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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder: Supporting Evidence and Future Directions

  • James P. Hambrick, Justin W. Weeks, Gerlinde C. Harb and Richard G. Heimberg


The present paper examines the role of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD). A cognitive-behavioral model of SAD is first presented. Different modalities of CBT for SAD are then described, including exposure, cognitive restructuring, relaxation training, and social skills training, and evidence supporting their efficacy is reviewed. The comparative and combined impact of CBT and pharmacotherapeutic interventions is also explored. CBT appears to be an efficacious treatment for SAD. However, the overall efficacy CBT may be increased by closer examination of the active ingredients of treatment. Such analyses may also enable more successful integration of the different CBT techniques and of CBT and pharmacotherapy in the treatment of SAD.


Corresponding author

Please direct all correspondence to: Richard G. Heimberg, PhD, Adult Anxiety Clinic of Temple University, Department of Psychology, Temple University, Weiss Hall, 1701 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6085; Tel: 215-204-1575, Fax: 215-204-5184; Email:


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