Social Anxiety Disorder, or social phobia, is one of the more common anxiety disorders. Social Anxiety is triggered by social situations and is associated with being closely watched, judged, or criticised by others (friends or strangers).

People suffering from the disorder may experience ‘anticipatory anxiety’, which is the fear of a situation before it happens, for days or weeks before a social event as well as experiencing standard anxiety symptoms and even panic attacks brought on by social situations or thoughts of them.

Rather than having a particular phobia (such as public speaking), people with Social Anxiety Disorder are afraid of a wide variety of social situations such as:

  • Eating or drinking in front of others
  • Working or typing in front of others
  • Being the centre of attention
  • Interacting with people
  • Asking questions in a group
  • Public speaking
  • Using public toilets
  • Talking on the phone
  • Asking for directions
  • Being approached by strangers

Social anxiety disorder affects approximately 7% of the population and equally affects women and men. It usually begins in childhood or early adolescence. Social anxiety disorder often co-occurs with other anxiety disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder Panic disorder and even depression. It can also be a feature of agoraphobia.

Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder can stem from a traumatic incident, observed behaviour, or childhood factors – every case is unique which is why counselling is the best individualised therapy for the disorder. We don’t believe in prescribing pills because they simply mask the symptoms rather than dealing with the real problem.

Improving social skills and self esteem and developing a range of relaxation techniques can help reduce the symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder and gain control. As with many anxiety disorders, the cyclic nature means that symptoms can get worse if left untreated.

Counselling also helps deal with avoidance behaviours to regain a healthy lifestyle and improve interpersonal relationships.

Our unique AES program is the ultimate recovery tool. Its straightforward, easy to implement and understand. It is also available here to purchase and use as a self help program with support.

CBT is another option as we are CBT specialists. We can discuss your options, either way we will help you recover as long as you follow what we tell you, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t make a full recovery.


Like all anxiety disorders, Social Anxiety Disorder  is fully resolvable with the right help.

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