The local Phoenix CBT group is a friendly, active, structured group that can change your life. Our only goal is learning to get over social anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral group therapy has been shown to be most effective at reaching this goal and providing long-term, permanent change. We use a gradual (step by step) approach to (a) limit anxiety, and (b) allow progress to become permanent. This is best achieved in a structured group setting. We handle all therapy with as much calmness and peace as possible.
The 10 week Local Phoenix CBT program is an active, structured treatment program for people with social anxiety disorder. The program is run by Dr. Thomas A. Richards, a psychologist, who has been running social anxiety therapy groups since 1995.
A new group consists of no more than eight (8) members who are motivated and ready to overcome social anxiety. New group members will be using mindful cognitive methods and strategies using the audio/video therapy series, “Overcoming Social Anxiety: Step by Step.” By using the series, you receive daily reinforcement of what we are doing in the group.
The all-day Saturday session includes review, discussion, and reinforcement of the cognitive therapy. We have had multiple past group members move to Phoenix from out of state, and if you are interested in doing this you should read Moving to Phoenix.
Behavioral activities are also included during the sessions in which you gently move up your anxiety hierarchy at your own pace and completely under your own direction. Group members do behavioral experiments when they feel ready. You are never forced or made to do anything. Working at your own pace when you are ready to volunteer to do behavioral activities is the only way to effectively overcome social anxiety.
THIS IS AN ACTIVE, STRUCTURED COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL GROUP
We run the active, structured cognitive-behavioral therapy group for people who are willing and motivated to overcome social anxiety. This means we work with people who will do what’s necessary to overcome social anxiety.
We can only work with self-motivated people. We cannot accept people unless they themselves want to participate. There is nothing anyone can do unless change is wanted by the individual themselves. This means a willing and active participant in the group.
The therapy group is held all day on Saturday, and at the end of the session the group plans activities for the next week in the evenings. Meeting together with the other group members and learning to be comfortable with them in all types of situations is part of the program and is a necessary step in overcoming social anxiety. You can't stay home and simply come to the Saturday sessions and hope to get better. We have found an active approach works much better and faster.
The group will discuss evening activities and/or weekend activities, but it will not be every night, and we need to leave Friday night open to relax and get a good night's sleep before the Saturday session begins. Meeting with other group members outside of the Saturday sessions helps you by reminding each other of the anti-anxiety strategies to use as you are in various situations. You pick the activities you want to go to, but attending the event when they are scheduled, working regularly with a therapy “buddy” and eventually participating in the behavioral experiments is all an essential part of the program.
We ask you to sign a contract stating you understand and will comply with the therapy as we only want to work with motivated people who are going to get better. Again, you need to work on this program everyday, 7 day a week, as you know if you've started the series. Everything is geared toward helping you use the solutions in the program to get better and feel less anxious. Visiting with Dr. Richards when necessary is very helpful, and costs can be adjusted if necessary.
Please do not apply unless you meet the following qualifications:
The new application must be filled out fully. Questions need to be answered completely. No simple or short answers, please.
It is necessary to be through session three (3) in the audio/video series at the time of application, and you need to guarantee that you will work through session six (6) before the group actually starts.
Three (3) individual sessions with Dr. Richards are needed before before the group starts. The first is a diagnostic session. In the second appointment we talk about everything the group does, both cognitively and behaviorally, so you will have no surprises. In the final pre-group appointment, you’ll discuss the therapy sessions themselves with Dr. Richards. Please schedule appropriately: No more than one appointment per week, and do not plan last week or last minute appointments. You can make appointments through the office at 602.230.7316
People moving here from out of town must check in with the office BEFORE moving. Please do NOT move here until you are formally accepted into the group. You MUST tell us where (location) you’re planning on living so we can give you general advice and make sure you are living a reasonable driving distance from SAI.
We want to prevent problems that have existed in the past and hinder people from overcoming social anxiety.
Living a reasonable distance from SAI is important for participating in weeknight therapy activities. (We’ve now had someone who’s moved to Phoenix, but was 75 miles away from SAI, making it difficult for the person to therapize with the other group members.) Although everyone agrees in writing to take part in the activities, we’ve now had three (3) people who did not carry through with this, and took up space in the group that someone else who was more motivated could have had.
It is necessary to hang out with other group members sometimes in the evenings so that you can get to know them and feel comfortable in their presence. You will also find a therapy friend that helps you with the solutions as you help them (you motivate and hold each other accountable). Keep in mind that people with social anxiety are non-judgmental, and you will not feel self-consciousness in the group. The group activities are planned by you, the group members, and we only move one step at a time. We learn how to gradually, and without anxiety, ease into situations. Later, the group works together doing behavioral experiments, usually at a large shopping center.
We would rather run a group with 5 motivated people than have a group of eight who won’t do what’s necessary to overcome social anxiety. It’s exciting when people are motivated to get better. You can feel the therapeutic electricity in the air.
Since we move slowly, one step at a time, and gently guide you through each step, and since you will have daily help and support, making progress is not difficult. But when a group member doesn’t do the therapy and/or refuses to take part in the scheduled activities, they have essentially chosen not to get better. Please do not plan to join the group unless you really want to overcome social anxiety and will do what’s necessary. The process takes regular interaction with the other group members.
We are located almost directly off the northern loop of the freeway (101) and access to the Institute is easy. Please use Google Earth to map out exactly where we are: 2058 E. Topeka Dr. 85024. However, living on the other end of the city – which could be 100 miles away -- will prohibit you from taking part in the therapy program – and participation is important to overcoming social anxiety.
This is a comprehensive program that requires regular participation with other group members. You plan events during the week and the cognitive/behavioral therapy group is conducted on Saturday.
Our groups consist only of people with social anxiety. The groups are friendly and highly therapeutic. Working together with other people like you adds a tremendous amount of proactivity to the program. You will always have the encouragement and support of Dr. Richards and staff. Plus, you will always be surrounded by your group members who will help you when needed just as you will help them. Your decision to actively and persistently work on overcoming social anxiety will change your life.
The first group meeting covers sessions #1-4 in the online therapy series, "Overcoming Social Anxiety: Step by Step". It is imperative people be conversant with the therapy and have a good understanding of it. Having this cognitive understanding and knowledge will allow you to make more efficient and faster progress in the group.
The Social Anxiety Institute uses social-anxiety specific cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), from the perspective of mindfulness and acceptance. The only therapy shown to be effective for overcoming social anxiety disorder is this form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Another way of explaining this type of therapy is RATIONAL emotive therapy. Learning to see things "rationally" is an essential part of the program. Please take the time to read these articles:
Individual Appointment Fees *
|Diagnostic Appointment (1st appointment)||$175.00|
|Individual Appointments (all other appointments)||$150.00|
Sliding Fee Scale Rates
|Annual Family Income||Fee per Group Session|
|$75,000 - $99,999||$140.00|
|$50,000 - $74,999||$130.00|
|$25,000 - $49,999||$115.00|
|0 - $25,000||$100.00|
Application for the all-day Saturday Phoenix therapy program.