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SOCIAL ANXIETY

OVERCOMING SOCIAL ANXIETY

Understanding Social Anxiety
Social Anxiety is the excessive fear of one or more social situations (e.g., public performances, social gatherings, meeting new people, eating in public). Individuals with social anxiety fear that they are being negatively evaluated by others and humiliated in public. The social situations are either avoided or faced with intense fear or anxiety.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety Include:

Fear of physical symptoms that may cause embarrassment

Over-preparing

Negative self-evaluation

Anticipatory anxiety

Using "safety-behaviors"

Reassurance seeking from others for validation

Excessive self-focus

Evidence-Based Treatment for Social Anxiety

Physical symptoms like blushing, sweating, trembling, nausea, and rapid heart rate often accompany the intense anxiety. This can lead individuals to avoid feared situations entirely.

Left untreated, social anxiety can significantly impair work, school, and personal relationships. However, it is possible to overcome it through specialized treatment.  At our practice, we offer effective, personalized care for social anxiety disorder utilizing proven therapeutic techniques, such as:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focuses on cultivating psychological flexibility. ACT helps individuals develop a different relationship with difficult thoughts and make room for unpleasant feelings, and learn new ways to interact with them while making values-based choices in life.

Mindfulness Practices

Practicing mindfulness can help individuals develop a different relationship with their mind and learn how to observe their thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations without getting caught up in ideas and opinions. Being mindful means observing our inner experience non-judgmentally while staying present with what we have chosen to focus on.

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)

ERP approach entails individuals willingly confronting the very triggers and thoughts (images) that provoke anxiety without engaging in rituals. Through consistent practice of exposure exercises, individuals will learn how to interact with their inner experiences and find new ways to cope with uncertainties. The goal is to help individuals live a fulfilling, values-based life while embracing uncertainty.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT assists individuals in identifying beliefs associated with social anxiety and worry. Utilizing tools like a worry log helps individuals monitor their worries and challenge maladaptive assumptions. Social skills and assertiveness training can aid those with social anxiety improve their social interactions. Other interventions such as ERP, externalization of voices, mindfulness training, and relaxation techniques are also implemented in the treatment process.

"I highly recommend Kulliki. As a therapist and a mother, she is empathetic and warm, which helped me connect right away with her and share my story. When we met her, I had unresolved anger and grief at becoming a mother and losing my independence that were impacting my relationship with my husband. Kulliki helped me express these emotions while realizing I was judging myself too harshly and provided me with tools and strategies for the times when I felt falling down in a rabbit's hole of self-judgement. I was able to reconnect with my husband and regained confidence and acceptance as a woman, a mom and a professional."

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