Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 1–23 | Cite as

Cognitive behavioral group treatment for social phobia: Comparison with a credible placebo control

  • Richard G. Heimberg
  • Cynthia S. Dodge
  • Debra A. Hope
  • Charles R. Kennedy
  • Linda J. Zollo
  • Robert E. Becker


Forty-nine patients participated in a study comparing cognitive-behavioral group treatment (CBGT) for social phobia with a credible placebo control. CBGT consisted of exposure to simulated phobic events, cognitive restructuring of maladaptive thoughts, and homework for self-directed exposure and cognitive restructuring between sessions. Control patients received a treatment package consisting of lecture-discussion and group support that was comparable to CBGT on measures of treatment credibility and outcome expectations. At pretest, posttest, and 3- and 6-month follow-ups, patients completed assessments that included clinician ratings, self-report measures, and behavioral, physiological, and cognitive-subjective measures derived from a behavioral simulation of a personally relevant phobic event. Both groups improved on most measures, but, at both posttest and follow-up, CBGT patients were rated as more improved than controls and reported less anxiety before and during the behavioral test. At follow-up, CBGT patients also reported significantly fewer negative and more positive self-statements than controls on a thought-listing task following the behavioral test. Regardless of treatment condition, follow-up changes in clinician-rated phobic severity were significantly related to changes on the thought-listing measure.

Key words

social phobia cognitive-behavioral group treatment social anxiety group treatment anxiety disorders 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard G. Heimberg
    • 1
  • Cynthia S. Dodge
    • 1
  • Debra A. Hope
    • 1
  • Charles R. Kennedy
    • 1
  • Linda J. Zollo
    • 1
  • Robert E. Becker
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Stress and Anxiety Disorders, Department of PsychologyUniversity at Albany, State University of New YorkAlbanyUSA
  2. 2.Medical College of Pennsylvania at EPPIUSA

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