confident and grounded no matter where you find yourself.
Social Anxiety is Common
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is actually the most common subtype of anxiety. In fact, an average of 12 percent of adults in the United States will experience SAD in their lives 1 —and about 15 million adults are diagnosed every year. However, the numbers don’t tell the full story. Despite how many people experience social anxiety, a lot of cases go undetected because people fear others judging them for seeking treatment. A survey conducted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America found that 36% of people with social anxiety waited ten years before seeking counseling from a therapist.
Anxiety Often Comes From Trauma
Our culture exacerbates this fact today. Social anxiety typically begins to become evident in childhood or adolescence. Adverse life events that occur in the early stages of development—like bullying, abuse, domestic violence, or divorce—could all contribute to the obstacles that you face as an adult.
Nowadays, technology and social media make it easy for everyone to pretend that all their relationships are perfect and portray an exciting, happy lifestyle. And when people’s difficult experiences are hidden from you, it’s easy to feel excluded, like you’re the only person who is having a tough time. The more you compare yourself to others, the more anxious you may feel. Thankfully, you aren’t the only one who feels like you’re on the outside looking in. Social anxiety is very common, and with the right treatment, you can overcome it.
As your counselor, I aim to provide you with a safe and comfortable environment that is free of judgment. This way, we can focus on challenging your thoughts, disarming the triggers for your anxiety, and further exploring who you are in order to try and overcome all that is holding you back.
Counseling Gives You The Blueprint
You can overcome Your Social Anxiety. Right now, you may find it hard to envision a life where you’re free from anxiety. However, no matter how minor or severe your anxiety symptoms are, I can assure you that therapy will provide caring and compassionate support. Typically, we begin with an initial intake to discuss your anxiety and develop some goals. Everyone has different needs, so we will try to pinpoint the root causes of your social anxiety in order to come up with an individualized treatment plan that works best for you.
What To Expect In Anxiety Therapy Sessions
My approach to counseling is warm and supportive, as we will move at your pace to ensure you are comfortable. I am a very solution-focused counselor and work to provide you with the knowledge to understand your anxiety. When each session is done, I will give you clear and specific strategies to work on so that you can be more self-aware if your anxiety returns.
One method I often use to help treat anxiety is known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This tool is beneficial in identifying intrusive thought processes and challenging your negative emotions. By altering your mindset, you can lead a more positive, productive lifestyle.
Another method that resonates well with many of my clients is called Exposure Therapy. This treatment method helps you slowly build up your comfort level in the situations where you currently struggle the most. For instance, let’s say that you face the challenge of eating alone at a coffee shop. Your
first assignment could be mustering the courage to walk through the entrance. The next time, your task could be to place an order and talk to someone. These tasks may seem small on the surface, but if you’re consistent, your confidence should eventually build to a point where you feel comfortable in your surroundings without any worry or fear.
All in all, therapy can help you refocus and relax your mind. Having been in practice since 2004, I’ve seen many of my clients overcome their anxiety symptoms through therapy and improve their quality of life. You are capable of making positive changes, and we can work together to bring them to fruition.
Speak With An Anxiety Counselor
I’m afraid that my social anxiety will never go away even after therapy. Anxiety disorders can make it easy to believe that there isn’t a specialist in the world who can help you. But I am here to tell you that this is the furthest thing from the truth! Social anxiety is highly treatable through counseling as long as you learn the skills to improve your self-awareness and confidence. We will work to develop strategies on how to cope with uncertainty whenever uncomfortable situations arise. That way, you can remain grounded in the present no matter what life throws your way.
I think I can handle my anxiety on my own.
While you may be capable of getting by and surviving with your symptoms, you’re
probably searching for something more than just survival. Speaking to a therapist can help you open your eyes and see through a different lens, giving you the confidence to overcome your anxiety and to seek out more joy and fulfillment in life.
What Will Others Think Of Me
If They Find Out I’m Seeing A Counseling For My Anxiety?
It’s hard to ignore what others may think about us. But the great thing about counseling is that you’re provided with a space where you can be authentic and freely discuss your anxiety without any fear of judgment.
Your confidentiality is one of my priorities, so everything that is shared between us will stay between us. No one will ever have to know that you’re going to therapy unless you want them to.
Therapy can Help free yourself from Anxiety
If you believe that anxiety has held you back for too long and feel ready to move forward in your life, I encourage you to reach out.
To book your initial session or schedule a free, 15-minute consultation, please contact me via email or call 720–231–7109. I look forward to hearing from you!