Group Therapy While Coping with Social Anxiety: How to Make It Work

Social anxiety can make you feel alone and misunderstood. The good news is that group therapy can help.

Do you feel nervous or uncomfortable in social situations? You might have social anxiety. This can make everyday activities, like talking to people at work, going to school, or attending social events tough. Social anxiety can make you feel alone and misunderstood. The good news is that this isn’t a reason to avoid group therapy – it can help you tremendously. In group therapy at We Level Up Treatment Centers, people with similar problems meet regularly with a therapist to talk and support each other. This can be especially helpful for social anxiety. Group therapy can help you feel less alone, learn from others, and practice new skills in real-life situations.

group therapy while coping with social anxiety banner

What is social anxiety?

Social anxiety is much more than shyness. It’s a deep fear of being put on the spot or judged in social moments, and it can really mess with daily life. Many people struggle with social anxiety. More than 12% of adult people in the US engage in coping with social anxiety disorder at one point in their lives. Let’s break it down:

  • The dread before social scenes: Ever felt nervous about a gathering days before? That’s social anxiety gearing up.
  • Skipping out: The mere thought of attending can be so daunting, you might just bail.
  • Body on edge: Ever noticed your hands shaking or your heart racing around people? That’s your body reacting.
  • Fear of eyes on you: It often feels like everyone’s watching and silently judging you.
  • Stuck for words: Worrying about saying something silly? That can clamp your mouth shut.
  • Self-doubt creeps in: Hanging out with others sometimes leaves you feeling pretty low about yourself.
An anxious person
Coping with social anxiety is difficult.

The ripple effects of social anxiety

This isn’t just about the butterflies before a speech; it’s an everyday struggle that seeps into work, friendships, and self-esteem. Many people get as anxious as you might. It’s a wide-scale issue.

Here are some problems you might face while coping with social anxiety at work:

  • Silenced ideas: Fear of judgment might keep your thoughts locked up tight, even when they’re worth sharing.
  • Networking nightmares: Making work friends feels like climbing Everest—steep and scary.
  • Mistake paranoia: The worry about messing up can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Growth stunted: Dodging anxiety-inducing scenarios means sometimes missing out on career boosts.

Also, you might be coping with social anxiety in social settings. Here is what can happen:

  • You avoid social events: Big gatherings or even cozy meetups can feel like too much, leading you to pass on them.
  • Loneliness lurks: You might feel left out.
  • Friendship fumbles: It’s hard to build and maintain bonds if you’re never around.
  • Misunderstandings multiply: People might not get why you’re MIA, which can strain relationships.
A lonely person coping with social anxiety
People coping with social anxiety avoid social events.

Managing the challenges of social anxiety

It’s tough, because it hits on several fronts—from how you feel inside to how you interact with the world. Here’s the real talk on why it’s so hard:

  • Constant alarm bells: It’s like being on high alert for social threats, real or imagined, all the time.
  • The body’s betrayal: Those physical signs of anxiety? They’re not just uncomfortable, they amplify the fear of being noticed.
  • A blow to confidence: Regularly ducking out of social stuff or feeling like you’re not handling it well can really knock your self-esteem.
  • Feeling misunderstood: When people around you don’t get what social anxiety feels like, it can deepen the sense of isolation.

The role of group therapy in treating and coping with social anxiety

Picture group therapy as a gathering spot where everyone truly understands the hurdles you’re facing. Guided by a skilled therapist, this setup ensures that every voice finds its moment in the spotlight. The sessions during group therapy are a zone where being your true self is accepted and you get encouraged. Also, facing your social fears doesn’t seem so daunting when you’re doing it alongside others. Whether it’s speaking up or engaging in role-play, the group’s presence makes each step feel more like a shared journey.

This is a room full of people ready to uplift and advise you, armed with empathy because they truly understand. That’s the essence of group therapy. Through sharing and listening, you will gather a variety of strategies to navigate previously intimidating social scenarios with newfound grace.

Why it might be for you

Group therapy might ideal for you for the following reasons:

  • The power of connection: Discovering you’re not alone in your struggles, and that others have stories similar to yours, can be incredibly comforting and eye-opening.
  • Rehearsals for real life: The group provides a rehearsal space to polish your social skills—be it chatting, eye contact, or any social nuance—in a judgment-free environment.
  • Witnessing progress: Seeing fellow group members tackle their anxieties and grow can be hugely motivating. It’s like watching live proof that change is possible, sparking a “That could be me” moment.
  • Diverse perspectives: The mix of backgrounds and experiences enriches the conversation, offering a kaleidoscope of coping strategies and insights that could change how you see and handle your anxiety.
  • Social skills in action: It’s more than just overcoming fears; it’s a crash course in relating to others and enhancing your communication prowess in a supportive setting.
  • A shift towards confidence: Many find that, with time, group therapy nurtures a significant drop in anxiety levels, paving the way for more confident and comfortable social interactions.
Group therapy for people coping with social anxiety
Group therapy is very effective for coping with social anxiety.

Making group therapy work for you

Stepping into group therapy when you’re coping with social anxiety might seem intimidating at first glance. Here is how to make the most of it:

  • Embrace small beginnings: It’s okay to start with baby steps. Share a little when you feel ready, even if it’s just a sentence or two.
  • Define your goals: Consider what you hope to gain from attending. Having clear objectives can help steer your journey and measure your growth.
  • Listen actively: Engaging in the stories of others can be incredibly enriching. It reduces feelings of isolation and offers new insights.
  • Be kind to yourself: Acknowledge the courage it takes to participate. Celebrate your presence and participation as victories in their own right.

Practical tips for everyday scenarios

Here are some tips for coping with social anxiety to follow when it comes to scenarios in everyday life:

  • Control your breath. Deep breathing can be a quick way to dial down nerves before social engagements or presentations.
  • Rehearse and prepare. Anticipate and practice your part in upcoming social or professional settings. Familiarity can significantly ease anxiety.
  • Shift the focus. Concentrate on others during interactions. Ask questions and show interest. It shifts attention away from you and facilitates easier conversation.
  • Question negative thoughts. Whenever negative perceptions arise, assess them critically. Our fears often exaggerate reality.
  • Lean on your circle. Rely on understanding friends, relatives, or colleagues. Sharing your apprehensions and victories with them can be incredibly supportive.
  • Celebrate every step forward. Recognize your efforts and successes, no matter the size. Each step forward is a testament to your resilience.
  • Prioritize self-care. Regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and engaging in enjoyable activities are foundational to both mental and physical well-being.

Integrating lessons from group therapy

Bring the techniques and strategies from group therapy for social anxiety into your daily interactions. Continuous practice will enhance your confidence. Also, after social situations, take time to ponder what went well and what could be improved. Growth is as much about reflection as it is about action. In addition, continue attending group therapy sessions, even when you feel improvements.

A person who does not know how to deal with social anxiety at work
We will show you how to deal with social anxiety at work.

How We Level Up helps you cope with social anxiety while in rehab

At We Level Up Treatment Centers, people coping with social anxiety who battle with substance use or mental health issues find a welcoming space designed just for them. This place is about rediscovering strength and hope and learning how to deal with social anxiety in public and social settings.

Residential rehab

Residential rehab means living at residential treatment centers where you get help and care all day, every day. This kind of care is really good for people who need extra support to deal with their addiction. Here’s why it’s helpful:

  • Always there for you: Imagine having professionals around you any time you need them. That’s what happens in residential rehab. Doctors and nurses are always there, ready to help you through tough times.
  • Away from bad influences: By staying in a rehab center, you leave behind the things or people that might make your addiction worse. It’s like hitting pause on the stressful parts of your life so you can focus on getting better.
  • Space to heal: Being in rehab gives you the chance to step back from your daily life and really think about your addiction. You get to spend time understanding yourself better, away from all the noise. It’s a peaceful place where you can start healing both your body and mind.

Inpatient rehab

Inpatient rehab will give you a space where you can explore the roots of your addiction with a therapist by your side. Inpatient rehab is about deep dives into your psyche. We uncover the triggers that push you towards substances. Your therapist will be your ally while coping with severe social anxiety, and arm you with mental strategies and tools—to deal with life’s ups and downs without reverting to old ways.

During inpatient rehabs, you’re introduced to support groups that understand your struggle because they’re right there with you. Living alongside peers who are also fighting their demons creates a bond unlike any other. This connection goes beyond therapy sessions and weaves through every chat and shared laugh, building a support network that’s both compassionate and motivating. Imagine someone being there for you at the break of dawn, ready to share a moment of understanding or a chuckle that somehow makes the burden a little lighter. Also, they can give you many tips for coping with social anxiety.

Also, you get round-the-clock availability. Be it a middle-of-the-night crisis, a wave of doubt, or just need an ear, assistance is always within reach. This constant care makes your brave decision to pursue sobriety feel a tad more manageable.

A person coping with severe social anxiety sitting alone
Overcoming social anxiety requires professional treatment.

Anxiety treatment

When it comes to overcoming anxiety, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why it’s important to talk with a mental health professional who can figure out what’s going on and suggest the best therapy for you. Here’s a look at some therapies that have helped loads of people feel better.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is very effective for anxiety treatment. It’s all about talking through stuff and understanding how your thoughts can mess with your feelings and actions. CBT teaches you to spot those negative thoughts and switch up your reactions to stuff that triggers your anxiety. It’s like becoming a detective in your own mind, figuring out clues to solve the mystery of your anxiety.

Motivational interviewing is another great option that will help you while coping with social anxiety. It’s kind of like having a pep talk with your therapist to find the get-up-and-go you need to tackle your anxiety. It’s all about finding your inner motivation to make changes and feel better.

And then there’s dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). This one’s a bit different because it combines bits of CBT with other strategies to help you manage your emotions in a healthier way. If your emotions feel like a wild rollercoaster, DBT might be just the ticket to help you find a smoother ride.

Antisocial personality disorder

Treating ASPD can be tough. And what does ASPD stand for? It stands for antisocial personality disorder. Here is how we manage it at We Level Up:

  • Talking therapy: This is a key treatment where therapists help people spot and change negative thoughts and actions. It’s about learning to cope better and understand the effects of one’s behavior on others.
  • Medicine: There aren’t medicines just for ASPD, but doctors might give medicines to help with problems like feeling really sad or too worried, or acting on impulse.
  • Learning to control anger: People with ASPD often feel really angry or act without thinking. There are special classes that teach how to cool down and think before acting.
  • Improving social skills: Some people with ASPD find it hard to get along with others. Training can help improve how to talk to people, understand others’ feelings, and solve problems without conflict.
  • Dealing with substance abuse: Many with ASPD also have trouble with using too much alcohol or drugs. Getting help for substance abuse is important and can include detox, counseling, and support groups.
People coping with social anxiety putting hands together during group therapy
You will learn how to deal with social anxiety during group therapy.

Group therapy for social anxiety will give you the support you need

By bringing people together who share similar struggles, support groups for social anxiety offer unique insights and support that can’t be found elsewhere. This approach helps in understanding and managing social anxiety and in practicing new skills in a safe environment. The blend of group therapy with other treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication (if needed), and lifestyle changes, forms a comprehensive strategy. This holistic approach addresses the issue from multiple angles and helps you greatly in coping with social anxiety. The success stories of many people highlight the potential of such combined treatments in significantly improving the quality of life.

Experience Transformative Recovery at We Level Up Treatment Centers.

See our authentic success stories. Get inspired. Get the help you deserve.

We Level Up Treatment Centers for Drug Alcohol Rehab Detox Behavioral Mental Health Dual Diagnosis TherapyWe Level Up Treatment Centers for Drug Alcohol Rehab Detox Behavioral Mental Health Dual Diagnosis TherapyWe Level Up Treatment Centers for Drug Alcohol Rehab Detox Behavioral Mental Health Dual Diagnosis Therapy

Hotline (844) 597-1011
Voluntarily testimonials from the We Level Up Treatment Center network vary. Not intended as a guaranteed treatment or outcome as each person's journey is unique.

Start a New Life

Begin with a free call to an addiction & behavioral health treatment advisor. Learn more about our dual-diagnosis programs. The We Level Up Treatment Center Network delivers recovery programs that vary by each treatment facility. Call to learn more.

  • Personalized Care
  • Caring Accountable Staff
  • World-class Amenities
  • Licensed & Accredited
  • Renowned w/ 100s 5-Star Reviews

We’ll Call You