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Cognitive-behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder: current status and future directions

  • Richard G. Heimberg
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to R.G. Heimberg, Adult Anxiety Clinic, Department of Psychology, Temple University, Weiss Hall, 1701 North Thirteenth Street, Philadelphia PA 19122-6085USA
    Affiliations
    Adult Anxiety Clinic of Temple University, Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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      Abstract

      Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most thoroughly studied nonpharmacologic approach to the treatment of social anxiety disorder, and its efficacy has been demonstrated in a large number of investigations. This article summarizes the data on the efficacy of CBT for the treatment of the symptoms of social anxiety disorder and impaired quality of life. The relative efficacy of various CBT approaches, both in the short-term and over extended follow-up periods, is reviewed. Factors associated with more or less positive response to CBT among patients with social anxiety disorder are examined. Special attention is given to the comparison of CBT with pharmacologic approaches to the treatment of social anxiety disorder and the potential utility of combining these approaches. Future directions in the application of combinations of CBT and pharmacotherapy to the treatment of social anxiety disorder are discussed.

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