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  DR. Michael Shery, clinical psycholoGY

  2615 Three Oaks Rd, Ste. 2A, 

  Cary, Illinois 60013  847 275 8236 (24 Hrs);




“Since 1976, state-of-the-art counseling which treats the problem, not just the symptom…”





Doctoral degree: University of Southern California, 1975






        Referrals accepted from Alexian Brothers, Good Shepherd, Centegra, Loyola, Northwestern University, University of Chicago and the Mayo Clinic hospitals and physicians.



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3 Recommended Fixes for Social Anxiety: Feel Timid? Become a Tiger!


Social anxiety is exhibited by people who are painfully shy and overwhelmed by worry in social situations. Treatment for it is important; you need to eliminate the anxiety in order to have a normal social life and to enhance the quality of your overall life.

If you experience social anxiety, you probably are fearful of being judged critically by others and feeling humiliated, embarrassed or rejected. When you are in a social situation with people you value highly, but don't know, you probably experience symptoms, such as heart palpitations, hyper-scanning of the environment, self-doubt, over-thinking or even excessive sweating.

Social anxiety disorder is pervasive but it is treatable with counseling, psychotherapy and some medications. Cognitive therapy which re-structures your thought processes is highly effective.

It is important to engage in treatment to enhance the quality of your overall life and the lives of those close to you. Social anxiety disorder usually features persistent, intense and chronic anxiety fueled by the fear of being criticized, shamed or humiliated by anyone you socially value.

These anxieties may have been intensified because of the previous judgmental, insulting or humiliating behavior of others. While engaged in anxiety-laden social interactions, you may know intellectually, that there is no legitimate or realistic reason to feel such anxiety, but often, without treatment, that does little to help.

Generally, men are more predisposed to experience social anxiety than are women. It has been hypothesized that this is because, in our society, men have the primary role of being the initiator of interaction with strangers they would like to know.

Consequently, males search more frequently for treatment for social anxiety than do females. Social anxiety disorder is very common, though males, in particular are loathe to admit it.

Countless men continually struggle with their fears, particularly when in bars or at parties. Social anxiety is hypothesized to be a strong motivator for the tendency of college students to get drunk before or during their parties.
Those with social anxiety often, also, feel apprehensive in performance-based situations; this is called performance anxiety. Their anxiety about being embarrassed, criticized or negatively evaluated is generalized to any spectators who may be present.

The more severe cases of performance anxiety are even generalized to sexual situations where the male becomes anxious about performing well. This sometimes leads him to problems with premature ejaculation or impotence.

Some also see the fear of public speaking as related to both social and performance anxiety. After all, the fear of embarrassment or criticism is central to both.

As stated previously, psychological counseling and medication such as, antidepressants can reduce any combined anxiety and depression that may result. It is also hypothesized that specialized counseling utilizing cognitive behavioral methods may be particularly effective for the longer-term treatment of social anxiety.

For those with less intense fear in social situations, therapy may only need to be short-term. However, for those whose anxieties are pervasive, persistent and overwhelming, long term therapy including both cognitive behavioral techniques and medication, is optimal.

What should you do?

First, seek professional help. This usually involves:

1. Individual counseling or psychotherapy. The purpose of counseling is to understand yourself and your situation clearer.

You get objective feedback, support and guidance from a professional with experience in treating anxiety.

2. Group therapy. Attending therapy in a group setting desensitizes you to your anxiety and teaches you how to communicate better in an environment which is, itself, social.

You get objective feedback, support and guidance, not only from a professional, but also from your peers who are experiencing problems similar to yours. Money should not deter you because both types of counseling can be received from private practitioners and non-profit sliding scale community agencies.

3. Cognitive therapy-oriented self-therapy kits (STKs), articles and books.

If going to counseling seems initially like too big a step, reading articles and books, attending seminars and using cognitive therapy-oriented self-therapy (STKs), also known as "home therapy kits" can help. STKs are self-help programs that use cognitive therapy to tutor you, step-by-step on how to deal with your social anxiety.

As opposed to books and articles, they teach assertive social skills using cognitive therapy in a multimedia format: CDs, DVDs, MP3s, e-books, workbooks, audios, videos etc. Cognitive-behavioral tutoring on how to respond assertively in social settings can be very helpful.

In short, combined therapy, utilizing cognitively-oriented individual therapy, group therapy and medication is the treatment for social anxiety disorder that provides the best chances of success.

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About The Author

Dr. Mike Shery is a licensed clinical psychologist and is affiliated with almost all health plans, including:  ValueOptions, Medicare, Cigna, Coventry, Cigna Behavioral Health, United Health Care, Aetna-Allied, First Health, Healthstar, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, ComPsych, Magellan Health, Meridian, HFN, Tricare, Humana, most union local plans, most school district plans, Unicare, ChoiceCare, CAPP, Multiplan, Mental Health Network, Managed Health Network, United Behavioral Health, PPONext, Private Health Care Systems, Humana-Military and Beech Street .


He has practiced clinical psychology for approximately 30 years and is board certified as a specialist in professional counseling by the International Academy of Behavioral Medicine, Counseling and Psychotherapy. He is the director of Affiliated Counseling and Referral Services and is a member of the American Counseling Association.


The office is located in Cary, IL and in select cases phone consultations are available for those who don’t live locally> Telephone Counseling.

To make an appointment> New Patient Registration or to learn more about the psychological services he provides call him at 1-847-275-8236 (24 Hrs).


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In-Office Services are located in Cary, Illinois and are convenient if you're coming from: 

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