To review the empirical status of psychological treatments for social phobia (SP), commenting both on cognitive-behavioural interventions and on more recent iterations of those approaches. We also review the effective components of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).
We qualitatively reviewed the empirical literature on the psychological treatment of SP. We include empirical studies, metaanalyses, and recent conference presentations in this review.
Cognitive and behavioural interventions for SP appear to be more effective than wait-list controls and supportive therapy. Comparisons of CBT and pharmacologic treatment have produced inconsistent results. Several new treatments for SP demonstrate promising results.
Evidence suggests that various psychosocial treatments for SP are better than wait-list controls and credible placebo interventions. Ongoing projects investigate the relative efficacy of combining medication and psychosocial treatments over monotherapies; this line of research is important to continue. Further research should also focus on which components of CBT are most effective.