A study in BMC Psychiatry reported that the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) was well established in Europe and North America but little was known about its effectiveness in non-Western cultures.
A pilot study of group CBT for SAD was conducted in Japan (groups of 3 or 4; average number of sessions per group was 15). The CBT methods included psychoeducation regarding anxiety, experiments to reduce safety behaviors, cognitive restructuring for dysfunctional assumptions, and others. Where needed, co-administration of antidepressants and benzodiazepines was allowed.
The researchers found a significant reduction in symptoms pre- to post-treatment, and concluded that group CBT “can bring about a similar degree of symptom reduction among Japanese patients with SAD as among Western patients.”
Study authors: J. Chen, Y. Nakano, T. Ietzugu, S. Ogawa, et al.