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(p. 121) Exposure and Cognitive Restructuring: Conversation Fears 

(p. 121) Exposure and Cognitive Restructuring: Conversation Fears
Chapter:
(p. 121) Exposure and Cognitive Restructuring: Conversation Fears
Author(s):

Debra A. Hope

, Richard G. Heimberg

, and Cynthia L. Turk

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190247591.003.0010
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date: 25 February 2020

Many individuals in treatment for social anxiety have some difficulty with casual conversations, even if it is not the primary focus of treatment. This chapter presents psychoeducational material about the importance of small talk in everyday life. The amount of in-session time spent will depend on how central this topic is to the specific client and how well the client is able to glean key points from the reading on their own. Two primary messages from this material are (a) casual conversations are the gateways to more significant relationships and (b) such conversations are, by definition, about inconsequential topics. Conversational situations are often the easiest exposures to design. They typically require few props, and a variety of circumstances can be easily staged. This chapter covers three typical automatic thoughts for conversations: not knowing what to say, not having anything interesting to say, and having poor conversational skills.

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