Social Anxiety Mailing List June 2013

                                                                                  Volume 15 Number 6
June 2013

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The Social Anxiety Mailing List

The Social Anxiety Mailing List, which first began in 1999, comes to you from The Social Anxiety Institute in Phoenix. 
You can reach our home page here.
Therapy Group Information, Setbacks Are A Sign Of Progress, Questions & Answers with Dr. Richards
Local CBT Group for Social Anxiety:
May 11th - August 10th, 2013 (14 weeks). This group is full. Next date: September 21-January 11, 2014.
Details: local group.  Please enroll now for this group.  Fill out an application here.  The all-day Saturday group is enhanced by social and behavioral activities on weeknights.  We have a community of people overcoming social anxiety together here.
International Therapy Groups:
The International Group scheduled for July 22nd - August 10th, 2013 is now full.
Next date:  April 7 - April 21, 2014.
Details: International Group.  These groups consist of people who are motivated and ready to overcome social anxiety.
Setbacks Are A Sign Of Progress


Setbacks happen to everyone as they are overcoming social anxiety disorder.  A setback is defined as a time when you go “backwards” a little in your progress against social anxiety, either because you faced too high of an anxiety situation or certain negative thoughts popped into your head an inopportune time when you weren’t expecting it.
The good news is that it’s impossible to have a setback unless you've already made some progress.  What you may consider a “setback” now, could have been considered “progress” a few months ago, because you are always moving forward if you stick with the therapy.  It may be a process of taking two steps forward and one step back, but you can have peace of mind in knowing that you can’t go backwards completely unless you give up.
Leftover automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) may be playing a mind game with you.  Sometimes setbacks will occur but when they do, it is important to realize that if you get up and keep going all the rational therapy is still there.  Sometimes you can go through longer periods where nothing works as it should.  Keep your rational reminders and rational therapy going even when it's difficult.  Your brain has to change and sometimes changes occur when we are feeling like nothing is working.  If you stick to your rationality you come out on top in the end...

Proactivity Reports
Dear Friends on the Social Anxiety Mailing List,

I would like to give a “proactivity report," as Dr. Richards calls it, about the progress I am making against social anxiety.

I am doing well. I have experienced a lot of fun moments in my life in the past few months.  Life is full of these moments every day, we just have to accept them.

I have started to dance again. Now I am a "social dancing" addict.  In the past I was a "social anxiety" addict.  What a wonderful difference!

Now, I find myself frequently interacting in a calm way in social situations that would have created a lot of anxious thoughts/ feelings in the past.

Then, I say to myself, "Hmmm, something is different here; what is happening to me? Where is the irrational, uncomfortable fear of the past?  Is this a SA trick?  Is this really happening or am I dreaming?"

I still have some old, automatic, negative thoughts in my mind.  But I am really not worried about them.  I know that they will continue to get smaller and smaller until they disappear (just as I have already done
with lots of other ANTs).

I am looking for a job.  I've already had one job interview and survived.  I think I made a good impression with the company because they want me to travel to another office in another country to be interviewed by their team there.  I have scheduled the interview for next month.

I have also started studying for my psychology exams that are scheduled for mid-June.  This involves a lot of work, but I don't mind.  I have already learned to do my best and always be happy with that, no matter
how far I reach or how many exams I pass.

Besides everything else, I make sure to allow some time for myself every day.  This "me" time is the time of the day that I enjoy the most so I do not like to miss it.

I’d like to see other proactivity reports on the mailing list.

Warm regards,
Dr. Richards:
Thank you, Emily.  I agree with you.  A proactivity report is a message in which you tell how you’re using the methods and strategies in the therapy series to overcome social anxiety.  So, it is always rational and it is always forward looking.  A good proactivity report can be encouraging to all of us, so I’m glad you shared your present-day life with us.
Hello Dr. Richards,
I hope you are all doing well.

I just got done doing a circle of death in a conference room with 14 other people.  Whew!  It’s still not my favorite activity, but I did fine.  I remembered to slow down and believe I sounded confident and relaxed.

We head out for lunch soon... a group of my co-workers and the client, so this gives me an opportunity to practice my slowing down, focusing externally, and "small talk is small talk because it’s small."  I know I can handle this.

I thought it was interesting to see how many people were visibly nervous when they had to introduce themselves.  There were a lot of red faces.  It puts everything into perspective when I see this.  Everyone gets nervous and it is OK.  It does not have to be viewed as a negative thing to fight against.

You guys know all this, but it just struck me again when I was in the meeting, so I thought I would share it with you.


Please join us on our public   page, and follow our  feed.

***The "Overcoming Social Anxiety" Audio Series is now completely digital, so this will save you time and money.  It will be especially helpful to our international friends.

**We have also added an Installment Payment option on the audio series page for those who want to pay that way.  Our goal is to reach as many people as possible with this therapy.

To use the payment plan, click the "Contact" button on the menu bar at the far right, select "Ordering" and mention "Installment Plan" in your message to us.

Social Anxiety CBT Groups Around The World

Go to the CBT Groups Operating page.  These groups are proactive and structured.  All of them use the "Overcoming Social Anxiety" audio series as a foundation for overcoming social anxiety.

You may be interested in reading:

Why it is Important to be Calm When Doing Therapy
Being Myself: Self Statements for Social Anxiety

Learning to Rid Ourselves of the Anxiety Monster

Statements for Being Rational

You CAN get better and overcome social anxiety.  It happens all the time. You deserve a better life, free from the anxiety and the restrictions that social anxiety places on you, and we are here to help aid you in this process.

Copyright © 2013, The Social Anxiety Institute, Inc.
Thomas A. Richards, Ph.D., Psychologist/Director, SAI
Matthew Whitley, Practice Manager
Justin Bashore, Aaron O'Banion, SAI Staff


Follow Dr. Richards

The Social Anxiety Association

The Social Anxiety Association is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 to meet the growing needs of people with social anxiety.  The SAA became inactive for several years due to lack of resources.  We are in the process of re-doing our website, listing all active, structured CBT groups for social anxiety, and renewing all our licenses.  Major changes will be happening by the end of 2013.  We publish new web content -- concerning social anxiety -- almost daily on the site now.

The Social Anxiety Institute is the largest website on the internet about social anxiety disorder (social phobia). Therapy programs have run at the Institute full-time since 1994.  Major new help for overcoming social anxiety is under development and will be introduced in 2013. 

For treatment: Overcoming social anxiety: Step by Step   A structured guide to overcoming social anxiety (a "How to" guide to get over social anxiety).

The Anxiety Network explains and describes five major anxiety disorders.

Guidelines for listing social anxiety groups on this site.  We cannot officially endorse groups, so check them out thoroughly.  We ask that they be groups that are operating, have a definite leader, and are thoroughly structured.  Social anxiety therapy groups are very different than the groups that operate for other mental health conditions.