Adults who stutter: Shyness and social anxiety

December 19, 2012
Carl Herder, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-F
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Written by: Amy StrekasWe wrote a post about shyness and children who stutter a couple of months ago and we'd like to address this same issue in adults. While stuttering does not cause shyness, some adults who stutter also happen to struggle with social anxiety. If you're interested in this topic, you might find this book to be very enlightening: The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook, by Martin M. Antony, PhD and Richard P. Swinson, MD.The book discusses becoming mindful of the feelings you experience in a nerve-racking social situation. Don't fight against these feelings or tell yourself that it's silly to feel this way. Simply notice and accept. In your analysis, it is helpful to divide your experience into 3 categories:

  • Physical Sensations: Sweaty palms, racing heart
  • Emotions: Nervousness, fear
  • Thoughts: "Everyone is looking at me." "Don't say something stupid."

The book then leads you through ways to begin to desensitize yourself to social fears. It's a step by step process that involves setting up a fear hierarchy - which is very similar to what we do in therapy here at AIS!

Shyness workbook

The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook

Martin M. Antony, PhD

Richard P. Swinson, MD

top photo: Matchstick

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