Social Anxiety Treatment
in Houston, TX and Online
Do Social Interactions Fill You With Anxiety?
Social anxiety disorder is not only common, it’s also very treatable.
Social anxiety disorder is not only common, it’s also very treatable.
Understanding Social Anxiety (or Social Phobia)
Social anxiety (also known as social phobia) is very common, but it can be hard to believe since it may look to you like everyone around you has their lives together. Rather than understand that many people feel anxiety and fear in social situations, you may feel like you’re inadequate and compare yourself unfavorably with those around you.
In addition to the negative thoughts, worries and fears that come with social anxiety, you may experience physical symptoms as well. You may find yourself sweating or blushing or have shallow breathing or a racing heart.
You may come to associate things such as increased heart rate with anxiety, and end up getting more nervous when you feel them. Or, you may worry that others will notice your sweating or blushing and get even more anxious. You might even experience panic attacks. Kids often complain of stomachaches or headaches.
These are all symptoms of social anxiety.
Social Anxiety Treatment Can Help You Navigate The World With Confidence
Unlike normal shyness or introversion, social anxiety can have crippling effects on your life.
Children may be reluctant to speak around some adults, or have school refusal due to high levels of anxiety.
You may have experienced stage fright or fear public speaking, meeting new people, important events or just making small talk. For many people with social anxiety, days feel perilous. You might begin your day feeling confident, and then a challenging interaction causes a chain reaction of worry, fear and anxiety.
Or, you might spend days dreading an upcoming event, or social interactions such as a meeting, party or a situation where you will meet new people. You might feel like you are the only person who is struggling in social settings or that there’s something wrong with you. Social media often makes it worse.
Social anxiety can lead to other mental health concerns such as loneliness, low self esteem, depression, or substance abuse.
The good news is that treatment for anxiety can give you relief.
In Treatment for Social Anxiety…
One of our experienced, skilled and understanding therapists can help you work through your anxiety and related issues in a safe place. Facing your fears with the help of a compassionate therapist can make managing social anxiety much easier.
Treatment for social anxiety starts by helping you to identify and examine your beliefs about yourself and the world. You may have ideas about who you are and how the world sees you that make you feel like you’re not good enough. Cognitive restructuring can help you change them.
Your therapist can teach you skills that will make it easier to cope with your fears and negative emotions, such as calming your breath and body when you begin to feel anxious. Breathing exercises, biofeedback, stress management skills, and mindfulness skills can help you cope effectively.
You can practice these techniques to reduce anxiety in the safe space of therapy, which can make it easier to effectively calm yourself when anxiety heightens.
Learn Skills to Overcome Social Anxiety Symptoms in Therapy
When you are worried about how others see you, it can be hard to form relationships. In sessions, you can explore ways to connect with the people in your life and learn how to build relationships with new people.
Your therapist can also help you see yourself in a more positive light through self compassion and social skills training. Exposure therapy provides a way for you to practice social situations in a safe way with your therapist.
When you are able to build strong relationships with yourself and with others, your connection to the world becomes richer and deeper.
Your therapist can also help you challenge fearful beliefs and negative thoughts through CBT for social anxiety. Anxiety often happens in a chain reaction, and when you learn the steps in the anxiety process, you can disrupt it.
For instance, once you notice the physical symptoms (i.e. blushing) that precipitate an anxious response (i.e. thinking “everyone is staring at me.”), you can catch it before it gets out of control.
Learning skills from acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT, can help you cope without fearing, avoiding, suppressing or controlling your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. With practice, this reduces social anxiety in the first place.
Social Anxiety Treatment FAQ's
Social anxiety can make you feel powerless, helpless and hopeless. And, the fear that you can’t get better is actually a symptom of anxiety, not a fact. In reality, social anxiety treatment is very effective. It may take time, but your therapist can work with you to combat the negative beliefs you have about yourself and help you see yourself in a more realistic, positive light.
When you have begun to experience yourself and the world without judging yourself or thinking that others are judging you, you can experience your world in richer ways. Just by beginning the therapeutic process, you are allowing yourself to believe that change is possible.
We understand. Going to see a therapist can be scary no matter what, and if you are struggling with social anxiety, talking to a stranger may feel terrifying. It takes a lot of courage to open up to a stranger, and our therapists want to make sure that you feel safe. Our therapists are familiar with the challenges of social anxiety, and we understand that it may be difficult for you to even walk in the door. That’s okay.
Therapy can become a model for dealing with people. Our compassionate, experienced therapists will slowly ease you into the process, starting with changes that feel manageable, helping you deepen self-compassion, and building up to overcoming more challenging fears. We also offer online therapy if that is a more convenient way for you to get started.
Social anxiety treatment is an investment in yourself, your mental health and overall well being. While your social anxiety may tell you that you are not worth it, or that you can’t treat social anxiety, the truth is that you can get better and you deserve to.
Treatment of social anxiety disorder takes time, patience and practice. It is not a quick fix, but your therapist can help you learn skills that can impact your life immediately. We will build up your confidence by practicing skills that you can use in the real world. We believe that your life and relationships are worth taking the time for. You deserve to feel relaxed and comfortable in the world.
We are outpatient therapists so we offer talk therapy such as CBT for social anxiety, which is highly effective.
We do not provide medication for social anxiety. Many clients find that a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, or talk therapy and antidepressant (which is antianxiety) medication is effective. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's) or other types of psychiatric medication may help reduce your anxiety symptoms, particularly if you also struggle with other mental health conditions. Your therapist will discuss options with you and provide a referral if appropriate.
Learn skills to overcome social anxiety disorder step by step.
You can learn the social skills and coping strategies needed to manage physical, mental and emotional symptoms of social anxiety. With social anxiety therapy, you can begin to engage and feel more comfortable in social situations that once seemed impossible.
When you get into the habit of avoiding something, it reinforces anxiety. What we resist persists.
With guidance, support and effective treatment through cognitive behavioral therapies such as CBT and ACT, you can train your brain to overcome fear and avoidance, which opens up new and freeing possibilities for engaging with the world.
Therapy for social anxiety can help you live a life no longer controlled by anxiety.
Get Help From a Specialist in Social Anxiety Treatment
What Clients Are Saying
Great Conversation Starter
Sessions are going very well with my therapist. I like her ability to create a comfortable and open environment. She is a great conversation starter, and it’s easy to express ourselves about anything. She is very welcoming and a great listener.