Advice on Anxiety Groups

Any small group of social anxiety people, or understanding, supportive people can be used as a starting point for running a behavioral group. Starting small and working on EASY things to start with may help other SA people see that the behavioral group is easy if it is run properly.

One caveat: You must do the cognitive (learning) therapy at the same time. The cognitive and behavioral therapy correlate with each other nicely, and you need both to overcome social anxiety.

If you can't find an adequate group, start a small one with help from any friends and family that understand. Start off with EASY things. Read in front of others. Tell a story or a joke. Talk about something (anything) serious that you know about from school or your interests. You DO have a lot of things to say, despite how you may feel.

A little bit at a time. One step. Another step. No flooding yourself with anxiety. In our groups, I will not let anyone volunteer to do anything behavioral if I can see s/he is anxious. You always want to start at the beginning...with something EASY and then repeat it. Again and again. The brain needs this repetition and reinforcement.

Answer easy questions for a friend, have them get a bit harder all the time, but do it slowly. Take your time. Wait three seconds before you talk. It makes a big difference for your anxiety. Slow it down to the point it disappears (eventually).

We are in this for the long haul with only one goal in mind: overcoming this nasty anxiety disorder forever...permanently.

Yes...it does happen. And it's not that hard and it's not anxiety-causing if done in the right way. PERSISTENCE...sticking with it....is the key.

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The Social Anxiety Association

The Social Anxiety Association is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 to meet the growing needs of people with social anxiety.  The SAA became inactive for several years due to lack of resources.  We are in the process of re-doing our website, listing all active, structured CBT groups for social anxiety, and renewing all our licenses.  Major changes will be happening by the end of 2013.  We publish new web content -- concerning social anxiety -- almost daily on the site now.

The Social Anxiety Institute is the largest website on the internet about social anxiety disorder (social phobia). Therapy programs have run at the Institute full-time since 1994.  Major new help for overcoming social anxiety is under development and will be introduced in 2013. 

For treatment: Overcoming social anxiety: Step by Step   A structured guide to overcoming social anxiety (a "How to" guide to get over social anxiety).

The Anxiety Network explains and describes five major anxiety disorders.

Guidelines for listing social anxiety groups on this site.  We cannot officially endorse groups, so check them out thoroughly.  We ask that they be groups that are operating, have a definite leader, and are thoroughly structured.  Social anxiety therapy groups are very different than the groups that operate for other mental health conditions.