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Handouts & questionnaires for social anxiety

Note this list of resources has been updated ... see the "Good Knowledge" section's folder on "Social anxiety information & assessment".  It is also worth clicking on "social anxiety" in the "Tag Cloud".

Here are a collection of information sheets, handouts and questionnaires about social anxiety disorder.  As I write in the "Diagnosis & background facts" sheet below - "About 7% of the population qualify for a full formal diagnosis of social anxiety disorder in any one year, but even those who suffer from what qualifies as only a partial syndrome can have their lives significantly affected.  Social anxiety disorder makes sufferers more vulnerable to subsequent depression and, when comorbid, the depression tends to be more severe and more resistant to treatment.  There may well also be comorbidity with other anxiety disorders.  Social anxiety disorder is frequently not diagnosed even though it is disabling and well worth treating."

Diagnosis & background facts - this handout gives the criteria for a DSM-IV diagnosis of social phobia/ social anxiety disorder.  It also gives the abstracts of four research studies illustrating how common and troublesome social anxiety can be.  

SPIN & scoring   the Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN) is a widely used, freely available questionnaire for assessing social anxiety disorder.  On the second sheet of this download, I give suggestions on how to score the questionnaire.  The SPIN is recommended as part of the English NHS's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) "outcomes toolkit".

Mini-SPIN - a three item Social Phobia screening questionnaire.  I tend not to use it much.  Possible social anxiety disorder is typically picked out when I give new clients the much more inclusive and general MINI screening questionnaire and talk to them about their symptoms.  I may be wrong.  Possibly I should use the Mini-SPIN more often.

Attitudes questionnaire - CBT treatment of social anxiety disorder is rightly hugely affected by the pioneering work of David Clark and his colleagues.  This questionnaire is adapted from a handout he provided at a workshop I did with him back in 1998. 

Flow chart - this chart can be filled in cooperatively with a client suffering from social anxiety disorder (or for one's own symptom patterns).  One would normally take a typical episode of social anxiety and then fill in the details of how the triggering situation is associated with a mutually set of vicious circles involving unhelpful thought patterns, anxiety symptoms, safety behaviours and self-focus (including images). 

10 tips for public speaking & other ideas - see the international Toastmasters website.  Much more helpful than their suggestions sheets is the opportunity Toastmasters provides for real life practice and desensitization.  I have encouraged and seen many social anxiety sufferers benefit from going to their local branch of Toastmasters.  See the site for links to local groups in many different countries.

Blushing information - here are five research studies providing reinforcing evidence for a CBT conceptualization of blushing and social anxiety.  This handout can be helpful for people who struggle with concerns about blushing.

Behavioural experiments record - here is a classic CBT behavioural experiments record that can be used for many different psychological disorders, including social anxiety.

Social avoidance scale - I can't actually remember where this scale comes from.  I suspect that I put it together as an adaption of Ost's Agoraphobia Scale.  This scale has obvious applications both for initial assessment, for monitoring progress, for desensitization/exposure work, and for behavioural experiments.

SPRS - I often use this questionnaire, developed by Adrian Wells - particularly to help clarify people's catastrophic fears and "safety behaviours".

You may well find further useful ideas, support and handouts for social anxiety at the following websites and Gillian Butler's books are a helpful self-help (or better still - guided self-help) resource.


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Thank you for sharing this great list of resources!

Dear Dr. Hawkins,

Thank you for organizing and sharing this great list of resources about social anxiety disorder. I will share your webpage with my patients.