Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia, is characterized by a persistent fear of being judged, criticized, or rejected in social settings. Individuals with this disorder may attempt to avoid any social situation that gives them feelings of fear or panic. Symptoms of this disorder involve rapid heart rate, nausea, sweating, stumbling over words, and more. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), approximately 15 million Americans experience this disorder each year. If you’ve been struggling with SAD, you are not alone – and social skills training may be a potential addition to a reputable treatment program for you.

Social skills training often takes place in a group setting and may involve:

  • education
  • role-play exercises
  • feedback
  • worksheets to take home and work on

Social awareness skills may also be included, which involve helping a person to understand when, where, and why another person may initiate or terminate interactions. A variety of interpersonal skills can be focused on, including: body language, topic transitions, assertiveness, listening, and much more. Feeling a bit nervous? That’s okay – your therapist will understand your hesitation, as social skills training is meant to ease you into the idea of practicing interpersonal skills not just in your treatment program, but once you leave as well.

Previous research has shown that social skills training is an effective and valuable component of treatment for those with SAD. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Central Florida sought to explore the benefits of this type of intervention by assessing results from 106 adults who were diagnosed with this disorder. Participants were randomly assigned to exposure therapy (another very effective form of treatment for those with SAD), a combination of exposure therapy and social skills training, or a waitlist. Results from the study showed that 67% of participants who were assigned both exposure therapy and social skills training no longer met the criteria for SAD. What an amazing outcome!

If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about social skills training and exposure therapy to see if you can get the help you need today. Many people have gone through treatment and have found much success – and you can, too.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.



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