Social Anxiety Treatment Options

master social anxiety

There are dozens of social anxiety treatment options but the most effect options usually fall into three main strategies. Social anxiety treatment is done through a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, social skills training, or social anxiety medications.

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral therapy has been found to be the most effective form of social anxiety treatment. The principle behind cognitive behavioral therapy is that it is our interpretations of events that affect how we feel, not the actual events themselves. CBT aims to cure debilitating anxieties through the use of goal-oriented, structured therapy sessions.

Although your past experiences are responsible for your present fears and anxieties you cannot go back in time and change them. CBT therapists realize this so they only focus on the present moment and what action steps can be taken now to overcome social anxiety. Two main aspects of CBT that are helpful for treating social anxiety disorder and social phobia are:

Cognitive restructuring
The main goal of Cognitive restructuring is to identify, challenge, and replace negative thoughts. It works in three steps:

  1. Patients identify the negative thoughts they have about themselves and other people.
  2. Patients learn to challenge these negative and often irrational thoughts
  3. Patients learn to develop rational arguments against these irrational thoughts

Systematic desensitization:
This is a social anxiety treatment procedure which gradually exposes patients to their fears. You can sit in a psychiatrist’s office for years while they analyze every aspect of your life, but you will not see dramatically results unless you put yourself out there.

Although this may sound scary it is absolutely necessarily. Patients first learn how to stay calm using relaxation techniques. They are exposed to fears in a very controlled and progressive way with the therapist helping them every step of the way.

Social skills Training

People with social anxiety often feel they lack the social skills required to interact with other people. Social skills trainings aims to help people improve their conversation skills, teach them how to be more assertive, and develop better social intuition. Other skills that are taught include improving their vocal projection, body language, and listening skills.

For more resources to help you develop social skills visit the social skills section of our website.


Medication can also be a very affective social anxiety treatment option. The three most popular medications for social anxiety treatment are:

Antidepressants are the most popular medical treatment for the treatment of social anxiety disorder and social phobia. Paxil, Zoloftand, and Effexor  are antidepressants that have been proven to be the most affective.

They are fast acting drugs that can lower anxiety. Clonazapam and Alprazolam have been studied the most for their effects on lowering anxiety. However, due to their powerful sedative and addictive potential, antidepressants are preferred over benzodiazepines for the long term management of social anxiety disorder and social phobia.

Beta blockers
Beta blockers are used to treat the physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder/ social phobia such as rapid heartbeat and shaking. However, they do not treat the emotional and psychological symptoms such as nervousness and anxious thinking. A common used beta blocker is propranolol.

For a more detailed explanation of medications used for the treatment of social anxiety disorder and social phobia click here


2 Responses to Social Anxiety Treatment Options

  1. […] or cognitive behavioral therapy has a proven record of accomplishment for both social anxiety and depression. CBT is a type of […]

  2. […] and replacing the unhelpful thoughts with helpful and balanced solutions. This is known as cognitive behavioral therapy and you can incorporate into you own […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *