All About Socal Anxiety and How to Overcome it with Psychological Therapy & Counselling


What is Social Anxiety?

Social Anxiety is what you experience when you worry about other people (your social group) making a negative judgement about you, or scrutinising you for some action that you have carried out.

It is also symptomatic of the social pressure you may feel in meeting the expectations of your socio-cultural environment.

It is the MOST COMMON form of anxiety experienced by people, and although most sufferers recognise that it is irrational and disproportionate to the given situation, it tends to be quite difficult to overcome by will power alone!

Social Anxiety generally develops in the earlier stages in a persons life with research showing that 50% of all sufferers have the condition by just 11 years of age, and 80% of sufferers developing it by the age of 20.

It is also known by a number of different names including:

  • Social Phobia
  • S.A.D. (NOT seasonal affective disorder by the way)
  • Fear of Being Judged

Take Our Social Anxiety Test

Why not take our social anxiety test which measures the degree of anxiety you may be experiencing.


Social Anxiety Symptoms & Behaviours

The most frequent symptoms and behaviours include:

  • Excessive self-consciousness: Feeling self-conscious, embarrassed, or ashamed in social situations, and fearing that others are judging or scrutinising you.

  • Fear of negative evaluation: Worrying excessively about being judged or rejected by others, and avoiding situations where you might be evaluated.

  • Avoidance behaviours: Avoiding social situations or only attending them with great difficulty or discomfort.

  • Physical symptoms: Experiencing physical symptoms, such as sweating, blushing, trembling, rapid heartbeat, or nausea, in social situations.

  • Difficulty speaking: Feeling tongue-tied or having difficulty speaking in social situations, particularly in front of others.

  • Difficulty making eye contact: Avoiding eye contact or feeling uncomfortable when making eye contact with others.

  • Panic attacks: Experiencing sudden and intense episodes of fear or panic in social situations.

  • Impairment in functioning: Social anxiety can interfere with daily functioning and lead to difficulties in work, relationships, and social activities.

You may also have other symptoms not listed here but in general terms, symptoms are almost always related to the idea of negative social judgement.

Scientist examining the possible causes of social anxiety

What Causes Social Anxiety?

Human beings are social animals.

Unless we grow up in total isolation from other human beings, our lives are experienced within a social setting.

In order for us to successfully navigate these social settings and fit in with the other people around us, we must learn to live by the social rules and regulations that allow us to be members of that particular society.

These social rules and regulations are ‘given’ to us by our parents, our schools and the institutions which govern our day-to-day lives.

Consequently, the social rules that many of us live our lives by are those rules made up by other members of society and not of our own making.

We experience social anxiety when we fear that we have broken one of these rules, regardless of whether or not those rules actually make any sense in a real world context.

Social anxiety sufferer in therapy session

Therapy & Counselling for Social Anxiety

We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for social anxiety and anxiety-related problems.

Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:

  • How long you have had the problem.
  • Your personal preferences.
  • How your problem is affecting you today.

You can read more about the different types of therapy for social anxiety on the following links:

Although all therapies use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.

Research suggests that this therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.


Could Reality Therapy Be Right For You?

Reality Therapy is an approach which argues that your social anxiety is the result of the way that you think (your cognition) and not the result of any kind of external influence such as what other people might think about you.

It also argues that any past experiences which you may believe are the cause of your problems cannot really be held responsible because those situations are no longer happening and therefore do not exist.

By helping you to take responsibility for the way that you feel, Reality Therapy can help you to stop creating the anxiety and stress associated with your social worries as well as significantly improve the sense of control you have over the trajectory of your life going forward.

Free initial consultations for social anxiety

Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.

If you’d like to find out more about overcoming social anxiety or recovering from any of your mental health problems then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular issues and the different types of mental health counselling we offer without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.


Links to More Information

These links take you to other resources on the web.

Social Anxiety on the NHS website.

Helen Social Anxiety Testimonial

Helen Social Anxiety Testimonial

Helen Social Anxiety Testimonial “I was suffering with social anxiety and lack of confidence. It was at the point where I didn’t want to be social and I just wanted to fade into the background. This was no way to live my life and was causing me some real upset. I...

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Katies Social Phobia Testimonial

Katies Social Phobia Testimonial

Katie's Social Phobia Testimonial When i first arranged my appointment for hypnotherapy with Joan, I was quite apprehensive as I had never been hypnotised before and didn’t know if it would work. However, after the first session i knew that this was the way to go....

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Fear of Being Judged Testimonial

Fear of Being Judged Testimonial

Fear of Being Judged Testimonial I cannot thank Joan enough for her help and getting my life back. I was suffering with social anxiety and lack of confidence. It was at the point where I didn't want to be social and I just wanted to fade into the background. This was...

read more


Applied Psychology Solutions

If you’d like to learn how to overcome your social anxiety problems but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences with the CORE Programme.

If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.

How About Hypnotherapy?

There are numerous ways to overcome and cope with mental health problems and Hypnotherapy is an increasingly popular approach.

If you’d like to find out more about Hypnotherapy for Social Anxiety then click here to visit our sister website Wolverhampton Hypnotherapy.

Counselling Locations

We offer counselling for social anxiety problems for people living in:

  • Wombourne
  • Wolverhampton
  • West Midlands
  • Shropshire
  • South Staffordshire
  • Telford
  • Shrewsbury

You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.