Have you been thinking about getting help for social anxiety but don’t know where to start? Choosing a treatment plan is a big step and can feel overwhelming. This guide will give you an overview of 6 common social anxiety treatments and help you compare the differences between them to determine which treatment is best for you.
Overview of social anxiety treatments
Research has shown that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the number one treatment for social anxiety. A meta-analysis of over 100 studies concluded that CBT “should be regarded as the best intervention for the initial treatment of social anxiety disorder .” Also, CBT is recommended by leading mental health organizations like the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)  and the U.K. National Health Service (NHS).
Nowadays, CBT is not only delivered in the therapist’s office, but also through apps, online programs, and books. Studies have shown that CBT can be effective in all these formats, so when you’re choosing a plan, it’s helpful to consider personal preferences like cost, convenience, and how much accountability you need. For example, if you’re super self-driven, a CBT self-help book offers a lot of flexibility. But, if you tend to procrastinate, a self-help book may not offer the accountability you need. It’s like training for a marathon; you might be self-motivated enough to stick to weeks of a training plan, or you might need a personal trainer or running group to stay motivated.
Treatment comparison chart
To help you decide, here’s a chart summarizing the different treatment options for social anxiety. We’ll devote a chapter in this guide to each of these approaches: