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Social Anxiety Disorder or social phobia, is the third largest mental health care problem in the world. (Stein, 2010) National statistical surveys carried out in 2002 in the United Kingdom suggest that the prevalence rates for social phobias among young people in the UK were around 4%. (National Statistics, 2002)
‘Social phobia is characterised by intense and persistent fear of social situations in which scrutiny and embarrassment could occur’. (Orsillo & Hammond 2001, p.159) The individual with social phobia often feels they are being looked at, studied and critically analysed. Social anxiety is unlike other phobias in that it has the constant likelihood of being verified as being true. (Beck 2005, p.151)
Self-focussed attention has been described as ‘The engine that drives social phobia’ (2004, Bennett-Levy J, 2004, p.142) and self-focus is central to the Clark social phobia model. The type of self-focussed attention is not self-loving and accepting, it is instead negative and critical. I have not met a social phobic who thought others evaluated them posit…
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