Over the years, we have collected anonymous feedback from participants in our research study - their unedited thoughts and experiences of the program and study may be found below:

“The CBT treatment changed my life forever. Today, four years later, it is hard for me to imagine living the life I did before treatment. I worked through major anxieties and they disappeared. I've done hundreds of hours of therapy, but the short CBT therapy was more effective than anything at getting real, obvious results.”

“The Stanford study was a great experience in helping me develop greater self-awareness on the thoughts that were keeping me anxious and provided me ways to re-frame those thoughts to reduce my anxiety.”

“I had extreme phobia of public speaking to the point I had avoided most situations throughout my life that would have required me to speak in front of a group.  During the course of treatment I was given during the study, I was able to overcome that lifelong issue. Before I finished treatment I was promoted at work to a supervisor position where I lead weekly work meetings of a number of staff as well as conducted trainings for all staff at my company.  This was something I could never have dreamed of doing before and now I'm able to do it on a regular basis after participating in the study.”   

“I attended the MBSR course. I believe it was useful to me in understanding how to slow down and trying to be with the anxiety and not run away from it.”


"Participating in the CBT study was a life-changing (and enjoyable) event – it changed the way I think about myself, and I still feel the benefits over 2 years later.  I haven’t become an extrovert, but I can manage and enjoy social situations that used to make me extremely anxious, before and after.  Just last week I went to (and looked forward to) a networking reception where I knew absolutely nobody, and it was fine; previously I would have either obsessed over it for days beforehand and then been upset and angry at my “performance” for days after, or I would have found an excuse not to attend.  This time I just put it on my calendar, made an effort to attend, and felt good afterwards, without putting unnecessary pressure on myself."

“Even though I do not really know how, the CBT approach worked for me. Overall, I still feel more socially confident and assertive a year after my therapy ended. Nevertheless, work on social anxiety is a continual work in progress. Nowadays, I go through the cognitive restructuring procedure only before very important presentations (I struggle most with public speaking). I have, however, embraced the routine of exposure to anxiety provoking situations and do practice it often when I start to feel anxious. A somewhat unexpected outcome occurred with my actions in romantic relationships, where I now say and do things I never thought I could. I attribute that to CBT as well.”

“Before my life was just a disorienting physical and emotional wave that would overwhelm me. I don't know how to say it but I just felt like I was getting flushed down the toilet and I was lost. That wave is still there but just the understanding of what is going on makes such a big difference. Although I am not yet ready to do some of the things that I really want to do, I have been doing little things and getting used to them. Hopefully, the little things will add up over time and then I can build up the courage to change my environment. I read in this book that your environment can change the structure of your brain and I think also this was something that you all taught me. For some reason, learning just this one little thing gives me hope. I don't know why I didn't know this before it seems like such an easy thing to know. But it wasn't easy at all before knowing it. It is still all very hard but now I can see that if you go out there and you do it, whatever it is, it will change your brain and then the next time it will be just a little bit easier. I also didn't know this before for some reason. That is as far as I have gotten in the time that has elapsed. You have changed my life. I also think that things are getting better but I just think that because I am in the midst of it I cannot see it - this is also something that I learned recently - to be patient - so you can see it.”

“I was terrified coming into Stanford to participate in a study on social anxiety. This program gave me hope, tools, and understanding of what it takes to battle social anxiety. I can confidently say that I have a new outlook on life and look forward to each new day.”

“I am doing well. I have benefitted tremendously from the sessions with you. I am profoundly grateful that I was accepted into the study.”

“Despite being a bit skeptical of the whole CBT thing initially, I vowed to go into this with an open mind and really jump into treatment--and I'm really happy I did because I've benefited immensely. I was aware of some of my difficulties coming into this, but I was surprised by just how much insight I gained into my (often skewed) thought processes and assumptions. It truly is life changing and I already see noticeable differences in how I behave and how I interpret and reflect on experiences. I still have a long road ahead of me, but I leave this treatment better equipped and more inspired to continue taking steps towards the things that are most important and meaningful to me.”

Regarding Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy: “This therapy format was wonderful. I was really moved by the openness and courage of the other group members. It was a pleasure sharing this experience with them.”



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