Social anxiety (also known as social phobia) is characterised by an extreme and persistent fear of negative evaluation/judgement by other people in social settings. A person with social phobia will usually experience high levels of anxiety in the lead up to and during a social event, such as a party, lunch meeting or presentation. The core fear is that based on how they speak/behave or look, other people will form a negative judgement of them. In response to their social anxiety, the person will either avoid social situations or endure them with high levels of distress and more subtle forms of avoidance (e.g. reduced eye contact when talking to others). Left untreated, social anxiety can have a profoundly debilitating effect upon an individual and contributes to impaired academic and career performance as well as relationship functioning.
At Vital Mind Psychology, we have the skills, experience and expertise to accurately assess and treat social anxiety.