Research suggests that paranoia and social anxiety can be understood as part of the same continuum, having shared processes such as the anticipation of threat, cognitive biases, poor self-concept, worry and safety-seeking behaviours. There is limited research on whether evidence-based interventions for social anxiety could be used with individuals who experience paranoia; however, an existing brief intervention study using techniques taken from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for social anxiety has had promising results.
This paper uses a single-case experimental design to explore whether using a clinical model of the maintenance of paranoia followed by CBT for social anxiety can be an effective formulation and intervention method in cases where social anxiety processes appear to be maintaining paranoid thoughts. This may be an effective formulation and intervention method, resulting in a reduction in anxiety and a reduction in the distress associated with paranoid thoughts. The clinical implications are discussed along with limitations and recommendations for further research.
Key learning aims
- (1)To describe shared processes in social anxiety and paranoia.
- (2)To identify the benefits and limitations of using a clinical model of paranoia and CBT for social anxiety for formulation and intervention with individuals experiencing paranoia.
- (3)To identify areas where further research is warranted in treatment for individuals experiencing paranoia.