What is Cognitive Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder (CT-SAD)?

CT-SAD stands for Cognitive Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder. It is a specific type of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) that is designed to treat social anxiety disorder (SAD). CBT is a type of therapy that helps people to identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to their anxiety. CT-SAD is a specialised form of CBT that is tailored to the specific needs of people with SAD.

CT-SAD is based on the Clark and Wells model of SAD, which suggests that SAD is caused by a combination of negative thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and physical sensations. CT-SAD helps people to identify and challenge their negative thoughts about social situations, to develop more realistic and helpful ways of thinking, and to gradually expose themselves to the social situations that they fear.

CT-SAD has been shown to be very effective in treating SAD. In fact, it is considered to be the gold standard treatment for SAD. CT-SAD can be delivered individually or in groups. It is typically delivered over the course of 10-12 sessions.

What is the Clark and Wells model?

The Clark and Wells model of social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a cognitive-behavioral model that explains the development and maintenance of SAD. The model suggests that SAD is caused by a combination of negative thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical sensations.

Negative thoughts

People with SAD often have negative thoughts about themselves and social situations. For example, they may think that they are stupid, boring, or unattractive. They may also worry that others will judge them or evaluate them negatively.

Feelings

Negative thoughts can lead to negative feelings, such as anxiety, fear, and shame.

Behaviors

People with SAD may avoid social situations altogether, or they may engage in safety behaviors to reduce their anxiety. For example, they may avoid eye contact, talk quietly, or rehearse what they are going to say ahead of time.

Physical sensations

Anxiety can cause a number of physical sensations, such as sweating, trembling, blushing, and racing heart.

The Clark and Wells model suggests that these negative thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and physical sensations interact with each other to create a vicious cycle. For example, a person with SAD may have the negative thought that everyone will judge them in a social situation. This thought may lead to anxiety and physical sensations such as sweating and trembling. The person may then engage in safety behaviours such as avoiding eye contact or talking quietly. These safety behaviours may help to reduce the person’s anxiety in the short term, but they actually maintain the problem in the long term.

The Clark and Wells model has been very influential in the development of treatments for SAD, including cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of therapy that helps people to identify and challenge their negative thoughts and beliefs. CBT can also help people to develop more realistic and helpful ways of thinking and to gradually expose themselves to the social situations that they fear.