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Non-pharmacologic treatments for social anxiety disorder


  • This paper was supported by the Global Research on Anxiety and Depression Network (GRAD) (, through an unrestricted educational grant made possible by Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals.

Dr Richard Heimberg, Adult Anxiety Clinic of Temple, Department of Psychology, Temple University, 1701 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6085, USA Tel: +1 215 204 1575; Fax: +1 215 204 5184; E-mail:


Objective:  The purpose of this paper is to present a review of research on the efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions for children, adolescents and adults with social anxiety disorder. Data are presented on the relative efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBTs), pharmacotherapy and combination treatments. We also discuss research on specific clinical conditions that are likely to influence treatment success.

Method:  Relevant studies were identified through literature searches, reference lists and research databases.

Results:  Non-pharmacologic treatments for social anxiety disorder, particularly CBTs, have gained substantial empirical support over the last two decades. However, questions remain about how to maximize the benefit of available treatments.

Conclusion:  New directions for future research in this area are discussed.