Social Anxiety Therapist

There are several professionals that require the use of a given number if not all aspects of human perceptions. A good example is painting whereby an individual has to sue the sense of sight to look at an object and then translate it onto a piece of paper in form of a drawing. Creativity and innovativeness are of the essence to a painter who desires admirable and quality end product. The other example is photography career that greatly relies on the sense of vision to manipulate different colors observed in objects. This paper will focus on the career of Thomas Richards as a social anxiety therapist.

Social anxiety is also referred to as social phobia, and results from the way individuals perceive about themselves. Self-perception is therefore the key determinant of developing a social disorder. The key characteristics of this disorder include severe self-consciousness in daily social circumstances and overwhelming anxiety. Individuals suffering from social anxiety have an intense fear to being humiliated or embarrassed by their individual actions and being judged and watched by others (Antony and Rowa, 2008).

A social anxiety therapist uses all the senses to figure out the cause of phobia and guide the patients through the healing process that entails overcoming of the phobia or fear. Dr. Thomas R. chose his current career path following the issues of self-perception that dominated his life in his early years.

A Brief bibliographic sketch of this professional will be presented below.Thomas R. was born in the Midwest in a university town. When he was in grade school, he and his family relocated to Phoenix, where he went to high school. Following his graduation from a high school in Phoenix, Thomas went to various colleges within a time span of four years and eventually graduated from Bethany College in California.

Richard’s self-perception which resulted to self anxiety disorder greatly affected him in his college years. During one of the interview sessions, Richards commented that “college was a nightmare for me because of my social anxiety”. He further added that “my social fears deterred me from attending the university to which I has been accepted”. As a result of fear and anxiety, Thomas chose to go to college that was very small, hoping to cope with his social fear within the small setting (Antony and Swinson, 2008).

Following his graduation from College, Thomas obtained his state teaching certificate through taking a fifth year of college classes at the Arizona State University. He went on to teaching students at the junior high, upper elementary and the high school levels of study both in the states of Arizona and California. He later shifted to administrative post within the education field and became the executive director of two of the private schools in the location of phoenix. Despite the senior position that Thomas held, social anxiety still posed to be a chief problem affecting him.

His condition made him to lose several personal and life-changing career opportunities. Dr. Thomas R. enrolled and got accepted in a graduate school at the Lowa University following his attempts in insurance and real estate career. Later on, he moved to the Arizona State University where he was awarded both hi masters and doctorate level degrees. His field of specialty was a psychological field known as human developmental psychology. Community college retention was the key subject of his mater’s thesis while the role of verbal feedback in enhancing inner motivations in people was the key subject for his doctorate level dissertation.

Following his receipt of a doctorate level degree, Dr. Thomas served as instructor, professor and the departmental held of psychology in various universities and colleges in the states of Arkansas, Texas and Arizona. He left the education field in early 1990s and decided to start his own clinical psychology clinic in the state of Phoenix. During his teaching career, Dr. Thomas won many awards for academic success and teaching and went to the extent of receiving the outstanding professor of the year award. 

Dr.Thomas had a special interest in anxiety disorders, and this is what prompted him to limit his psychological practice to a social anxiety clinic in the year 1994. Hence, the practice transformed into an anxiety clinic whose chief director and psychologist was Dr. Thomas R. Through the clinic therapeutic measures for specific anxiety cases including generalizes anxiety, panic and social anxiety disorder were provided. Within a short time spam, the anxiety clinic turned into an extremely busy institution, providing therapy to different people from different parts of the world. It is clear that the key reason behind the clinic’ success is the history of social anxiety that Dr. Thomas had.

His self-perception had led to development of a social fear that greatly affected him in his college and university years. The clinic presented was a perfect opportunity for Dr. Thomas to help people who faced fears similar to those that affected him in his early phase of life (Hope, et al, 2010). The experience put him in a perfect position to understand what his patients were going through. Through Dr. Thomas anxiety clinic, the first cognitive-behavioral and individual therapies for social anxiety disorder were developed. The cognitive-behavioral therapy groups still exist up to date, thanks to Dr.

Thomas’ Anxiety Clinic of Arizona. In the year 1995, a realization that the Internet was the wave of the future was made. As a result Dr. Thomas dedicated most of his time in learning ways through which information on anxiety could be obtained or retrieved from the Internet. The Anxiety Network of 1995 was the first main website to appear giving information on anxiety. The website gave details of the three main disorders associated with anxiety and these are social anxiety, panic disorder and the generalized anxiety disorder.

The website is still operational up to date. The other additional network that followed is the social anxiety network at a time when the clinic once again transformed and limited its scope to social anxiety disorder therapy. Following various discussion sessions, an agreement was reached to change name of Anxiety Clinic of Arizona into the Social Anxiety Institute. The main reason for doing this is to clearly depict the novel mission and direction of the clinic, which was to deal solely with social anxiety disorders.

The main focus of the Social Anxiety Institute is to assist people suffering from social anxiety disorder. The institute provides on-going therapy groups for people within its area of jurisdiction and various intensive treatment groups for people all over the world. Therapy groups comprising of people from different parts of the world started when a young man decided to drive his brother to a different continent with the aim of getting group help and treatment for social anxiety (Hofmann and Otto, 2008).

Due to the fact that intensive therapy was required to treat social anxiety, a message was conveyed claiming that there was the need to form a group of people with social anxiety from different parts of the world. The rationale behind this is that it would be much easy and effective to treat social anxiety disorder in form of groups. Dr. Therapy developed treatment methods that focused on audio therapy. This insinuates that patients could receive therapy through the use of their sense of hearing (Hoffman, 2008).

Currently the Social Anxiety Institute presents Sunday programs and a local all-day Saturday program, a therapy group in the evening, international therapy outreach via cognitive-behavioral intensive sessions held many times annually and a comprehensive program of cognitive-behavioral therapy. The institute mailing list currently has more than fifteen thousand subscribers and it sells the best types of audio-therapy series known as “Overcoming Social Anxiety: Step by Step”. Many people suffering from social anxiety disorders have temporarily relocated to Phoenix with the hope of receiving therapy by taking part in cognitive-behavioral sessions or groups.

These people believe in the effectiveness and appropriateness of the treatment or therapy provided at the institute. The institute’s mission is to promote general awareness of the social anxiety disorder as well delivering novel and effective therapy options for the disorder. Dr. Richard was able to overcome his social fear and currently directs various programs aimed at treating social anxiety disorder. Moreover, he has written various articles in an effort to promote awareness about the disorder.

He is currently the president of the Social Anxiety Association, which is a non-profitable organization. He now has the courage to express himself freely, overcome social fear and speak about social anxiety in different states within the United States of America. He speaks in both small and large cities as well as to people suffering from the disorder and their loved ones.Dr. Thomas is an inspiration to several people out there who are suffering from social anxiety disorder.

A good example is in 2011 when an individual who had previous history of social anxiety disorder decided to join the institute for an internship position. Dr. Thomas has greatly inspired such people and made them believe that they can overcome their fears and lead a normal life. Social anxiety is a disorder that is curable and this has been perfectly proved by Dr. Thomas Richards (Hope, et al, 2010).

References

Antony, M. M., & Rowa, K. (2008). Social anxiety disorder. Hogrefe and Huber

Antony, M. M., & Swinson, R. P. (2008). The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook. Proven, Step-by-Step Techniques for Overcoming Your Fear (2nd Ed). New Harbinger Publications

Hofmann, S. G., & Otto, M. W. (2008). Cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder. Evidence-based and disorder-specific treatment techniques. Routledge

Hope, D. A., Heimberg, R. G., & Turk, C. L. (2010). Managing Social Anxiety. A cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach. Therapist Guide (2nd Ed). Oxford University Press

Tan, S. (2011). Counseling and Psychotherapy. Baker Academic

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