We would like to welcome you to the pages of the Social Anxiety Institute website.
The Social Anxiety Institute exists to help, support, and encourage people to overcome social anxiety. Our programs are entirely focused on helping you overcome social anxiety disorder (social phobia).
At the present time, I specialize in working with people who have social anxiety. My interest in social anxiety comes naturally because I had this problem myself until I was approximately 40 years old. In my very worst "socially anxious" years, there was no help, no therapy, and indeed, no name, for this devastating anxiety disorder.
So, without knowing any better, I did everything in my life the wrong way. I tried anything that had even the remotest possibility of ending the daily suffering I was going through.
As I (very, very) gradually got better and moved into training to become a psychologist, it was clear there was little to no help for what I had suffered with all my life, "social phobia", as it was being called back then.
This is the genesis and the context for the development of The Social Anxiety Institute. I do not want anyone else to ever live the life that I lived.
I do not want you to go through the daily fear and the constant depression that ate away at my very being. Every decision I made was made from the context of "how much anxiety is this going to cause me?"
I couldn't live a normal life, enjoying other people and activities. Most other people scared me, in fact, because I was afraid I would not be able to carry on a conversation: I would say the wrong thing, I would mumble my words and be unclear, or I would do something else that would just prove to everyone else that there was something wrong with me. I desperately wanted to be like everyone else, but my social anxiety was so strong that I was always aware I was different. I was a loner. I was an outsider. I wouldn't fit in with other people.
I want you to overcome social anxiety as soon as you can, so you can live a "normal", anxiety-free life.
These are not merely empty words. We know how to help people get over social anxiety now. It is not rocket science anymore. We have developed (and are continuing to develop) ways and methods for you to overcome social anxiety. Although research and anecdotal evidence has been more than positive, we know what can be improved since not everyone can move and stay at the Social Anxiety Institute for six months to a year.
We are constantly reviewing and improving our therapy programs and how the local CBT groups are run at the clinic. Our goal is to help you overcome social anxiety in the easiest manner possible according to their particular situation. For those of you who cannot attend the CBT groups in person, the best option is the audio therapy series, "Overcoming Social Anxiety: Step by Step", which you can access here. We are looking forward to new things in the future. For those of you who can't come to our clinic in person, the best solution is the therapy we provide to you online.
This is our purpose. This is our mission. This is what I am passionate about. I know you can overcome social anxiety altogether, and we are going to teach you how to do it. This means you must be dedicated, motivated, and willing to become more rational about yourself and the world around you. Working on this every day for a short period of time is essential.
But I know if I had any option at all available to me in my darkest social anxiety years, I would have taken it. I am hoping you will decide to overcome social anxiety, too.
We welcome you to our pages, invite you to download and print information (for your own personal use), and encourage you to take part in our therapy programs, whether locally or through our international CCBT (therapy) groups. We are working diligently to provide comprehensive therapy for social anxiety over the internet.
An alternative to people who cannot find appropriate help for overcoming social anxiety is our audio therapy series, which was first introduced in October 2000. There are many active groups of people using the audio therapy series to help them recover from social anxiety, as the audio therapy series is now in its sixth edition.
You are also welcome to join the free Social Anxiety Institute Mailing List, which comes out monthly.
Our goal at SAI is to encourage you to receive appropriate help for social anxiety, so that you can overcome social anxiety, and move forward with life, free from the devastating effects of social anxiety and its misery, depression, and pain.
My warmest regards to you,
Thomas A. Richards, Ph.D.,
The Social Anxiety Institute