What the NHS Offers

In May 2013 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) made a series of recommendations to help those with Social Anxiety: NICE Social Anxiety Public Guidance

The first treatment you should be offered is a psychological therapy called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT for short). It should be a type of CBT that has been specifically designed to treat social anxiety disorder, either ‘Clark and Wells CBT’ or ‘Heimberg CBT’, named after the people who designed them. It is what you are likely to be offered on the NHS if you go to your GP.

The NICE guidance recognises that attending a doctor’s appointment or making phone calls can be very difficult for those with SA. It provides a series of recommendations to make communication and appointments easier.

You may be able to ask your GP to ring you rather than you having to attend the GP practice in person. You could ask friends or family to help you make the first phone call. You could ask your health and social care team to communicate with you over text or email.

Self refer for NHS Social Anxiety CBT via the NHS Talking Therapy Search Page

Getting some kind of therapy for social anxiety is important as it may not improve on its own. Left unhelped, it can get worse, lead to other health problems, or last for a long time. Deciding to talk to your doctor about your social anxiety can often be the first step on your journey to feeling better.

If you are nervous about talking to your GP it may be worth considering talking to a friend or family first or – if that is difficult – you may be able to find others with SA at support groups or discussion boards.

Self refer for NHS Social Anxiety CBT via the NHS Talking Therapy Search Page

Please see NHS Social Anxiety overview about CBT here.

Read the SAAUK page about CBT here.

Read more about the NHS Talking Therapy service