Exposure Therapy as an Intervention for Social Anxiety Disorder: A Case Study of a College Student

Abstract

Social anxiety disorder or SAD is defined as intense fear or anxiety of one or more social situations where one might behave embarrassingly or be observed and be negatively evaluated by others. This anxiety makes individuals distance themselves from daily social situations. Individuals with SAD are more likely to have impairments in various areas of functioning and experience reduced quality of life. Interventions are given to reduce anxiety symptoms in social situations. Common interventions given to SAD clients are cognitive behavior therapy, exposure therapy, social skills training, and relaxation. Exposure therapy is recognized as one of the most effective interventions to decrease social anxiety symptoms. This kind of anxiety could happen to college students as well. This clinical case study examines a 21-year-old college student, "Deasy", who presents symptoms of SAD based on the DSM-5, including avoidance and excessive anxiety of social situations, difficulties in daily social functions, fear of being in crowds, and excessive anxiety to interact with others. This anxiety also made her afraid to actively participated in the learning process because she worried to be looked foolish by her lecturer and classmates. The exposure therapy was used to decrease her anxiety toward five social situations that she tends to avoid, especially in the college context. She gradually confronted fear-inducing social stimuli from the least to most feared. The result of this therapy showed that CBT was an effective intervention to reduce social anxiety symptoms as measured with the Social Phobia Inventory.



Author Information
Josephine Indah Setyawati, Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia
Adhityawarman Menaldi, Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2020
Stream: Counselling

This paper is part of the ACE2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by amp21