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Research on Social Anxiety and the Effectiveness of CBT

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Two questions that people often ask me relate to my use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for social anxiety and the effectiveness of its use online. The research on social anxiety and CBT is pretty clear: dozens of gold-standard trials demonstrate that sufferers experience reduced anxiety and improved lives through the principles of CBT.  I have continued to use CBT for years in my office practice because of the results I’ve seen. When I decided to explore Intenet-based CBT, I read a great deal about the topic, mostly based on research being done in the UK, Australia and Sweden. The results of this research confirmed what I suspected based on the systematic nature of CBT, that CBT lends itself especially well to an online environment. According to current research, Internet-based CBT is as effective as face-to-face CBT. That’s been very reassuring to me as we bring the proven benefits of CBT to more people through our Learn to Live Social Anxiety Program.

 

1) Is CBT better than other therapy?

A controlled experiment demonstrates that Cognitive Behavioral Methods were far more helpful to people suffering from social anxiety than supportive therapy.

 

2) Does internet-based CBT work for social anxiety? 

A recent investigation found that individuals with social anxiety experienced significant improvement with online CBT-based methods. The added assistance of an online therapist with the online intervention did not increase benefits.

 

3) Does internet-based CBT work?

Controlled studies consistently reveal that Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Training (ICBT) is an effective solution for several anxiety disorders, depression, and a number of other mental health and adjustment problems. In these studies, users provided with ICBT have had much better outcomes than those in control groups. In fact, ICBT has performed as well as the current therapy of choice, face-to-face Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (FCBT), in several (e.g., Furmark et al 2009, Bergstrom et al, 2010).

 

4) Is internet-based CBT as effective as face-to-face CBT?

Controlled studies conducted in Sweden have found internet-administered CBT-based solutions as effective as face-to-face CBT for social anxiety.

 

5) Does internet-based CBT last?

Investigators have discovered that the impressive gains from online CBT-based interventions were maintained 5 years later.

 

6) Does CBT change the brain?

Multiple studies have shown that Cognitive Behavioral methods change the brain of people with anxiety problems… in much the same way as medications change the brain.

 

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This post was written by Dr. Russ Morfitt