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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Support Groups For Social Anxiety Disorder

 by Dr. Craig April, Psychologist and Director of The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

Support groups for social anxiety can be a curious endeavor to those that don't struggle with this common phobia. For instance, others might wonder how those with social anxiety (also called social phobia) will participate in a support group when this participation speaks to the foundation of their fear. This is a rational consideration. However, there is no cause for concern for a few reasons.

Why Support Groups For Social Anxiety Disorder Are Effective :

1.) All group members are struggling with social interaction and are not engaged in judging one another. This is a significant experience for all, considering that the foundation of social phobia is the fear that others will judge or criticize. Working on this struggle in a welcoming environment has a strong effect.

2.) The group is a setting that creates support and understanding. Because it takes courage to face social anxiety and all that it encompasses, receiving support and understanding is crucial.

3.) The safe group environment provides a forum for those struggling with social anxiety to explore its origins. CBT oriented groups generally don't spend a lot of time on how this phobia was created. However, a safe group environment often evokes curiosity in members, routinely followed by a discussion of how social anxiety develops.

4.) The focus of the group is on breaking free from the grasp of social anxiety and not on unrelated topics. The best social anxiety groups don't waste time talking about issues that are irrelevant to members struggles.

5.) Group members become accountable to themselves, but also to each other to complete homework assignments designed to help them overcome the barriers of social anxiety. Homework then is a key component in the successful treatment of social anxiety.

6.) An experience of camaraderie develops amongst group members who are all sharing in this anxiety therapy process and getting to know one another. This is generally a positive experience for all.

7.) Momentum builds as members begin making progress. This creates further motivation to move beyond social phobia. Members tend to reach their progress goals with a strong level of inertia. The cliche "Seeing is believing" tends to occur here.

8.) CBT oriented social anxiety support groups are technique focused. In other words, group members are taught strategies that address how to manage anxiety symptoms.

All of the above are reasons why social anxiety support groups can be so effective in reducing anxiety and providing relief.

If you struggle with social anxiety, don't hesitate to seek group therapy. Follow the link for more information on The April Center's social anxiety support groups now.

All the best,

Director of The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

P. S.  Don't forget to sign up for my anxiety newsletter on my website's home page where you'll receive free anxiety tips!

The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles and The South Bay

The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management is committed to helping you remove the destructive barriers of anxiety, so that you may lead a calmer, healthier, happier life.

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