Imagery-enhanced cognitive behavioural group therapy for social anxiety disorder: a pilot study

Peter M McEvoy, Lisa M Saulsman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Cognitive behavioural group therapy (CBGT) for social anxiety disorder (SAD) is efficacious and effective, however a substantial proportion of patients remain in the clinical range so treatment innovations are required. Research suggests that working within the imagery mode may be more emotionally potent than traditional verbal-linguistic strategies. This study piloted an imagery-enhanced CBGT (IE-CBGT) protocol for SAD. It was hypothesised that IE-CBGT would be acceptable to patients, demonstrate large effect sizes, and compare favourably to historical controls who completed CBGT without the imagery-enhancements. Patients (N=19) were consecutive referrals to a community clinic specialising in anxiety and mood disorders. Primary outcomes were self-reported performance and social interaction anxiety. IE-CBGT was highly acceptable to patients with high attendance and completion rates. Effect sizes were large by mid-treatment and very large at post-treatment and follow-up. A high proportion of patients achieved reliable change. Outcomes compared favourably to published group and individual treatments for SAD but larger randomised controlled trials are now required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


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