If you are afraid that others will judge you negatively and therefore avoid social situations, you are suffering from Social Anxiety.
Some people have specific fears, such as of public speaking. Other people are anxious in most social situations. Children and teens might avoid sitting with others at lunch. Adults might avoid asking for a date. This avoidance can result in failure to achieve life goals, loneliness and depression. Some people with Social Anxiety “hide out in plain sight” by being superficially friendly but never letting anyone get to know them, so they have no real friends. Social Anxiety can have a very high cost.
I use Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to treat Social Anxiety. The client and I work together to develop tolerable exposures to social situations that were previously avoided.
I also work with some socially anxious clients using Radically Open DBT. http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_radical_open This is appropriate for ‘overcontrolled’ clients diagnosed with several disorders, including severe anxiety, chronic depression and high-functioning autism.
Social Anxiety responds very well to appropriate treatment. It is important to see a trained, collaborative clinician who can fine-tune treatment to your individual needs.
Call me at 508-735-4468 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.