Social Anxiety

How is it that some people can walk right up to others…and begin talking so easily?

Why is it that I am so nervous and scared every time I have to make small talk with others, or talk to the boss, or…heaven forbid, speak in a group or give a presentation?

You wish you had that kind of ease when interacting socially.

You wish you didn’t have to worry about whether you’re being awkward, saying the wrong thing, or being embarrassed in some way. You hope no one notices that you’re blushing or sweating or that your hands shake. You figure it would be really bad if others noticed that you are nervous. Maybe you realize that you’re mind reading, thinking, That person must think I’m…(fill in the blank with some negative term here). You avoid socializing because you so fear embarrassment and can’t stand the sense that maybe you don’t come across well.

Once you’re out of the situation, you find yourself ruminating about what happened endlessly, trying to be sure that you didn’t say or do the wrong thing. Wondering what others think. On and on it goes.

social anxiety

There are a couple things going on here.

One is, you are experiencing what is known as social anxiety, which is not only very common, but very treatable with counseling. The other thing is that your anxiety is triggered by shame, or a sense of being unworthy or inadequate in comparison with others. Shame is also highly treatable with counseling.

Given the two things going on, we use a two-pronged approach in treating social anxiety. Now, we’d love to help you feel better about yourself quickly and then your social anxiety symptoms would then magically disappear on their own. The reality is that the fastest way to decrease anxiety is to help you, gradually and carefully, reengage in social interactions. We do this by addressing the way you think about social interactions and helping you try small social experiments that will help your brain learn that social interaction is not a threat.

In fact, we’re going to help you learn that being embarrassed or experiencing social rejection are common experiences that are not the end of the world. You will put these things in another light. And what you don’t fear will no longer cause anxiety. This is the basis of exposure therapy, and in the presence of a trained therapist, we know you can handle it.

social anxiety

As you increase in your ability to interact socially with greater ease, we’ll also be working on that self-esteem of yours. The fact of the matter is, you’re every bit as worthy as everyone else in the room, and we’re here to help you learn that.

Counseling for social anxiety can help you

  • Go to work or social events without needless anxiety beforehand
  • Stop living in fear of social interaction
  • Decrease your worries about being judged, feeling awkward, or being embarrassed
  • Increase your ability to talk with strangers and meet new people
  • Have an active social life and find fun and enjoyment again

We realize that counseling for social anxiety can be particularly daunting…after all, the condition you have makes you fear social interaction. But we’re pretty sure that if you can take that first leap and come to your first session, you’ll be well on your way to being free from the anxiety that is holding you back in life.