Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Counseling


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Jessica Brown


Social Anxiety Disorder, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Medication


Social anxiety is characterized by considerable anxiety or fear in social situations where one could be negatively perceived by others (5th ed., text rev.; DSM-5-TR; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2022). Social anxiety has two subtypes which include complex and speaking subtypes (Sareen et al., 2006). SAD is often undiagnosed as well as untreated, and interventions do not work for 30-40% of individuals with social anxiety (Stein & Stein, 2008). Social anxiety is related to reduced quality of life, quality of friendship, employment, socioeconomic status, efficiency at work, and welfare (APA, 2022). At present, mental health of people in the United States is being impacted by our public health crisis/COVID-19 (Fitzpatrick et al., 2020). SAD co-occurs with affective, anxiety, substance abuse, bipolar, and eating disorders as well as avoidant personality disorder (Chartier et al., 2003; Kaye et al., 2004; APA, 2022). Research indicates there are many psychosocial and pharmacological treatments that are efficacious for SAD, particularly CBT and medications (Saeed, 2009). CBT includes cognitive restructuring, social skills training, psychoeducation, exposure therapy (in vivo or imaginal), and relaxation strategies (Huppert et al., 2003; Saeed, 2009). Medications include SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOIs, beta-blockers, benzodiazepines, and others (Saeed, 2009). This training has been developed to educate mental health professionals on effective treatment for SAD.



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