Psychological Treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder and Specific Phobia

Leanne Magee, Brigette A. Erwin and Richard G. Heimberg

in Oxford Handbook of Anxiety and Related Disorders

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780195307030
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Psychological Treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder and Specific Phobia

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  • Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology



Social anxiety disorder and specific phobia are distinct disorders with distinct courses of illness, etiology, and prevalence rates. This chapter provides an overview of the treatment of social anxiety disorder and specific phobia, empirical support for their efficacy, and factors influencing outcome. For social anxiety disorder, cognitive behavioral therapy appears to be the best-established approach to treatment, and although social skills training as well as psychodynamic, interpersonal, and acceptance and commitment therapies may be beneficial, they require additional investigation. In the treatment of specific phobias, exposure emerges as the treatment of choice. There remains a significant lack of understanding regarding which treatments or combinations of treatments work best and whether individual differences or other variables lead to better treatment outcome.

Keywords: anxiety; cognitive behavioral therapy; psychodynamic therapy; social anxiety disorder; social phobia; social skills training; specific phobia; relaxation strategies

Article.  11811 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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