Skip to content
Raising the bar for excellence in CBT. Enroll in Beck Institute CBT Certification today!

What are the symptoms of social phobia?1

Social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is characterized by a fear of social situations where there’s the possibility of being judged by others, specifically that one will act in a way or show symptoms of anxiety that will be evaluated negatively. The fear or anxiety is disproportionate to the actual level of threat in the situation, and the situation is either avoided completely or endured with intense fear or anxiety.

How common is social phobia?1

Every year, about 7% of the population experiences social phobia; the lifetime prevalence rate is approximately 12%. Females are approximately 1.5 to 2 times more likely to develop social phobia than males, this difference may be more pronounced in adolescence and young adulthood.

What is CBT for social phobia?

For all disorders, the CBT therapist starts by educating clients about their diagnosis and about CBT, helps clients set treatment goals, and teaches clients essential thinking and behavioral skills. For clients diagnosed with social phobia, CBT focuses on evaluating beliefs about their social ability and other peoples’ perception of them. Treatment also involves helping clients become more involved in social activities that they value but have given up because of anxiety, and clients learn how to be more effective or skilled in social situations.

For health and mental health professionals

Learn to treat schizophrenia more effectively at our CBT for Schizophrenia workshop. 1American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.744053