The Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Including Updating the Early Life Experiences and Images with the Empty Chair Technique on Social Anxiety

The effect of CBT on social anxiety


  • Volkan AVŞAR Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Üniversitesi
  • Seher Sevim Retired Lecturer


Cognitive behavioral therapy, Social anxiety, Negative life experiences, Imagery, Empty chair


Specific memories of early negative life experiences (ENLE) and images play an important role in the cause and persistence of social anxiety. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effectiveness of individual Cognitive Behavior Therapy (iCBT), which includes updating a specific memory of ENLE and related images using the empty chair technique, on the social anxiety of university students. In addition to this, how iCBT applied affects the students’ general self-efficacy and psychological well-being is also examined. The current study was carried out with a total of eight university students, six female and two male. Participants attended iCBT sessions for 12 weeks. Changes in participants were evaluated with Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS), General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES), and Flourishing Scale (FS) before iCBT, and one week, three months and six months after iCBT ended. The findings show that participants’ social anxiety decreased both statistically and clinically in post-tests and follow-up measures. There were statistically and clinically significant increases in general self-efficacy and psychological well-being. In addition, the changes in the participants’ social anxiety, general self-efficacy and psychological well-being post-test and follow-up measures have a large effect size. This study shows that iCBT, which includes updating of specific memories of ENLE and images, is effective in reducing social anxiety and increasing general self-efficacy and psychological well-being. These findings show that iCBT, which includes updating a specific memory of ENLE and related images, using the empty chair technique is an effective method reducing for university students’ social anxiety.


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How to Cite

AVŞAR, V., & Aydemir Sevim, S. (2022). The Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Including Updating the Early Life Experiences and Images with the Empty Chair Technique on Social Anxiety: The effect of CBT on social anxiety. International Journal of Assessment Tools in Education, 9(1), 181-202. Retrieved from