Social anxiety is also known as performance anxiety. This is the third most common mental health problem worldwide. One third of the population has a marked fear of public speaking.

Social anxiety is a marked and persistent fear of social or performance situations. Individuals, who experience this, fear that they will be evaluated negatively by others or will act in a humiliating or embarrassing way. Facing social or performance situations might result in significant anxiety, and therefore these situations are avoided or endured with extreme distress. Social or performance situations might include:

  • Group conversations
  • Meetings
  • Delivering presentations
  • Working
  • Eating or drinking whilst being observed
  • Authority figures
  • Parties
  • Talking to people you do not know well


  • Persistent fear of social or performance situations.
  • Fear of acting in a humiliating or embarrassing manner.
  • Marked anxiety when exposed to the feared situation.
  • Avoidance of the feared situation or intense distress on enduring the feared situation.

Best Evidence-Based Treatments

A compelling evidence base and the National Institute of Health Care and Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend the following two treatments for social anxiety:

Individual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based on the Clark & Wells Model:
Cognitive behavioural Therapy focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physiological sensations. The therapy focuses on shifting the attentional bias from oneself, and evaluating unhelpful inferences. The therapy also focuses on changing unhelpful behaviours, which contributes to undermining unhelpful thoughts and reducing anxiety.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) have been recommended by NICE as effective for the treatment of social anxiety.

Elite Psychology comprises of an expert team, specialising in the range of best evidence-based therapy for social anxiety. Our highly qualified associates are accredited in the most successful therapies, complimented by psychiatrists who can prescribe SSRI’s on private prescriptions. We can assess you and provide the most efficacious therapy tailored to your difficulties. We know the importance of being understood, and endeavour to deliver the highest standard of psychological interventions to meet your needs.

Call us on 020 3815 7935 for further information or to book an assessment. Alternatively you can complete the online contact form.