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Strategies To Overcome Social Phobia - Part 1

Nov 28, 2007
According to medical professionals, the best strategies for overcoming social phobia include varied treatments. These treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive group behavioral therapy and medication.

A doctor, specifically a psychologist or psychiatrist will determine which strategy is best suited to each individual patient in order to help the patient overcome their type of social phobia. This is done by assessing the severity of the symptoms that the patient is experiencing, the level of affect that social phobia is having on the patient and the ability of the patient to recover from their disorder.

Cognitive behavioral treatment or CBT is one of the first treatments that will be tried to resolve social phobia. It is a form of psychotherapy that has been in use for varied mental illnesses and disorders for many years. It works by analyzing the roots of all the emotions experienced by someone with social phobia.

The first step in cognitive behavioral treatment for social phobia strategies is to determine the negative thoughts that are causing the patient's anxiousness. These are then put into different categories and help the therapist to teach the patient ways of controlling these thoughts, correcting the patient's perceptions which result in these thoughts and then help them to restructure their thought patterns to avoid these unreasonable thoughts.

The strategies for treating social phobia with CBT involve varied methods such as attribution, teaching the patient the difference between irrational and rational thoughts, and helping the patient to overcome any past experiences that may have contributed to their irrational thoughts. In the case of children, psychiatrists can get to the root cause or trauma that may have resulted in their social phobia. They can help them to understand the event and learn to deal with what happened and cope with moving forward in life with a new positive approach and attitude versus forgetting what happened, which in itself is merely avoidance of the memories of those events.

Another strategy that medical practitioners find useful is cognitive group behavioral therapy. It is similar to CBT in its strategy for dealing with social phobia, but in a group setting with other people who are suffering the same disorder and one or more group therapists. The aim of this strategy is to not only overcome the negative thought processes attributed to social phobia, but allow the patients to realize that they are not alone in what they suffer and have support from people who understand what it really feels like.

There are other important strategies for overcoming social phobia that group therapy undertakes. These include:

* Group discussions of each individuals symptoms, perceptions, experiences and traumas

* The use of the group to show their support for individual social phobia attacks by encouraging the changes in thought patterns and perceptions.

*The use of the group on outings to overcome social phobia attacks with people that each member feels can be trusted to not judge them or ridicule them. The group helps each member to avoid perceived embarrassment and the need to become isolated.

* The group outings help individual sufferers realize that social interaction with new people does not have to be fearful or even judgmental or embarrassing.

* The use of the group in varied situations in helping each individual social phobia sufferer to no longer having the need to put on appearances in how they look, behave, talk or in regards to their abilities to lessen the likelihood of misinterpreted judgments by others.

* The use of the group in varied situations to support individual sufferers in learning that they no longer need to feel embarrassment or guilt in social situations.

* Group discussions to help each individual sufferer in overcoming anger resulting from previous situations or traumas.

* Group discussions to assist each individual sufferer in overcoming the need to please everyone, be a perfectionist, procrastinate, avoid social interactions and in becoming a realistic individual with self-confidence and self-esteem.

* Group discussions to assist each individual sufferer in dealing with times when social interaction does result in judgment or embarrassment by others.

These strategies for overcoming social phobia have proven to be very useful in helping patients deal with their affliction. Studies have shown that both forms of cognitive behavioral therapies do succeed and allow each patient to move forward and enjoy normal, productive, socially interactive and happy lives. Of course, there are a few cases were the affects of the anxiety are so deep rooted that the individual needs to combine these therapies with medication. However, if you do sufferer social phobia, getting guidance from your doctor is the best first step to curing your suffering.
About the Author
Gary Miller was so scared that he actually passed out during a presentation and couldn't talk after due to numerous social anxieties. To learn more about his journey to recovery and weekly FREE Social Anxiety coping techniques, you can visit his web site at: http://www.Social-Anxiety-Cure.com
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