Social Anxiety Counseling
What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
But, first: A game of “Would You Rather”…
Would you rather…
- Light your face on fire – or – approach a stranger at a party?
- Deliver a high-stakes, professional presentation in front of 30 of your coworkers – or – swallow a handful of tacks?
- Attend a graduation party for your niece, where most of the guests are strangers – or – lock yourself in a dark closet?
- Work out in a crowded gym AND get dressed afterward in a public locker room – or – watch that Jane Fonda workout video for the 98th time?
If eating those tacks is actually looking pretty appealing in comparison, you could have Social Anxiety Disorder, the third most common mental health condition in the United States.
But, what is Social Anxiety Disorder? Or rather, what isn’t it?
Social Anxiety Disorder is more than just episodic shyness. It’s normal to feel butterflies dancing in your stomach immediately before speaking in public, or when you’re nervous about tanking a first date. But when social anxiety becomes immobilizing—you’d rather accept a failing grade than present a project in lecture OR your fear of humiliation causes you to cancel that date prematurely—then, Social Anxiety Disorder could be the culprit.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social Anxiety Disorder encompasses a cluster of symptoms that are both behavioral (e.g. avoidance of stressful situations) and physiological (e.g. clammy palms or an upset stomach). These symptoms may include
- Fear Of Judgement: A paralyzing fear of humiliation, unwanted attention, or negative evaluation by others in social situations
- Avoidance: Avoidance of activities or situations that could worsen social anxiety (e.g. declining to eat lunch in public places; refraining from answering questions in lecture; avoiding entrances and exits from rooms that could draw accidental attention, etc.)
- Reduced Quality Of Life: Disproportionate social anxiety that interferes with academic, professional, or interpersonal development or the activities of daily living; Difficulty making friends or achieving occupational goals—despite desperately wishing that things were otherwise; Feeling as though you give “awkward” a renewed meaning
- Extreme Preparation: Excessive rehearsing of social situations prior to making introductions or telephone calls, asking questions, delivering presentations, ordering meals, or conversing with others, etc.
- Catastrophizing & Apologizing: Catastrophizing about worst case scenarios in social situations; over-apologizing for perceived faults or reflexively living by the mantra of “I’m Sorry!”—when you’ve done nothing wrong; seeking constant reassurance from loved ones in social settings
- Panic Attacks: Simmering anxiety that erupts into full-blown panic (a sudden skyrocketing in heart rate or blood pressure, sweaty palms, trembling, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or nausea; intense fear of losing control or of dying; feelings of numbness or detachment from reality, etc.)
- Physical indicators: Nervous “butterflies” in the stomach; abdominal cramping or diarrhea; sweating or blushing profusely; a quavering voice or stuttering; increased clumsiness
- Sensations Of Worthlessness: Low self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy, or depression
What Causes Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social Anxiety Disorder is an American epidemic. A confluence of risk factors—rather than a single, discrete cause—often contributes to the development of this condition. These risk factors often include:
- Genetics: Having a biological parent or sibling with Social Anxiety Disorder
- Brain Activity: If your amygdala (or fear center) of the brain is working overtime, your body may perceive non-threatening social stimuli as menacing
- Parental Influence: Helicopter (or overly protective) parents may inadvertently instill apprehension or an unwarranted fear of “social dangers” in their children
- Adverse Experiences: Bullying; emotional, physical, or sexual abuse; and neglect
- Temperament: A natural inclination to shyness, risk aversion, or inhibition
- Physical Or Mental Health: Having a physical or mental health condition—such as Parkinson’s Disease, neurological damage from a stroke, stuttering, or a physical or developmental disability—that generates feelings of self-consciousness
How Can Counseling & Therapy For Social Anxiety Disorder Help Me?
According to a recent survey conducted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (or ADAA), 36% of individuals who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder will endure symptoms for over 10 years before seeking professional assistance!
We get it.
If you have Social Anxiety Disorder, what could seem worse than talking about your problems with a virtual stranger? However, once you make that initial leap, the hardest hurdle is behind you! Counseling for Social Anxiety Disorder can not only help you not only forge lasting and meaningful relationships, but can also help you maximize your potential in the academic and professional realms.
To address your condition, your therapist may recommend
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Analyzing and adapting the thoughts (or cognitions) that underpin your fear of social situations and instilling coping mechanisms to soothe social anxiety or panic in generalized or specific social scenarios
- Exposure Therapy: For severe anxiety, interacting with others in social scenarios that are usually avoided to prevent panic and learning how to abate anxiety in the targeted situations
- Social Skills Training: Because we’re all a little bit awkward sometimes! Practicing social skills, such as starting up dialogues, conversing with your boss, preparing for business dinners or first date conversations, etc., in anxiety-provoking social situations
- psychotherapeutic yoga: LISPY’s yoga therapy – yoga for your brain – can retrain your nervous system to control the fight flight or freeze response you feel when you encounter a challenging social situation
- Physician Care: For intractable cases of social anxiety, your therapist may also recommend oversight by a physician, who is capable of prescribing antianxiety medications to alleviate neurochemical causes and symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder
- Alternative Therapy: Innovative and supplemental stress management techniques, such as mindfulness, meditation, psychotherapeutic yoga, equine therapy, etc. that promote self-soothing and stress reduction
Meet our counselors who specialize in this issue
- Cori HillLPC-Intern, LMFT Associate, NCC
Supervised by Melanie Wells, LPC-S, LMFT-SDallas & Park Cities$105 per 50 minute session (ask about reduced rates)Specialties: Abandonment Issues, Adulting, Biracial Couples, Blended Families, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Cross-Cultural Relationships, Depression, Divorce & Breakups, Failure to Launch, Family Issues, Female Sexuality, Grief & Loss, Infidelity, Interfaith Relationships, Last-Ditch Marital, LGBTQ & Gender Issues, LGBTQ Couples, Male Sexuality, Marriage Counseling, Marriage Counseling, Men's Issues, Multi-Cultural Issues, Newlyweds, Parental Alienation, Pre-Engagement, Pre-Marital, Quarter-Life Issues, Relationship Issues, Sex & Sexuality, Sex Therapy, Social Anxiety, Stress Management, Tweens & Teens, Women's Issues, Young Adults, Young Adults in Transition
- Carrie CravensLCSWFrisco & Plano/RichardsonFees: $165 for a 50 minute sessionSpecialties: Adolescents, Adoption & Foster Care, Anxiety Disorders, Blended Families, Child or Play Therapy, Codependency Issues, Family Issues, Kids, Teens & Tweens, Life Changing Events, Parenting, Relationship Issues, Social Anxiety, Stress Management, Tweens & Teens, Women's Issues, Young Adults in Transition
- LPC, LPC supervisorDallas & Fort Worth$165 per 50 minute sessionSpecialties: Abuse Recovery, Adolescents, Adulting, Anxiety Disorders, Complex Trauma Recovery, Conduct Discorder, Depression, EMDR, Failure to Launch, Men's Issues, Oppositional Defiance, Parenting, PTSD Recovery, Quarter-Life Issues, Young Adults in Transition
- LPCDallas & Fort WorthFees:
Therapy: $130 per session
Yoga: $70 per hour session
$90 per 1.5 hour sessionSpecialties: ADHD, Adolescents, Adulting, Anxiety Disorders, Bullying, Child Counseling, Child or Play Therapy, Cutting, Depression, EMDR, Grief & Loss, Self Harm, Stress Management, Suicidal Thoughts, Trauma & Abuse Recovery, Tweens & Teens, Yoga Therapy
- LPC, LMFTDallas Office$185 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Adoption & Foster Care, Blended Families, Business Partner Counseling, Christian Counseling, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Divorce & Breakups, Family Issues, Infidelity, Last-Ditch Marital, Marriage Counseling, Parental Alienation, Women's Issues
- Psychotherapeutic YogaDallas OfficeFees: $105 for 50 min sessionSpecialties: ADHD, Adolescents, Anxiety Disorders, Ayurveda & Lifestyle, Body Picking, Complex Trauma Recovery, Depression, Eating Disorders, Insomnia, Meditation, Mindfulness Training, Psychotherapeutic Yoga, PTSD Recovery, Stress Management, Trichotillomania, Women's Issues, Yoga Therapy
- LMFTDallas & Fort Worth$125 per 50 minute sessionSpecialties: Business Partner Counseling, Couples Counseling, Female Sexuality, Infidelity, LGBTQ & Gender Issues, LGBTQ Couples, Male Sexuality, Marriage & Gender, Marriage Counseling, Marriage Counseling, Newlyweds, Parenting, Pre-Marital, Sex Therapy, Sexual Identity, Women's Issues
- Greeter and
Registered Therapy DogDallas & Park Citiesone Cheerio per session
- Greeter and
Registered Therapy DogDallas & Park Citiesone Cheerio per session
- LPC, LCDC-InternDallas & Fort WorthFees;
Therapy: $130 per 50 min
Veteran/Military discount: $65 per 50 minute session Psychotherapeutic yoga:
$90 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Anxiety Disorders, Behavioral Addictions, Depression, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Eating Disorders, EMDR, Mindfulness Training, Psychotherapeutic Yoga, PTSD Recovery, Stress Management, Trauma & Abuse Recovery, Veterans & Military, Yoga Therapy
- LPC Intern, supervised by Ly Tran, LPC-SFrisco & Plano/RichardsonFees: $105 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Anxiety Disorders, Christian Counseling, Christian Marriage Counseling, Couples Counseling, Dealing with OCD, Depression, Divorce & Breakups, Major Depression, Marriage Counseling, Newlyweds, Relationship Issues, Suicidal Thoughts, suicide prevention
- LPC Intern, LCDC-Intern Supervised by
Melanie Wells, LPC-S, LMFT-SDallas & Fort WorthFees: $125 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Adulting, Anxiety Disorders, Attachment, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Divorce & Adjustment, Enneagram, Failure to Launch, Female Sexuality, Infidelity, Last-Ditch Marital, Millenial Relationships, Newlyweds, Pre-Engagement, Pre-Marital, Women's Issues, Young Adults in Transition
- LPC Intern, LCDC Intern Supervised by
Chris Jones, LPC-SFort Worth Office$90 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Body Image, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Cutting, Eating Disorders, Grief & Loss, LGBTQ & Gender Issues, LGBTQ Couples, New Parents, Pre-Marital, Pregnancy Issues, Self Harm, Young Adults in Transition
- LPC Intern Supervised by
Chris Jones, LPC-SFort Worth Office$90 per 50 minute sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Adolescents, Ayurveda & Lifestyle, Bipolar Disorder, Child Counseling, Child or Play Therapy, Childhood Abuse Recovery, Codependency Issues, Depression, Divorce & Breakups, Failure to Launch, Family Issues, Men's Issues, Mindfulness Training, Mood Disorders, New Parents, Postpartum Depression, Pregnancy Issues, Sexual Identity, Tweens & Teens, Yoga Therapy
- LPCDallas & Fort WorthFees: $130 for 50 min sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Adulting, Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Biracial Couples, Borderline Personality, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Cross-Cultural Relationships, Depression, EMDR, Families & Mental Illness, Men's Issues, Multi-Cultural Issues, Quarter-Life Issues, Relationship Issues, Schizophrenia, Women's Issues, Young Adults in Transition