Social Anxiety Therapy in NYC
“I’m a lonely person at heart, I need people, but my social anxiety prevents me from being happy.”
What is social anxiety?
A subset of General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), social anxiety is one of the most common conditions seen in mental health care.
In public, you may constantly worry about things such as how you look, and how you act, and may find alternative ways to manage. For example, to get groceries, you may go during unusual hours, or choose to have groceries delivered to your house altogether. Or, you may refuse to attend social events, preferring to meet with close family or friends individually. There are different degrees of social anxiety, but the overall result is a limitation of the extent to which you can live your life.
Other examples of stressful situations for those with social anxiety include:
- Being the center of attention, e.g. telling a story to a group of people
- Being watched while doing a task
- Introducing yourself in an icebreaker activity
- Meeting someone who is of authority
- Social encounters with strangers
If you have social anxiety, you may already realize that your anxiety is irrational—that it is an overreaction to a perhaps small stressor. Indeed, there is a distinction between knowing that your anxiety is irrational, and truly feeling the same way. Therefore, telling you to simply be “less anxious” doesn’t make sense. However, with the right treatment, you can get rid of your social anxiety.
How do you treat social anxiety?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
The most common and successful treatment for anxiety is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) when paired with medication. CBT works by training you to adapt and reframe your thought processes to make them less debilitating.
You may have thoughts such as, “I need to practice what I’m about to say a bunch of times, otherwise I’m going to sound dumb”, or more self-critically, “I’m just not an interesting person, people don’t like it when I talk, so I’m just going to pass on this party”. With CBT, you can start to reframe your thoughts to become, “I might be stressed at this party, but maybe I should just go for a short time, and talk to one or two people. I can then reassess my feelings, and leave whenever I want.”
Through this revised thought process, you slowly build yourself an exposure to stressful situations rather than avoiding them altogether. Gradually, you will have the tolerance to deal with situations you previously found anxiety-inducing.
Many medications exist to treat anxiety: some, such as anti-anxiety medications, otherwise known as anxiolytics, can be used to relieve your anxiety immediately. However this is not recommended for long-term improvements. On the other hand, medications such as antidepressants (SSRIs), don’t entirely remove your anxiety, but make it easier to deal with on a day-to-day basis. SSRIs are usually used in tandem with CBT treatment.
Other techniques such as meditation and lifestyle changes such as nutrition and sleep, can improve social anxiety symptoms as well.
Work with a social anxiety therapist at Integrative Psych
Integrative Psych is an NYC-based private practice specializing in the treatment of anxiety conditions. Many of our clients are based in Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey, Manhattan (Chelsea, Village, Lower East Side, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Tribeca, SoHo), Connecticut, Westchester but our therapists are licensed to treat anyone in the state of New York.
Integrative Psych takes a compassionate and comprehensive approach to treating social anxiety. We will carefully evaluate your present life and evaluate how your anxious thoughts affect your day-to-day life, including work and relationships.
When making recommendations, social anxiety therapy may involve tailored medication and likely cognitive-behavioral therapy, depending on what works best for you.
Decisions about what treatment or treatments to pursue are made as a team, between you and your anxiety therapist. Once you have begun care with us, we will see you regularly to monitor your progress and make any adjustments necessary to ensure that you benefit fully from your anxiety therapy at Integrative Psych.
At Integrative Psych, we are your premier destination for integrative and evidence-based therapy in New York City. Our team of experienced and compassionate therapists specializes in a wide range of mental health services, tailored to meet your unique needs. Whether you are seeking assistance with psychodynamic therapy nyc, bipolar disorder nyc, high-functioning anxiety nyc, complex PTSD nyc, or any other mental health concerns, we are here to support you on your healing journey.
For those suffering from high-functioning anxiety nyc, we offer specialized therapy to help you better understand and cope with your anxiety in a productive and healthy manner. Our therapists are trained in cutting-edge techniques such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy nyc and can work with you to develop skills that will enable you to effectively manage your anxiety and live a more fulfilling life.