Group Therapy Activities For Social Anxiety
No matter if you struggle with social anxiety or another mental health issue, therapy groups can be an effective tool in managing symptoms. They offer participants a safe and supportive atmosphere where they can hone social skills before facing real-life feared situations, while also receiving encouragement and advice from fellow group members.
Group therapy for social anxiety may include a range of activities and exercises tailored to each individual’s needs. These may include role-playing, exposure therapy, as well as practicing coping mechanisms.
Role-playing is a type of cognitive behavioral group therapy that utilizes realistic scenarios to give people with social anxiety disorder practice handling feared situations in a safe setting. This helps reduce symptoms by teaching individuals how to relax and adapt when faced with unfamiliar circumstances, as well as reinforcing calming techniques.
Group therapy for social anxiety often includes exposure to fearful situations. This can help them conquer their fears and build confidence in interacting with others.
Group therapy, often combined with EMDR, allows clients to express their emotions and share experiences while also exploring how these emotions impact the body. This gives clients a better comprehension of their anxiety symptoms and what may be contributing to them.
Group therapy often utilizes a body scan exercise, where members are asked to identify areas of anxiety. For instance, if they’re feeling self-conscious about their appearance, they could try scanning areas like the neck or arms that negatively affect how they appear on-looks.
In this exercise, members have a set time to complete the activity and are encouraged to make mistakes or try again. This teaches them trust their judgment rather than overthinking things which could cause more anxiety.
Asking members to pledge how much they will speak during group sessions can be an effective way of encouraging them to participate. This could be done by writing a contract or saying something like, “I will contribute to discussions in the group and share my experiences with the group.”
Once members make a pledge for the entire session, it can serve as an effective motivation to stay engaged and help the group move forward quickly.
At each session, participants select an anxiety-provoking exercise to work on. These may include voice projection (speaking more loudly) or assertive role playing.
The group leader will describe the exercise, teach members how to do it, and encourage them to repeat it as often as desired. This way, members can practice their new coping strategy and assess its effectiveness for them. Afterward, they can report back to the group on how they’ve applied this new technique in their lives.