A couple of weeks ago I wrote about what characterizes social phobia/anxiety and mentioned briefly that the most effective treatments have an exposure-based component.
Now, occasionally when I tell my clients, new or current ones, about exposure-based interventions it’s natural to witness a fearful facial expression, a moment of surprise, or hear the words “there is no way I’ll do that.”
Was that your reaction when you read about social anxiety and exposure work?
As a clinician that fundamentally believe in gently inviting clients to face those uncomfortable private experiences because I’m fully aware of how debilitating is to continue to engage in avoidant behaviors, I can only tell you that: You don’t need to do anything you don’t want; it’s your decision at the end.
If you’re willing to take a risk and do some exposure work, then I would like to ask you one simple question: would it be worth to face what you’re afraid of in social situations in the spirit of living a values-based life?
No one except you can answer those questions. If you have been struggling with “loneliness” because of social phobia/anxiety, you know where the “avoidance path” could take you. If you want to work towards creating intimacy in your relationships or a values-based life, there is room to grow in the midst of your struggle.