Clinical and Wellness Center

Social Anxiety Programs

Manhattan/Westchester NY

At CBC’s Clinical and Wellness Centers we are committed to providing compassionate evidence – based treatment programs to address a wide range of emotional, behavioral, lifestyle management and personal development issues.

Our therapists practice leading edge treatments based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), with our primary goal to create positive and enduring change for all of our clients.

Social Anxiety Programs

 

What is Social Phobia?

Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is a fear of being evaluated by others. Individuals fear that they may say or do something stupid or that others will notice some signs of anxiety, such as hands trembling, blushing, or sweating, and as a result fear that they will appear foolish. These fears lead to a fear of being in social or performance situations, an avoidance of these social situations, such as speaking in front of others, going to parties, speaking up at meetings, writing, drinking, eating or performing in front of others, using public restrooms, taking tests, or being assertive. Children can react by being afraid to go to school or being unable to speak in front of strangers. 

How common is Social Phobia?

Social phobia is very common; research has found that more that one out of every eight people suffers from a social phobia at one point in their lives. Social phobia often begins at puberty or it can begin around the age of 5 or 6 when children begin school.

What Causes Social Phobia?

Some temperaments such as behavioral inhibition put people at risk for developing social anxiety. Children with this temperament react with distress to unfamiliar situations, people, or environments even when they are as young as infants. Many people who have social anxiety are also shy or introverted. However, shyness and introversion are normal traits and everyone who is shy or introverted doesn’t have social phobia. Negative life experiences, genetic factors, certain parenting styles, negative labeling by peers may also put people at risk for developing social phobia.

How may Social Phobia affect someone?

People with social phobia may experience difficulty at school or work, have difficulty forming friendships or developing intimate relationships. By retreating from social encounters, many people with social phobia may not get practice developing social skills the way other people do. Some people with social phobia find it difficult to stay on task and concentrate in social situations or develop unhelpful habits to help them bear their anxiety in social situations.

How is Social Phobia Treated?

CBT has been shown to be extremely effective for social phobia. Dr. McGinn and the team at CBC have developed comprehensive CBT treatment plans for social phobia that combine evidence-based CBT treatments developed by Richard Heimberg, Samuel Turner, Deborah Beidel, Carrie Masa, and others to help children, adolescents, and adults reduce and manage their anxiety, and lead fulfilling lives. The treatment teaches clients the following skills: 

  • Psychoeducation: Increasing understanding, awareness, and acceptance of symptoms and how they are treated
  • Relaxation Training: Clients who present with physical symptoms that impair their functioning are taught breathing and deep muscle relaxation exercises to reduce their physical arousal and perform better in social or performance situations.
  • Cognitive Strategies: Clients learn to identify and modify the believability of unhelpful thoughts that increase their anxiety and impair their performance in social situations, and also learn to relate to their thoughts in a way that enables them to focus and perform effectively in social situations.
  • Social Skills Training: Clients are taught skills to increase their performance and confidence in social situations – they learn skills to effectively meet and communicate with peers, develop and maintain close relationships, and learn skills to enhance performance situations (e.g. taking a test, doing a presentation, eating, drinking, writing in front of others, using public restrooms).  
  • Attention Strengthening: Clients learn skills to strengthen their attention so they can stay on task and help improve their functioning in social or performance situations.
  • Exposure and Response Prevention: Clients learn to confront social or performance situations without the use of unhelpful strategies they may have used in the past to cope with feeling anxious in social situations.
What is the Structure of Treatment at CBC?

CBC’s social anxiety program includes a combination of individual and group therapy. Patients learn new skills in group therapy and learn to apply skills in their daily lives with their individual therapist. Parents and families may also be involved in treatment, especially if the client is under the age of 18. By adopting this type of comprehensive treatment approach, therapists help clients to gain new skills for managing anxiety and provide them with a place for practicing these skills so that they generalize to the client’s life outside of treatment.

Individual Therapy

Individual CBT therapists will help the client to:

(1) Identify goals related to social functioning, decrease anxiety, increase self-confidence, and increase social skills to improve the client’s quality of life

(2) Understand the nature of anxiety and how this manifests in social settings

(3) Implement the variety of cognitive and behavioral strategies that the client has learned in the group so that these skills generalize to the client’s life outside of therapy

(4) Maintain motivation to participate in treatment and work towards the identified goals

(5) Monitor treatment progress to determine when treatment is complete and/or treatment goals need to be revised.

Group therapy Adolescents (freshmen through seniors in high school):

The social anxiety program group meets weekly for 16 weeks and is 90 minutes in length. Group sessions are based on the evidence-based treatments Social Effectiveness Therapy for Children and Adolescents (Beidel, Turner, & Morris, 2003) and Skills for Academic and Social Success (Masia,Warner, Fisher, Shrout, Rathor & Klein, 2007) and include:

(1) Psychoeducation about social anxiety

(2) Cognitive restructuring strategies to challenge worry thoughts

(3) Social skills training specific to the needs of individuals with social anxiety (e.g., maintaining conversations, listening and remembering, assertiveness)

(4) Facing your fear exercises (i.e. social exposures), which include social outings to local establishments that parallel the real-life experiences of teens (e.g., going for coffee, a meal, etc.).

Group therapy (Adults)

The social anxiety adult group meets weekly for 12 weeks and are based on the evidence-based treatment Cognitive Behavior Group Therapy developed by Heimberg and Becker (2002).

(1) Psychoeducation about social anxiety

(2) Cognitive restructuring strategies to overcome worry thoughts before and after exposure situations.

(3) In session exposure exercises during sessions using group members to practice skills

(4) Exposure exercises designed to be practiced at home and other social environments.

Family Sessions (as needed)

Family sessions focus on helping caregivers to learn more about social anxiety, the nature of anxiety, and ways to most effectively support their family member in engaging in this treatment and using the skills learned during this treatment. This modality is used on an as-needed basis.

Please contact our Director of Intake Services at 212-595-9559 (ext.5) or 914-385-1150 (ext.1), or fill out the form above, with any questions regarding eligibility, for further information, or to make a referral.  If you are a current patient at CBC, please speak to your individual therapist to see how this group may be of added benefit to you.

Contact Us To Make An Appointment Or To Make A Referral

Clinical and Wellness Center

Trauma-Focused Prevention and Treatment Programs

Manhattan/Westchester NY

At CBC’s Clinical and Wellness Centers we are committed to providing compassionate evidence – based treatment programs to address a wide range of emotional, behavioral, lifestyle management and personal development issues.

Our therapists practice leading edge treatments based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), with our primary goal to create positive and enduring change for all of our clients.

Social Anxiety Programs

 

What is Social Phobia?

Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is a fear of being evaluated by others. Individuals fear that they may say or do something stupid or that others will notice some signs of anxiety, such as hands trembling, blushing, or sweating, and as a result fear that they will appear foolish. These fears lead to a fear of being in social or performance situations, an avoidance of these social situations, such as speaking in front of others, going to parties, speaking up at meetings, writing, drinking, eating or performing in front of others, using public restrooms, taking tests, or being assertive. Children can react by being afraid to go to school or being unable to speak in front of strangers. 

How common is Social Phobia?

Social phobia is very common; research has found that more that one out of every eight people suffers from a social phobia at one point in their lives. Social phobia often begins at puberty or it can begin around the age of 5 or 6 when children begin school.

What Causes Social Phobia?

Some temperaments such as behavioral inhibition put people at risk for developing social anxiety. Children with this temperament react with distress to unfamiliar situations, people, or environments even when they are as young as infants. Many people who have social anxiety are also shy or introverted. However, shyness and introversion are normal traits and everyone who is shy or introverted doesn’t have social phobia. Negative life experiences, genetic factors, certain parenting styles, negative labeling by peers may also put people at risk for developing social phobia.

How may Social Phobia affect someone?

People with social phobia may experience difficulty at school or work, have difficulty forming friendships or developing intimate relationships. By retreating from social encounters, many people with social phobia may not get practice developing social skills the way other people do. Some people with social phobia find it difficult to stay on task and concentrate in social situations or develop unhelpful habits to help them bear their anxiety in social situations.

How is Social Phobia Treated?

CBT has been shown to be extremely effective for social phobia. Dr. McGinn and the team at CBC have developed comprehensive CBT treatment plans for social phobia that combine evidence-based CBT treatments developed by Richard Heimberg, Samuel Turner, Deborah Beidel, Carrie Masa, and others to help children, adolescents, and adults reduce and manage their anxiety, and lead fulfilling lives. The treatment teaches clients the following skills: 

  • Psychoeducation: Increasing understanding, awareness, and acceptance of symptoms and how they are treated
  • Relaxation Training: Clients who present with physical symptoms that impair their functioning are taught breathing and deep muscle relaxation exercises to reduce their physical arousal and perform better in social or performance situations.
  • Cognitive Strategies: Clients learn to identify and modify the believability of unhelpful thoughts that increase their anxiety and impair their performance in social situations, and also learn to relate to their thoughts in a way that enables them to focus and perform effectively in social situations.
  • Social Skills Training: Clients are taught skills to increase their performance and confidence in social situations – they learn skills to effectively meet and communicate with peers, develop and maintain close relationships, and learn skills to enhance performance situations (e.g. taking a test, doing a presentation, eating, drinking, writing in front of others, using public restrooms).  
  • Attention Strengthening: Clients learn skills to strengthen their attention so they can stay on task and help improve their functioning in social or performance situations.
  • Exposure and Response Prevention: Clients learn to confront social or performance situations without the use of unhelpful strategies they may have used in the past to cope with feeling anxious in social situations.
What is the Structure of Treatment at CBC?

CBC’s social anxiety program includes a combination of individual and group therapy. Patients learn new skills in group therapy and learn to apply skills in their daily lives with their individual therapist. Parents and families may also be involved in treatment, especially if the client is under the age of 18. By adopting this type of comprehensive treatment approach, therapists help clients to gain new skills for managing anxiety and provide them with a place for practicing these skills so that they generalize to the client’s life outside of treatment.

Individual Therapy

Individual CBT therapists will help the client to:

(1) Identify goals related to social functioning, decrease anxiety, increase self-confidence, and increase social skills to improve the client’s quality of life

(2) Understand the nature of anxiety and how this manifests in social settings

(3) Implement the variety of cognitive and behavioral strategies that the client has learned in the group so that these skills generalize to the client’s life outside of therapy

(4) Maintain motivation to participate in treatment and work towards the identified goals

(5) Monitor treatment progress to determine when treatment is complete and/or treatment goals need to be revised.

Group therapy Adolescents (freshmen through seniors in high school):

The social anxiety program group meets weekly for 16 weeks and is 90 minutes in length. Group sessions are based on the evidence-based treatments Social Effectiveness Therapy for Children and Adolescents (Beidel, Turner, & Morris, 2003) and Skills for Academic and Social Success (Masia,Warner, Fisher, Shrout, Rathor & Klein, 2007) and include:

(1) Psychoeducation about social anxiety

(2) Cognitive restructuring strategies to challenge worry thoughts

(3) Social skills training specific to the needs of individuals with social anxiety (e.g., maintaining conversations, listening and remembering, assertiveness)

(4) Facing your fear exercises (i.e. social exposures), which include social outings to local establishments that parallel the real-life experiences of teens (e.g., going for coffee, a meal, etc.).

Group therapy (Adults)

The social anxiety adult group meets weekly for 12 weeks and are based on the evidence-based treatment Cognitive Behavior Group Therapy developed by Heimberg and Becker (2002).

(1) Psychoeducation about social anxiety

(2) Cognitive restructuring strategies to overcome worry thoughts before and after exposure situations.

(3) In session exposure exercises during sessions using group members to practice skills

(4) Exposure exercises designed to be practiced at home and other social environments.

Family Sessions (as needed)

Family sessions focus on helping caregivers to learn more about social anxiety, the nature of anxiety, and ways to most effectively support their family member in engaging in this treatment and using the skills learned during this treatment. This modality is used on an as-needed basis.

Please contact our Director of Intake Services at 212-595-9559 (ext.5) or 914-385-1150 (ext.1), or fill out the form above, with any questions regarding eligibility, for further information, or to make a referral.  If you are a current patient at CBC, please speak to your individual therapist to see how this group may be of added benefit to you.

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