How successful is CBT when it comes to treating crippling social awkwardness? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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How successful is CBT when it comes to treating crippling social awkwardness?


After years of resistance, I referred myself to a mental health clinic the other week. I have my first session this Thursday and will be doing CBT.

I have heard nothing but good things regarding CBT. But how good is it really? Will it help me overcome my anxiety and awkwardness? I'm not sure what to expect.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 11:05 AM
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Based on my experience with the NHS, terrible, but that might just be my area. My therapist just talked about scented oils and flowers, which bored me to death and told me to imagine my favourite place when I'm anxious. When I talked to her about my anxiety and awkwardness she just said that I was talking fine, so I felt like she was just lying to me. I made myself go to each session just for the sake of trying it out, but I hated it.

The one positive thing that I got out of it was that I made myself go and try it out which made me feel better. After giving up with it, I worked on trying to improve my social skills myself. For a lot of people CBT is meant to be very effective so I'd definitely try it out. It really depends on the therapist and how you respond to it I guess.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fake Russian View Post
Based on my experience with the NHS, terrible, but that might just be my area. My therapist just talked about scented oils and flowers, which bored me to death and told me to imagine my favourite place when I'm anxious. When I talked to her about my anxiety and awkwardness she just said that I was talking fine, so I felt like she was just lying to me. I made myself go to each session just for the sake of trying it out, but I hated it.

The one positive thing that I got out of it was that I made myself go and try it out which made me feel better. After giving up with it, I worked on trying to improve my social skills myself. For a lot of people CBT is meant to be very effective so I'd definitely try it out. It really depends on the therapist and how you respond to it I guess.
Well, that didn't give me much confidence :/

I tried some therapy when I was 18 (I think we did Mindfullness, or something) and it was rubbish. I actually felt worse off! I've heard good things about CBT, though, and want to get to the root of my problems.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 02:38 PM
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Well, that didn't give me much confidence :/

I tried some therapy when I was 18 (I think we did Mindfullness, or something) and it was rubbish. I actually felt worse off! I've heard good things about CBT, though, and want to get to the root of my problems.
It would still be worth trying it out though, as it can work really well for some, help improve things for others, even though it may not work for everyone. If you don't at least give it a try, you will never know.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 12:15 PM
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I have never thought about therapy before, hid everything with addiction. Quitting this week. I am late 30s in Manchester UK. I just Googled it and apparently this is the worst place to be for help from the NHS. Would you recommend I visit my GP to see if he can suggest anything? I can't afford a personal therapist. Or is there a book, online course or anything else which has helped anyone?

I know I will have to fill my life with new activities. But I think I will require more to really get fixed. I went to AA which was a help 17 years ago. Maybe Narcotics Anonymous is worth a try?

Thanks in advance for any advice. Any pointers would really be appreciated.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 12:37 PM
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To the OP I really hope it works out for you, I hope it's effective...it has been for a lot of people. Just not for myself. I went into it with an open mind and I tried it for months while seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist. I went all in, I didn't hold anything back. And it did nothing for me, it did absolutely nothing to help my panic attacks or my anxiety. (Ultimately meds are what has helped me more than anything else).

My therapist used CBT in addition to exposure therapy. In my experience CBT starts out with identifying faulty logic...before any attempt is ever made to modify behavior and responses (which is the ultimate goal)...you have to identify which behaviors and responses need to be changed. The problem I had was with the exposure therapy, with trying to modify behavior and responses.

Imagine you have a huge, debilitating fear of heights...nothing scares you more and you've spent your entire life avoiding heights. Now imagine as a part of exposure therapy, you have to be locked on the roof of a 100 story building...and you're forced to stay there until your responses and your behavior changed. That would just be ridiculous, right? I'm using an exageration to make a point....but in my experience that's what exposure therapy is like. That's what it was like for me, anyway. I hope you have a different experience with it, I hope it helps you (and if it doesn't I hope you find something that works for you....everyone seems to respond differently).
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Wolfology View Post
After years of resistance, I referred myself to a mental health clinic the other week. I have my first session this Thursday and will be doing CBT.

I have heard nothing but good things regarding CBT. But how good is it really? Will it help me overcome my anxiety and awkwardness? I'm not sure what to expect.
This is a bit late but based on my own experiences, CBT works on minor forms of social anxiety. It works when you have a social life, a relationship, a job - when you're 'normal' to the outside world but not on the inside. Because CBT basically tells you to ignore your negative thoughts when you feel anxious, and to reprogram yourself to believe that people actually do care and want to help you succeed if you'll let them.

If you have severe social anxiety and are totally cut off from real life, it's unlikely to help as much as it could. Because you just won't get the opportunities to test it. Ofc, if you have the motivation to get out and actively push yourself into anxious situations, then you could benefit.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 09:49 PM
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I did CBT in the town you live in, (so presumably if it's through the NHS it will be the same place lol) And didn't find it very effective long term. It helped a little in the short term because I used them to hold me accountable and tried some new things... (It took them forever to realise that's what I was doing lawl, and I didn't realise the significance at the time, but by that time I think we had one session left? Help me modulate my executive functions plz) It didn't help with the things my anxiety effects the most though and basically temporarily reduced my avoidance. But I also have other issues in addition to SA, which I was unable to talk about during sessions because everything was guided back to anxiety when I tried bringing up that I had motivation issues etc.

Since you're at uni though, it's a good time to try it, because you'll have more opportunities to make use of it.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWelshOne View Post
This is a bit late but based on my own experiences, CBT works on minor forms of social anxiety. It works when you have a social life, a relationship, a job - when you're 'normal' to the outside world but not on the inside. Because CBT basically tells you to ignore your negative thoughts when you feel anxious, and to reprogram yourself to believe that people actually do care and want to help you succeed if you'll let them.

If you have severe social anxiety and are totally cut off from real life, it's unlikely to help as much as it could. Because you just won't get the opportunities to test it. Ofc, if you have the motivation to get out and actively push yourself into anxious situations, then you could benefit.
I think that's a good review of it and explains why it was so much more helpful when I was younger but is harder to apply those principles now, my life situation has just changed in a way that's less amenable to CBT.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 01:35 PM
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I also think CBT is good if you don't treat it as the holy grail but more part of an overall mental blueprint to managing social anxiety. I've been in therapy for a few months and I've personally found it to be helpful!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-01-2016, 04:04 AM
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CBT can be helpful for some. I agree that it's probably more helpful for less severe cases of social anxiety. I personally didn't find it helpful as I didn't have many opportunities to apply it, and I found the correcting your thoughts part of it too easy for me to poke holes in. I also think that my issues are more deeply rooted in traumatic experiences and poor personal and social development. I'd consider it to be one of a handful of tools that you might apply to the problem.

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