John suffered from severe Social Anxiety for as long as he could remember.
He had always felt “weird” and socially awkward. He never knew what to say in social situations. Usually, his mind would freeze up during conversations and he would be unable to think of anything to say. This led to lots of awkward pauses, which made him extremely uncomfortable and anxious.
Eventually John just stopped trying to be social.
He would turn down invitations to parties and other social opportunities. He had few friends and never had any serious relationships even though this is something he always wanted. Sometimes he even felt anxious just going to crowded places like the mall because it felt like everyone was watching him and judging him. He felt lonely and depressed.
John had been to several therapists over the years.
Some therapists talked to him about his problems while others tried to teach him how to think differently about social situations so his fears would decrease. Unfortunately, nothing worked and John felt even more hopeless afterwards. He feared that nothing could help him.
One day, John heard that I (Dr. Stein) specialized in treating social anxiety using a unique, proven approach and decided to give it one last shot.
John’s anxiety improved so much that he felt like a completely new person.
John’s anxiety treatment was a life-changer; he made incredible progress with his social anxiety and noticed it gradually decreasing week after week.
John became comfortable initiating and maintaining conversations.
As his anxiety decreased, he stopped worrying about saying the wrong thing or running out of things to say. He was surprised to find that once his anxiety subsided, his social skills were actually much better than he thought. Eventually, he even started to enjoy talking to people!
John began to receive and accept social invitations and met lots of new people.
He invited coworkers to do things with him outside of work. I showed him some places to find groups he could join to do fun things and meet people. Much to his own amazement, John found that people reacted positively to him and he was able to make friends.
His social circle grew quickly and by the end of treatment, he was doing something with friends almost every night of the week. He had to start turning down social invitations not because he was too anxious but because he was too busy!
Finally, John said he felt ready to start dating for the first time ever.
I helped him set up an online dating profile and he quickly started getting dates. He also successfully asked out a woman he met at a party.
At the end of therapy, John felt like a changed man.
He never thought he could make so many friends and that he would enjoy talking to people so much. His mood had improved and he was no longer depressed. He was enjoying work more because he was now willing to communicate with coworkers and bosses when he needed to. John felt optimistic for the future and was excited about his new social life.