School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)


Lisa Sosin


Social Anxiety, Group Counseling, College Students, Creative Exposure Intervention (CEI)


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


College counseling centers struggle to accommodate the number of students seeking mental health services today. For the last decade, the leading problem among college students has been anxiety, including social anxiety. Studies indicate that group counseling is a practical solution to address these concerns. This mixed methods replication study explored the use of the Creative Exposure Intervention – Group Version (CEI-GV) with social anxiety. The CEI-GV is a brief, integrative approach that incorporates art with anchoring skills, cognitive-behavioral interventions, and mindfulness with self-compassion. Descriptive statistics, a paired t test, and Moustakas’s methods were used to analyze the data in this study. Results indicated that CEI-GV impacted group participants (N = 8) as described by three themes: emotion regulation, helpful, and difficult. Participants also reported several positive changes in their physical sensations/feelings, thoughts and emotions, and social behavior and experience as a result of attending the group. These changes included: less physical tension, more awareness of their feelings and physical sensations, more control over their sensations, more skill and control in managing their thoughts and emotions, more objectivity in their thoughts and emotions, and more control and comfortability in social behavior and experience. Overall, participant social anxiety severity decreased from severe to mild as indicated by the Social Phobia Inventory. This dissertation study concludes with implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research as they pertain to college counseling and clinical practice.

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