Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Shyness and Social Anxiety

By: Karen Hastings
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can be useful in helping people to overcome shyness and social anxiety. At my Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) practice in Edinburgh, I have found that seemingly confident people often present for treatment because they are fed up with dreading social events and feeling tense during situations that are supposed to be enjoyable.

Often the people that I see for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) Edinburgh that have problems with social anxiety aren't stereotypical wallflowers. They have professional jobs and often large, busy social networks. So why do they feel nervous and self-doubting inside? There is no straight answer to this question. It is usually due to a mixture of factors.


The role of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) isn't delving into the past, rather it's to gain insight into what the person does psychologically and behaviourally that maintains their social anxiety now in the present.

However, as the person with the aid of their therapist develops a formulation of their problem, factors will be considered such as significant experiences from childhood and parenting. Often, its possible to see that experiences from childhood (and they don't necessarily have to be hugely traumatic to have an impact) relate to the persons experience in the present. We know this because the person will often remember and visualise such memories in difficult situations in the present.

The good news is that now that you're an adult and you have more resources and knowledge then when you were a child. This means that you can start to use these resources to make changes to the psychological and behaviour factors that exacerbate social anxiety. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy teaches you how to do this.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Edinburgh, will teach you about the link between events, thoughts, moods, feelings, behaviour and outcomes. You will learn how to reveal the distorted thinking and ways of processing information that prolong your problem.

People who experience social anxiety often have a automatic inner critic feeding them negative biased information about themselves. This feedback is often just outside of awareness that you don't notice it or is so authoritative that it is taken as the truth. Via cognitive behaviour therapy Edinburgh, you will learn to challenge and consider the evidence for and against your thoughts. You don't have to accept them.

You will also learn about the core beliefs and assumptions that you hold about yourself, other people at the world at large and how these relate to your anxiety. Once you know what they are you can set about the process of discarding those that you no longer need and working on new adaptive empowering beliefs.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy will also help you to move towards accepting yourself as you are and to care less about what others think. Your therapist can help you uncover how you measure your self-worth. CBT therapists work from the assumption that its not possible or sensible to try to measure our self-worth. Human beings are far too complex, where would we start?

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