Nature and treatment of social phobia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution


Social phobia affects around 5% of the Australian population in a 12-month period and impacts on all areas of life functioning. It is a chronic condition that starts young and is associated with especially low levels of remission. Traditional treatments for social phobia have resulted in some of the lowest improvement rates for any anxiety disorder. Over the past decade, researchers at the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University have been working theoretically and empirically to improve our treatment for social phobia. This has resulted in a comprehensive treatment program that has been empirically validated and shown to produce larger effects than traditional “older-style” treatments. The aim of this workshop will be to describe the nature and treatment of social fears and anxieties in adults with particular focus on our current, “best-practice” treatment program. The workshop will begin at an introductory level, but will move onto more advanced applications. We will begin with coverage of the recognition of social fears and diagnosis of social phobia and related disorders in adults. The workshop will then move on to consideration of assessment issues and will provide an overview of current views of aetiology and maintenance of the problem. The majority of the workshop will concentrate on coverage of psychological treatment strategies. Basic components such as cognitive restructuring and exposure will be covered. More recent techniques such as attention training, the role of safety cues, and detailed feedback will also be addressed. Given time, difficulties in application such as comorbidity and other complications will be discussed. Where possible, the workshop will make use of case presentations, video, and role play. Attendees will learn how to recognise and diagnose social phobia in adults, how to assess social fears, a better understanding of the possible causes and maintaining factors in social fears, current strategies in the management of social phobia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstracts of the 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology
EditorsVicky Mrowinski, Michael Kyrios, Nicholas Voudouris
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherThe Australian Psychological Society
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)9780909881467
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventInternational Congress of Applied Psychology (27th : 2010) - Melbourne
Duration: 11 Jul 201016 Jul 2010


ConferenceInternational Congress of Applied Psychology (27th : 2010)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Nature and treatment of social phobia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Rapee, R. (2010). Nature and treatment of social phobia. In V. Mrowinski, M. Kyrios, & N. Voudouris (Eds.), Abstracts of the 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology (pp. 57-58). Melbourne: The Australian Psychological Society.