Treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder: A Case Study of a 17-Year-Old Female

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Huffman, Laurrel
Washburn University
Psychology Department
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The following is a de-identified case study that presents the treatment process and outcome for Allie, a 17-year-old female with social anxiety disorder. Names and other identifying details have been changed to maintain confidentiality. Allie graduated high school during the course of treatment. Allie began services at a certified community behavioral health center after referral by her primary care physician. Allie presented with moderate to severe anxiety symptoms that impacted her ability to engage socially with peers and adults. Allie’s anxiety manifested through negative cognitions, physiological symptoms, emotional and behavioral avoidance which created interference and impaired functioning. Congruent with literature on empirically supported treatments for adolescents with social anxiety disorder, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) was utilized. The use of CBT supported Allie in learning and applying therapeutic interventions (i.e., psychoeducation, cognitive restructuring, fear hierarchy, graduated exposures) to effectively reduce and manage anxiety symptoms. Information provided includes a literature review, client interview, diagnostic assessments, treatment plan, treatment interventions, and therapist self-reflection. A transcript of one individual session is included to provide insight into Allie’s presentation in-session, as well as application of treatment interventions by this therapist. In the treatment plan review, Allie reported inconsistent and insignificant progress on her goal of managing anxiety. Allie actively engaged in sessions but displayed low homework compliance and admitted to providing inaccurate self-report scores due to fear of upsetting the therapist. After nine sessions, her selfreported social anxiety score on a validated measure showed no significant reduction. Consistent with this score, Allie reported no significant reduction for interference and impairment.
An Empirically Supported Treatment Case Study