I first discovered the audio therapy series in 2007, and I started to do it then. I completed the series at home, in my home city. After that I began to look for therapy groups, behavioral groups in my city. There were a few groups, and research study groups, which I tried to attend. I could see pretty quickly that the groups were not organized very well, and that the leaders did not understand social anxiety. They thought they understood it, and they thought they were helping, but they weren't. I could see that because of what I had read on Dr. Richards website. And since I had done the audio therapy series, I could feel that they were actually doing some things in those groups which would actually make it harder for people with social anxiety to effectively find solutions. Also, none of those groups even knew about the audio therapy series, and none of those groups used any sort of cognitive structured therapy (handouts) for us to be doing the cognitive work at home. So, I was not very happy about those groups. The research groups were at local universities, run by graduate students who had absolutely no idea what they were doing. I was feeling better by that time, able to try to attend a group, but still quite nervous. I could also see that other people in the group were all quite nervous and they started to drop out - which is no surprise.
I then looked for other groups or therapists in my area. I really believed I wanted to be in a group by that time. After searching in other nearby cities in my state, I finally decided to join the international group here in Phoenix. And after that I returned to go through a few local therapy groups here in Phoenix. I was involved in the therapy groups here for about a year. It was a big help.
After I stopped the groups and moved on with life, I was not practicing the therapy as much anymore. On the one hand I was doing much better and feeling much better. Social anxiety did not control my life anymore. Probably there were still times when I needed to remind myself of the rational therapy. I won't deny that I could still have benefited every day if I were doing the daily cognitive therapy. By that time I didn't really need a group anymore. But, I should have still done the cognitive more because it does make every day better. You keep reminding yourself to choose the good thoughts instead of the bad.
So, no I do not have social anxiety anymore. I credit that with the audio therapy series and the groups here in Phoenix. I think for me, I definitely needed to do the cogntive therapy, as everyone needs to for social anxiety, but also I needed the behavioral group to start practicing real life things, and to make the cognitive therapy go deeper into my brain and to become more a feeling than just thoughts. So it all worked together. I do not have social anxiety anymore, so that alone is a huge change from my old life. The change is night and day. I still might face challenges, like all people do, and I still might have some habits in my life so that I should be out there choosing to be active more - this would help me. And I still can benefit from reminding myself of the therapy. Basically having better habits is always a good idea. And no matter if we have social anxiety or not, your habits can make you feel up or down, and habits, just like the habit of doing therapy, becomes your life. Habits require effort, especially if you are trying to achieve something or change something.
I hope that answers your question. I'm not special in any way by saying that I overcame social anxiety. It is possible for everyone to do by doing the therapy. There are many others who go through the groups who can say the same thing. It's hard to do it alone, well it's harder, I think. But it's possible, very much possible and real.