Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook: Proven, Step-by-Step Techniques for Overcoming your Fear by Martin M. Antony PhD and Richard Swinson MD FRCPC FRCP

shyness n social anxiety wkbkI recommend using this book when working with adults and some teens who have high levels of shyness and social anxiety.  In a clear, and easy to read fashion, this book takes you step-by-step through the process of learning about how cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) views shyness and social anxiety and is a powerful tool in overcoming how these thoughts and feelings can hold you back from living your life in a way that you are comfortable and happy with.  CBT is a therapeutic philosophy and a large body of scientific research strongly supports CBT as the foremost treatment of social anxiety.

I do think that most people would still need a therapist to be guiding them through the process because for the individual working to learn these skills and challenging themselves to try new things, it can take a lot of energy.  When a therapist is coaching you in the sidelines (and celebrating your successes with you), it frees you up to devote all of your energy towards growing.  However, over time, these are skills that you will learn and can take with you forever.  Once you understand how it works and how powerful it is, you will be able to use this approach to tackle any similar issues that should come up for you in the future.

As a therapist, I don’t use this book alone.  I supplement it with concrete, scientifically grounded information about relaxation breathingGrowth Mindset as well as other customized handouts and tally sheets for homework.