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  • Writer's pictureJason Drake, LCSW-S, BCN

Understanding and Managing Social Anxiety: 7 Tips for Teens and Young Adults


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Social anxiety is a common health condition that affects many teenagers and young adults. It is characterized by an intense fear of social situations, to the point where it interferes with daily life.


People with social anxiety may feel anxious, self-conscious, and nervous in social situations, such as meeting new people, public speaking, or going to the mall.


The good news is that there are effective treatments for social anxiety, and many people are able to overcome it with the right support.


Symptoms of Social Anxiety


Social anxiety can manifest in many different ways, and the symptoms may vary from person to person. Some common signs of social anxiety include:


• Fear of being judged or criticized by others

• Avoiding social situations

• Feeling nervous or nauseated in social situations

• Blushing or sweating in social situations

• Experiencing panic attacks in social situations

• Difficulty making eye contact or speaking in front of others

• Worrying for days or weeks in advance of a social event


If you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself or someone you know, it may be helpful to seek the support of a counselor who specializes in teen counseling and young adult therapy.


Knowing if Your Teenager or Young Adult has Social Anxiety


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As a parent or caregiver, you may be wondering how to tell if your teenager or young adult is struggling with social anxiety.


Some signs to look out for include:


• Avoiding social situations or making excuses to stay home

• Refusing to attend social events or activities

• Appearing nervous or anxious in social situations

• Experiencing physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, or stomach upset

• Being overly self-critical and worried about what others think of them

• Difficulty making friends or maintaining relationships


If you observe any of these behaviors, it may be a good idea to talk to your teen or young adult about how they are feeling and consider seeking the help of a therapist who specializes in young adult counseling and teen therapy.


7 Tips for Managing Social Anxiety for Teenagers and Young Adults


1. Understand Your Triggers


One of the first steps in managing social anxiety is to understand what triggers it. Think about the situations or events that make you feel anxious, and try to identify any patterns. Is there a certain type of social situation that is particularly difficult for you?


Once you understand your triggers, you can work on developing strategies to manage them.


2. Challenge Your Thoughts


Social anxiety often involves negative self-talk and irrational thoughts. You may tell yourself that everyone is judging you or that you are not good enough.


It is important to challenge these thoughts and remind yourself that they are not based in reality. Try to reframe the situation by telling yourself that it is okay to make mistakes or that everyone feels nervous in social situations sometimes.


3. Practice Relaxation Techniques


When you are feeling anxious, your body and mind are in a state of heightened arousal. Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help to calm your nervous system and reduce anxiety.


You can also try progressive muscle relaxation, where you tense and relax different muscle groups in your body one at a time.


4. Build Confidence Through Exposure


Exposure therapy is a common social anxiety disorder treatment and involves gradually exposing yourself to the situations that make you anxious. This can help you build confidence and develop new coping skills.


Start with small exposures, such as asking a stranger for directions or making a phone call, and gradually work your way up to more challenging situations.


5. Get Support from a Counselor Who Specializes in Teen Counseling and Young Adult Therapy


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Talk therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), is a treatment for social anxiety that is supported by research and shown to be effective. CBT focuses on changing negative patterns of thought and behavior and can help you develop new coping strategies.


Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) and neurofeedback are also effective treatments for social anxiety. These tools work to reorganize the brain, decrease anxiety and process negative emotions.


6. Stay Connected with Supportive People


Having a support system of family and friends that you can talk to and confide in can be tremendous in supporting someone with social anxiety. People often find that the more they talk about their experiences, the easier it becomes to cope with them.


7. Take Care of Yourself


Self-care is an important part of managing social anxiety. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that you enjoy.


Practice self-compassion and give yourself permission to take breaks when you need them.

Research Supported Approaches to Social Anxiety


Sugar Land Teen & Family Counseling: 25+ Combined Years in Specializing in Teen, Young Adult, & Family Therapy

Sugar Land, TX & Houston


If your teen or young adult is struggling with social anxiety, there is a significant difference between a counselor who works with teens and a counselor who specializes in working with teens and young adults.


Seeing a counselor who specializes in teen therapy and young adult counseling increases the chances significantly that your teen or young adult will be successful in resolving social anxiety.


Sugar Land Teen & Family Counselinglocated in Sugar Land, TX, is conveniently located off of US 90 and Dairy Ashford Road. Our specialists in teen counseling, therapy for young adults, and family therapy have helped others overcome emotional or behavioral challenges. We want to help you too!


We also have our Katy, TX location, Katy Teen & Family Counseling, which is located right off of I-10 and Grand Parkway/Hwy 99 in Katy, TX.


If you are ready to meet with one of our teen therapists or young adult therapists or our neurofeedback therapist, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:


  1. Contact Sugar Land Teen & Family Counseling

  2. Talk with one of our caring therapists 

  3. Begin the healing process today!


Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Sugar Land Teen & Family Counseling


At Sugar Land Teen & Family Counseling, we provide a variety of therapy approaches that are supported by research and shown to be effective. Some of the teen therapy and young adult counseling we offer are:


Board Certified Neurofeedback Therapy



Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)



Group Therapy for Teens


Teen Depression

Teen Anxiety

Teen Social Anxiety

Teen Panic Attacks

Body Image


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)



Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling


Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling can be very effective. The secret ingredient to success is each person willing to look at themselves and work to do things differently, together. When a marriage counselor or couples therapist has this to work with, the success rate can be very high.


Sometimes life will throw challenges at us that create situations that put strain on our marriage or relationship. It may be due to:


Choices and actions that have been made by one partner.

  • Financial downturn in the economy creating financial strain.

  • Feeling like you're growing apart.

  • Feeling like you don't have as much in common as you used to.

Whatever the reason may be, marriage counseling and couples therapy can help. Couples therapy and marriage counseling has also been found to work in less time than individual therapy.


If you've worked hard for this relationship and find that there are now barriers in the way of maintaining a healthy relationship, contact us at Sugar Land Teen & Family Counseling. 


About the Author


A man sitting at a desk with a pink, short sleeved polo shirt on, waring glasses, a silver watch, he has a beard and is smiling. Providing counselors specializing in trauma sugar land, tx and ptsd counseling sugar land, tx. Also providing trauma therapy sugar land, tx and ptsd therapy in sugar land, tx 77478.

Jason Drake is a Licensed Clinical Worker - Supervisor (LCSW-S), Board Certified in Neurofeedback, EMDR trained, and a Certified Brain Health Professional through the Amen Clinics. He has provided therapy to teens, young adults, and families since 2003 and is the Owner & Lead Clinician at Sugar Land Teen & Family Counseling, Katy Counseling for Men, & Katy Teen & Family Counseling.


He specializes in leading teams of high performing therapists who also specialize in teen therapy, counseling young adults, and family counseling.


Jason is also a leader in the field of teen, young adult, and family counseling providing expert coaching and technical assistance to teen Residential Treatment Centers across the country.


Jason is also a regular contributor to various magazines and publications lending his expertise to various mental health related topics. You can check these articles out on our "Featured Articles" service page on our sister practice, Katy Teen & Family Counseling's, website.


He has also been a guest on Fox 26 Houston and on the podcasts, "Grow a Group Practice" with Alison Pidgeon, "Let's Talk With Jennifer B", and the "Marketing Matters" podcast with Ashley Brock. 


If you are ready to start teen counseling or young adult therapy call, text, or email us today!



Phone Number: (832) 979-4989




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