Psychotherapy Normalizes the Brain in Social Phobia

Posted on February 7, 2017

Photo: flickr

We all face anxiety now and then, from speaking in front of an audience to getting our assignments done before a deadline. However, when anxiety from social situations becomes such a problem that it impairs everyday functioning and causes intense stress, one might be diagnosed with social phobia. Around one in ten people are affected by social phobia and so it is not a very rare problem. What's more, various treatments have been used to treat those with social phobia without the use of medication.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the treatments given to those suffering from social phobia. As social phobia impairs the regulation of excessive anxiety by the frontal and lateral brain areas, CBT shows merits in helping people overcome their anxiety. The psychotherapy uses strategies that try regulating emotions and restoring a balance between the cortical and subcortical brain areas of the brain. A study from Zurich have investigated how effective CBT was at regulating emotional responses. Using magnetic resonance imaging, brain scans indicated that the psychotherapy treatment does normalizes the brain changes associated with social anxiety disorder.

Source material from Science Daily

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