Social Anxiety and Close Relationships: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study

Kate Elisabeth Jane Nielsen, Sharon L. Cairns


Few studies have looked at social anxiety and close relationships. Whereas these studies were quantitative, this study used a qualitative approach, hermeneutic phenomenology to explore the meaning of being in a close relationship for eight individuals with social anxiety. Participants completed a written questionnaire with open-ended questions about their experiences in their closest relationship. The themes suggest that these individuals are capable of forming close relationships. However, they tend to adopt an insecure attachment style in their relationships. The themes are discussed in light of cognitive behavioural and interpersonal theory and therapy.


Applied Practice


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