Cognitive-behavioral group therapy (CBGT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) are frequently used to ease social anxiety. We know little about whether anger—expressing or holding it back—affects how well these therapies work. In this study, 108 adults with social anxiety disorder were randomly assigned to either a CBGT group, an MBSR group, or a waitlist. Their levels of anger expression and social anxiety were assessed before treatment, and social anxiety symptoms were measured following the intervention and every three months for a year’s follow-up. Both MBSR and CBGT sessions ran for 12 weeks in 2.5 hour sessions. CBGT included psycho-education, skills for examining thoughts, and gradual exposure to social situations, while MBSR included standard MBSR instruction. Neither intervention explicitly addressed anger. After treatment, CBGT group members who coped with their anger showed greater reductions in social anxiety than those who managed their anger in the MBSR group. Over the follow-up period, higher anger expression was linked to a smaller reduction in anxiety symptoms in the MBSR group. Further research is needed to explore the effects of expressing or suppressing anger on various therapies.Still Peckish
A 20-minute breathing meditation to label thoughts, sensations, and mental states with kind awareness to bring mindfulness to emotions. Read More
- Margaret Cullen
- September 25, 2023
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B Grace Bullock PhD
Dr. B Grace Bullock is a psychologist, organizational consultant, research scientist, educator, author and motivational speaker. She has spent the past two decades teaching and studying physiological and psychological interventions that foster resilience and support healthy relationships and systems, and is the author of the acclaimed book, Mindful Relationships: 7 Skills for Success - Integrating the science of mind, body & brain. Grace is Founder and Principal Consultant of the International Science & Education Alliance, a consulting firm devoted to the strategic planning, design, development, training and evaluation of mindfulness-informed offerings that promote personal, interpersonal and systemic wellbeing, effective leadership, decision-making and social change. An educator at heart, she teaches courses and workshops on mindfulness, interpersonal relationships, stress resilience, and clinical psychology and practice at colleges, universities, professional schools, school districts and organizations across the USA and internationally. For more information see www.bgracebullock.com.