Intervention to alleviate shyness : social skills training and brief counselling
The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a Social Skills Training programme (based on Bandura's social learning theory) and Brief Counselling (using Egan model) to alleviate shyness.The aetiology of shyness is examined together with its relationship to other constructs such as social anxiety and social phobia. For many, shyness is a major social problem. This is particularly true of female university students in Saudi Arabia. This was confirmed by the survey in a sample of 1000 female students, and by the development of a standardised (Arabic) shyness scale, which was given to another sample of 706.From this population a sample of 80 (scoring 1 sd above mean) were divided into 6 groups who received either (i) Social Skills Training (two groups), (ii) Brief Counselling, (iii) Study Skills Training, and (iv) No training (waiting list control, two groups). Both the Social Skills and Brief Counselling were effective in reducing shyness although there was a similar beneficial effect for study skills. However in a 6- week follow-up test the Social Skills training and Brief Counselling groups showed that significant gains had been made and maintained in comparison with both controls. While overall Social Skills Training is more effective and economic, an intervention involving both Social Skills Training and Brief Counselling is recommended. The study demonstrated that severe shyness can be alleviated by short-term intervention.