Ask Jonathan

Social & Performance Anxiety

Asked By: Anonymous     Views: 2,697 times

What treatment is available for a person with severe social anxiety who refuses to acknowlege the problem and continues to blame everyone else.  Cannot be reasoned with through counseling. No place to go.

Your scenario is very common; an intelligent adult, who is nort capable of “initiative” regarding mental health issues, and who is in denial. The typical response of a therapist to this situation is “If your son has a problem bring him to the office”. Then one to one therapy takes place which absolutely will not address the avoidance-dependence dynamic. Your son has learned to not get out of his comfort zone. This is a multi-dimensional concept. He has learned to detach or disconnect from uncomfortable thoughts (hence the denial), emotions, and physiology (the adrenaline driven visceral response). Of course he has learned to avoid situations which activate the anxiety and iscomfort. This is callled a phobia. It is imperative that parents get on the same team with parenting philosophy and technique. It is vital that you understand multi-dimensionally how he is dependent on you and then create and implement a system of empowering vs. enabling the addiction to avoidance based on your “leverage”, which you have alot of, but which you may confused about. In my new book “Work Makes Me Nervous” my co-writer Amy Lemley comes out of the closet with her avoidant personality and discusses in detail her recovery. At there are many free interviews with individuals and families who have achieved a resolution to this problem. If you listen carfeully you will hear not only testimonials but great insight. It is not my intention at askjonathan to do marketing but to educate. The reality is that the answer to your question is that I am not aware of other therapists who implement a similar therapeutic strategy. My original book “Beyond Shyness” provides a self-help treatment strategy for you; the parents of an adult with crippling social anxiety. PLease review treatment options carefully at as they are available to you.

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