The Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center
There is Hope. There is Help.
Call: 610-667-6490
112 Bala Avenue
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)


Individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder experience significant distress and anxiety about one or more social situations in which they might be subject to evaluation or criticism by other people. Many individuals with social anxiety feel threatened by a wide range of interpersonal situations. They may fear embarrassment or humiliation. They are likely to experience a great deal of worry and anticipatory anxiety prior to social engagements. To avoid potential embarrassment or anxiety, they may avoid many situations. As a result, they are likely to miss out on potentially enjoyable and important activities. Social anxiety can result in diminished quality of life and impairments in social, romantic, academic, and career opportunities and advancement.

Some individuals with social anxiety may experience significant anxiety and distress only in situations that involve public speaking or performing. This more specific form of social anxiety may still cause significant problems for the affected individual. High school and college students may opt out of important classes to avoid required class presentations. Employees may miss out on opportunities for advancement if they avoid public presentations or even actively participating in committees and meetings.

Treatment at AATC for clients with social anxiety is individualized. Depending on the client’s specific strengths and symptoms, treatment is likely to include a combination of approaches, including education, cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT),  exposure-based techniques, skills training, behavioral rehearsal, mindfulness, and affect regulation (self-soothing strategies). Assertiveness, communication, conversational, and interpersonal skills training could also be included in treatment, if appropriate.

Adults with social anxiety may also benefit from our free Anxiety and Panic Disorders Support Group (see Support Groups for more information).