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Old 02-26-2010, 09:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy has been shown through scientific research to be the most effective form of therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder. Although it is recognized as a specific psychotherapy type, there are many different ways to practice CBT, and your therapist should be experienced in using it specifically with those suffering with social anxiety.

CBT consists of two basic elements, the cognitive and the behavioral. Through the therapy process, patients learn to recognize negative thoughts and think about how to prevent them from occurring as an immediate response to a certain situation. They are then guided to learn how to think about a stressful situation in a different, positive and less anxiety-provoking way. Some therapists describe the cognitive portion as a kind of a “reprogramming” of the brain to follow a more positive set of responses to certain situations. CBT is designed to be reinforced at home and throughout the daily lives of the patients, however, many people benefit from group CBT sessions in which the behaviors related to the cognitive changes can be practiced.

More info:
http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/disorder/#cbt
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogniti...vioral_therapy


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Old 02-26-2010, 01:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default CBT can really change your thoughts and feelings

Social Anxiety Background
Social anxiety has affected me since I was in elementary school. While it was triggered initially by a traumatic experience, it is something that runs in the family and I certainly had a predisposition for. Some examples of how it manifested itself over the years: avoiding certain types of social situations and friends, avoiding public speaking, avoiding the opposite sex completely, hiding in the library during lunch, the thought of just walking down certain hallways at my highschool terrified me, fear of being around large groups of people, fear and avoidance of going to parties or social gatherings, etc. My social anxiety started to get severe when I dropped out of college after one quarter because of my social anxiety. That's when I started to get uncomfortable just leaving my apartment and hit "the bottom" so to speak. Through treatment with group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR) for mild Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and medication I've been able to live the balanced life that I value and form healthy friendships and relationships.

Other Treatments

EMDR worked well for dealing with some specific traumatic events from my life and resulting physiological responses, but CBT was what was effective for learning to think, act and feel differently in social situations.

Treatment Experience

I hit a low point and just couldn't function with the level of social anxiety I was experiencing, so I hopped on the internet and started my search for information on how to "fix myself."

I eventually came upon CBT through Dr. Richard's audio series Overcoming Social Anxiety: Step by Step on the Social Anxiety Institute's website: http://www.socialanxietyinstitute.org/

The material includes a book and 20 audio sessions, similar to what you'd get if you were meeting with a psychologist.

The cognitive portion includes techniques for disrupting, stopping and later turning around negative thoughts, relaxation techniques, dealing with setbacks, slow talk to control anxiety, deserving statements, among other things.
The behavioral portion includes strategy for creating and following an anxiety hierarchy, which involves creating an ordered list of things that cause you anxiety and slowly working your way up and doing them while trying to maintain a reasonable level of anxiety using the cognitive techniques learned.

All the details of the program can be seen here: http://www.socialanxietyinstitute.org/audioseries.html

Initially, I went over the cognitive materials for 30 minutes every day and started working on some of the behavioral exercises on my own (ie making phone calls, going clothing shopping, going to restaurants by myself, etc.) At first it didn't feel like I was getting any better or making any progress, but I kept at it day in and day out (missing days on occasion and trying not to feel too guilty about it) and with time I started to notice small changes in how negatively I was viewing myself, others, and social situations, along with lower levels of anxiety in social situations.

The big progress came later when I participated in a 20 week group in San Francisco based on the material. We went over the new concepts presented in the CDs and the workbook each week and then practiced our individual anxiety hierarchy items with or in front of the group. The group leader and the other participants were very supportive.

Ultimately, the real benefits of the cognitive therapy and behavioral exercises, on my own and with the group, took months to materialize. It was hard work, took persistence and courage, and there were setbacks, but my life took a turn down a new path as a result.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Cbt

(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by Black_Widow
Social Anxiety Background
I've suffered social anxiety from around the age of 11, as a result of going through a number of difficult bullying experiences at high school and also some bad family times previously which had a negative impact on my self esteem.

I first decided to seek out help for this condition last year, because of the way that it's seriously impacting upon my ability to work and support myself, sustain personal and working relationships with others, and upon my ability to live an independent adult life because of these things.

Other Treatments
Before starting CBT treatment tried general counselling. But found that it didn't help.

Have also tried medication before. Helps, but only minimally.

Treatment Experience
As a starting point I've found this type of therapy very useful. But unfortunately, since finishing therapy sessions at the start of this year, haven't yet made the progress with it that I initially hoped to. I expected much faster results but have since come to realise that I've yet a long way to go before I can realistically expect to master the techniques involved - as have found this is something which is taking me both time and practice.

I would still highly recommend this type of therapy to anybody suffering with SA, as even though my experience has been somewhat disappointing still feel that the ideas involved are very good and useful one's. But would also advise anybody out there, who is hoping to achieve fast results from this type of therapy, to re-think their expectations. CBT is a type of therapy that requires both determination and persistence in order for the full benefits to be gained.
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Old 05-22-2010, 02:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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well
thanks for posting
i am very excited n hopeful n happy of my appointment with CBT physcatrist and hoping things will get better. i will feel much more confident, so i can do what i got to do to survive and help others.

Now i know what to expect and thank you again guys, u know from my heart i love u even if u r my enemy cuz "when u look at my eyes, u will c me, but take a closer look and u will c urself if u look into my heart"
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Hi Drew, and all,

CBT worked very well for me. I did 12 months of it and found it very helpful. My counsellor was a really nice person also, which helps.

I think that CBT would help anyone. The most difficult step is getting yourself through the door in the first place; simply because of the very nature of social anxiety!

Cheers

Sam
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I believe CBT is the best method. You can either do it formally with a psychologist or you can do it on your own by reading books, listening to audios etc.

It combines changing your mind (cognitive) and then emersing gradually into real world situations step by step (behaviourial). They basically effect each other because you can't learn this stuff just purely in theory. The behaviorial translates the positive thoughts in your mind into something that is tangible.

The important part is to always stay positive and not let set backs frustrate you.
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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i dig you all. we are learning a new set of skills and as with any skill practice, practice, practice is the key. it can be hard though cos our naughty ants will always try to get in the way!
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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i think cbt is the only way to go in regards to overcoming social anxiety. i just cant see any other way to beat it other than cbt. however i think cbt should be combined with unconcious programming like nlp/hypnotherapy which is basically just a more advanced form of cognitive behavioural therapy
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I went through an entire 16-week course of CBT as part of a study at stanford.

It made my social anxiety worse. Much worse.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Well I would expected much faster results but have since come to realise that I've yet a long way to go before I can realistically expect to master the techniques involved - as have found this is something which is taking me both time and practice.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I don't care for CBT. It's basically the same as following the Bible or learning Martial Arts - control what you see.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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cbt is the greatest form of treatment out there, id recommend anyone who is in the slightest bit interested in fixing there anxiety issues to give it a try
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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I'm a pessimist. So many rave about this cbt on this thread. I'm new and have never tried anything other than medication. My most simple question is, how can someone tell me something about myself that I dont already know? I think simple-minded people can get help this way, but when youre full of personal insight, how can this help? I know what i need to do to get better, and i just cant do it,
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buster H View Post
I'm a pessimist. So many rave about this cbt on this thread. I'm new and have never tried anything other than medication. My most simple question is, how can someone tell me something about myself that I dont already know? I think simple-minded people can get help this way, but when youre full of personal insight, how can this help? I know what i need to do to get better, and i just cant do it,

I think communicating something to someone who really understands and cares can change people. Its like that corny saying that if you share something good its twice as good and if you share something bad its only half as bad. Telling something important to someone who REALLY cares and listens will truly lighten your burden in life even though it is not adding to your self knowledge.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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sometimes it seems that the Dr richards CBT is just him telling you all the **** he went through, not really anything positive or how to overcome it. Listenening to the tapes just puts me to sleep.
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buster H View Post
I'm a pessimist. So many rave about this cbt on this thread. I'm new and have never tried anything other than medication. My most simple question is, how can someone tell me something about myself that I dont already know? I think simple-minded people can get help this way, but when youre full of personal insight, how can this help? I know what i need to do to get better, and i just cant do it,
Simple-minded?

Search for yeah_yeah_yeah on here - he overcame SAD using CBT, and he was hardly simple-minded.

The idea in cognitive therapy is that your brain has all these thoughts going on influencing your emotions that you're hardly even aware of. And your brain just focuses in on those negative emotions and thoughts as if they were the whole of reality, when they're not - there's usually a lot more to the story that you're neglecting.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:17 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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I was in a CBT therapy session for three months last year from September to December 2009 and I can say it was helpful. The key is the individual has to decide he or she wants to change. In my CBT therapy session I was video taped twice! The first time being video taped was extremely nerveracking. I remember when I was going to be video taped the first time I ran out of the room because I was so nervous. My therapist she chased me to the elevator and I am so glad she did! She convinced me to return to the therapy session and I completed the treatment. I still sometimes struggle with my anxiety levels but the therapy helped me to understand
why I do.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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I did CBT for 12 months - the fact is it helped me think much better and as a result I deal with anxiety better.

A lot of ppl purport to provide 'CBT' that's not real CBT - you have to pay good money (£80 per hour usually) to get real CBT.

Courses with 10-16 week time limits to them are to be avoided at all costs.

Biggest characteristic that set my therapist apart was that she told me to be patient with my progress, not to put myself under pressure and also not to self flagelate if I 'get it wrong' when practicing techniques. It's also important to believe in the therapy beforehand and to look for a therapist that isn't an obnoxious prick.

What I ended up with was a very simple technique, but therapy was a long process.

Main thing is to actually face the problems and the pain. Things like meditation and saunas do zip for your anxiety except make you avoid it and give the illusion of being therapeutic. They're fine if you want to relax and mitigate against health problems, but mentally do nothing for you. CBT if properly applied gives you a way of thinking which can be applied 24/7 and tackles anxiety - that's far more powerful and can give relaxation in any environment.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:46 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the responses and postivie feedback. One guy used a word that im sure isnt even a real word. Im gonna see a psychiatrist in a couple weeks. It's not easy to get a referral, and i get the impression that this is for a possible diagnosis with no pontential follow-up. I have to look into my health coverage, but hey, im canadian so i might be okay on that front.

Benzos work okay, but theyre far from a solution. Drinking also works well, but that's even farther from a solution.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:10 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Talking My experience with CBT so far

Sooo my name is Kate, I've been living with SA most of my life (haha sounds so much like AA)

It has taken me 3 visits to psychologists to see one that i click with and feel 'just right' and comfortable with (transference and counter transference)..

I'm up to my sixth session with my psychologist and it's going alright so far.. I'm having issues seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I just cant see it right now... I've been finding that theirs alot of 'home work' involved with CBT and soooo much of it is based on negative thinking, how it makes me feel, the unconscious thoughts that I don't really notice because of the safety program I'v had in place for many years so I'm not hurt or taken advantage of. Looking at the the benefits, costs and what type of thinking it is.. all of that stuff....

U have to want to change or it won’t work at all.. and u need to tell your shrink what your reallly thinking eg. "I'm not sure i want to get rid of this thought because i feel it protects me".. I promise they won’t get upset...

Well I'm over typing, hope this helps someone whose thinking of doing CBT and gives them an idea of what it's all about...
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