Introduction | Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia) | Specific Phobias | Conclusion | References
Social anxiety disorder and specific phobias are two of the most common mental disorders, and knowledge about their treatments has grown rapidly in recent years. A stimulus to research into specific treatments has been the recognition that phobias are a heterogeneous entity, as reflected in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders, Third Edition (DSM-III; American Psychiatric Association 1980) and subsequent editions. Distinctions between social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and agoraphobia have been validated by differential course of illness; familial, environmental, and genetic factors; and psychological and biological characteristics. There has been a corresponding recognition that particular types of phobias may respond best to specific psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatments. In this chapter, we review the treatment of social anxiety disorder and specific phobias.