Mindfulness for Social Anxiety Disorder

Mindfulness for Social Anxiety Disorder

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Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) is a complex phobia characterised by a persistent and overwhelming fear of social situations. It's one of the most common anxiety disorders. Social anxiety disorder is much more than "shyness". It can be intense fear and anxiety over simple everyday activities and often over-spills into every aspect of a person's life.

In this important paper, two group therapies - namely Cognitive Behavioural Group Therapy (CBGT) and Mindfulness and Acceptance-based Group Therapy (MAGT) - are explored for their ability to reduce self-focused attention and safety behaviours. 137 people with a diagnosis of social anxiety disorder were randomly assigned to the 12-week treatment groups or a waitlist control and assessed at baseline, midtreatment, posttreatment, and a 3-month follow-up.

Participants in both the Cognitive Behavioural Group Therapy (CBGT) Group and the Mindfulness and Acceptance-based Group Therapy (MAGT) reported significantly lower self-focused attention and safety behaviors compared to control, but did not differ from one another at post-treatment. Researchers concluded that both treatments may have the potential to reduce the self-focused attention and safety behaviors that serve to maintain social anxiety disorder.

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS