Work-Related Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Unemployed Persons with Social Anxiety
This project involved a randomized trial comparing our newly-developed work-related cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety (WCBT; n=20) experimental group versus a vocational services-as-usual control condition (n=20). Participants were primarily homeless African Americans with social anxiety disorder who were seeking vocational assistance at a comprehensive vocational service center. WCBT is an eight session, work-focused, group CBT intervention for SocAD delivered by vocational service professionals to enhance intervention sustainability.
Preliminary results indicate that WCBT participants experienced significantly lower levels of social anxiety-related avoidance (Liebowitz - M=32.25 vs 40.84; p=.03) post-treatment compared to controls. WCBT participants also experienced non-significant, yet lower post-treatment scores on ratings of overall social anxiety, general anxiety and depression at the end of treatment. 35.0% of the WCBT versus 15.8% of control participants were working 20 or more hours per week at post-treatment.
WCBT is a promising method to improve social anxiety and employment among persons with SocAD. This ongoing project involves a unique sample of underserved participants with SocAD and an innovative community-based, participatory research effort.