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Podcast: Social Anxiety Disorder

Have you ever experienced the feeling of awkwardness when attending a party where you didn’t know anybody? Ever felt shy at a party within the first few minutes? While this feeling is labelled loosely as feeling socially anxious, social anxiety disorder goes to a much further extent.

Leiden Psychology Perspective - The Podcast Series
 

This podcast series is a special project within the department of Psychology at Leiden University. It gives a platform for people to discuss topics within the field of psychology from different perspectives; the perspective of students, of university staff, alumni, and different researchers. Listen to Sara Jakobsson Manson and Dayenne Meijer talking about Social Anxiety Disorder in Adolescents, the latest podcast.

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social Anxiety Disorder is an extreme fear of social settings that leads to the avoidance of these settings. To be termed clinically with social anxiety, it must severely interfere with someone’s daily life. Social anxiety often takes on the form of a negative downwards spiral. It is common for social anxiety to go hand in hand with depression as ‘side-effects’ such as withdrawal, social isolation, and loneliness can in turn contribute to feelings of depression.

Social Anxiety and Adolescents

Social anxiety is often seen in adolescents. Adolescence is a pivotal phase in life where many changes occur, both bodily and mentally. It is a transition phase whereby adolescents take a step back from familial connections such as their parents, and gravitate towards their peers. Peers become a very influential point of reference, and adolescents are more concerned with what their peers think of them. Social anxiety can develop more easily in these circumstances where one becomes a lot more self-aware. As a result of this, adolescents can have a diminished self-confidence and lower feelings of self-worth, contributing to social anxiety.

Meeting the Researchers

Jakobsson Manson obtained her Master’s degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology from Leiden University. She has clinical experience working with international children and adolescents and is currently conducting research for her PhD. Her research is on the feasibility and effectiveness of a blended group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for adolescents with social anxiety disorder, with the treatment focusing primarily on cognitive restructuring, social skills training, and exposure.

Assisting Jakobsson Manson in her research is Dayenne Meijer, whom obtained her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Meijer has research experience with the efficacy of trauma treatment in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychosis. Currently, Meijer is working as a Child Psychologist at a clinical practice and is the lead therapist in some of the blended CBT group treatments in Jakobsson Manson’s PhD research.

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