Why a social flexibility group?
Over the last couple of months we have been working with teens and adults struggling with “fear of embarrassment or humiliation in social situations.” Most people dwell over these situations either before, during, or after them. Sadly, the task of managing their anxiety becomes a full time job, 24/7 days a week, with the end result of avoiding social events or attending to them using emotional crutches (carrying meds, playing with the cell phone as a form of distraction, attending to events only with “safe people,” etc).
In United states, social anxiety is the fourth most common psychological problem; it affects 7% of the adult population and 1-3 adolescents aged 13-18 are affected as well. We know social anxiety exists, and we know how to effectively treated, but here is the problem: it’s an under-diagnosed condition.
Socially anxious or shy/introverted teens by nature are not the kids/teens that are going to get in trouble, unless they get bullied, then their struggles are more visible. Socially anxious kids have a solid academic performance for the most part and therefore teachers don’t notice their struggles unless the academic task involves doing a presentation or when their grades are based on active social participation. However, they really struggle building friendships, maintaining a conversation, ordering food, or simply dealing with others. They really want a friend but anxiety takes over when the opportunity presents.
In adult life, socially anxious people struggle so much more because there is an extreme cultural pressure for everyone to be socially outgoing and extroverted, especially in work environments, as it if by nature everyone has or should have a sociable temperament. The process of applying for a job, interviewing, speaking about their work skills and/or “socially” presenting themselves it’s not a simple but a colossal task for them (more than you can imagine).
As therapists, we know and fundamentally believe that we can help these clients, as we have been doing at our center to the best of our abilities. We’re also aware that there is so much we can do in individual therapy; the impact of group learning when dealing with social anxiety is actually a very important component of treatment & help for these clients (as research has consistently showed us).In our attempt to be more effective with our clients, and continue to do what psychological science shows us “works”, we are offering our annual group of “social flexibility.”
Our social flexibility group is a 10-week program that will allow participants to understand how anxiety has become a problem in their life and will prepare them to face places, situations, or people they have been avoiding in a very safe manner and at their pace (exposure exercises). Personalized life exposures will also be conducted in order to fully make a difference in the treatment. The first five weeks of treatment take place in our office and the other five outside at different locations: grocery stores, coffeeshops, etc.
Date/time: Wednesdays, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Beginning date: January 25th, 2017.