Social anxiety disorder or SAD is a prevalent condition affecting about 15 million American adults today. Individuals who live with social anxiety are always apprehensive about how people might judge them in interactions, making it hard for them to open up to others.
People who undergo treatment for SAD might find it hard to open up. Some feel ashamed of their feelings, while others cannot articulate these in the first place. As a result, they do not resolve their anxiety. Though challenging, people can overcome this—here are a few tips to help people open up during therapy.
Talk to a professional about your anxiety.
Perhaps the first step is to share with your life coach or therapist that you are experiencing anxiety about social situations. Their job is to help you deal with these emotions, so they must have an accurate picture of your state of mind. Telling a professional about your anxiety will help you make progress in your sessions; knowing this about you allows your counselor to tailor their solution better for your needs.
Keep a journal for your sessions.
It may be easier for people who suffer from SAD to write down their feelings first before verbalizing them. Make a habit of spending a few minutes writing down all your emotions before each session. Writing things down might help you feel more in control and help both you and your therapist fully engage in treatment.
If necessary, go back several days and highlight significant events that had transpired between now and your last session.
You do not have to follow a formula when writing; you can talk about your thoughts; you can write a letter, or even jot down phrases. Also, consider emailing your pages to your counselor if you feel uncomfortable having your words read aloud in session.
Be patient with yourself.
Give yourself time to feel comfortable with your therapist. It might take weeks or even months, but with the right professional, you will eventually feel like opening up. Who knows, you might surprise yourself, and it might even happen faster!
However, keep in mind that you might benefit more from long-term therapy than short-term ones, as it might take you time to open up. Remember that your goal is not to be “fixed” but rather to learn new ways to deal with the world.
Go for online therapy sessions.
Talking to a counselor online is appealing, especially to people with social anxiety. It may even be preferable to in-person meetings. If you had started with therapy and stopped because it worsens your condition, you should consider online sessions instead.
Seek out others who have SAD
It might feel counterintuitive to speak to others about your anxiety, but looking for a support group is different from just opening up to random people about your condition. Joining a peer group will help in demystifying anxiety for you. It helps to see that you are not the only person who fears specific interactions or is scared of judgment.
A peer group also allows you to reach out and ask others about their methods for dealing with this condition. Hearing about others’ experiences help us better cope with our own.
SAD is not a debilitating condition, and you can live a happy and productive life even if you have social anxiety. Awareness of your options, speaking to a professional, and a positive mindset will help you progress.
Regain control of your life and move through anxiety with Therapy24x7. We provide affordable therapy in NYC, serving Midtown and Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Upper West Side, we also offer online sessions. Get in touch with us today for more details.