Psychological Treatments for Social Phobia
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OBJECTIVE: 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). METHOD: We qualitatively reviewed the empirical literature on the psychological treatment of SP. We include empirical studies, metaanalyses, and recent conference presentations in this review. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSION: 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.
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