Upstate News

September 24, 2004
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Therapy sessions for social phobia offered

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Adult Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic is accepting patients with generalized social phobia for a 20-week group therapy session that uses cognitive-behavioral therapy. The program will begin in mid-October. Each session lasts two hours.

Generalized social phobia, the third most common psychiatric disorder after depression and alcohol abuse, is characterized by excessive fear of most social situations due to concerns about humiliation, embarrassment and negative evaluation by others. It can interfere significantly with a person’s daily routine, social life or occupational functioning.

“Many people may be anxious about public speaking,” said clinic coordinator Anna Remen, Ph.D., a clinical associate professor at SUNY Upstate. “But individuals who have been diagnosed with social phobia have excessive fear about many issues related to the social setting.”

As a treatment for social phobia, Remen will use cognitive behavioral therapy, one of the most studied approaches to the treatment of social anxiety disorder. It helps by teaching people how to correct the dysfunctional beliefs that contribute to anxiety, reduce the feelings of anxiety, increase comfort with social situations and increase confidence with social skills.

The fee is $83 per person and is covered by most insurance companies.

To participate or for more information, call at 464-3167.

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