Occupational Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder

Our specialist mental health occupational therapists provide therapy online for people with social anxiety disorder. 

We are a registered NDIS provider and use an inclusive approach to therapy, where the person can be in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

How can occupational therapy benefit people with social anxiety disorder?

A mental health occupational therapist is different from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Mental health occupational therapists look at how your condition affects the functional aspects of your life and work with you on ways to improve this.

Occupational therapy can benefit people with social anxiety disorder in several ways:

1. Building social skills: Occupational therapists can work with individuals with social anxiety to develop and enhance their social skills. They can provide guidance and practice on how to engage in conversation, make eye contact, initiate and maintain relationships, and navigate social interactions effectively.

2. Exposure therapy: Occupational therapists can use exposure therapy techniques to gradually expose individuals to anxiety-provoking social situations. This helps them confront their fears and anxieties in a controlled and supportive environment, leading to desensitization over time.

3. Stress and anxiety management: Occupational therapists can teach individuals with social anxiety disorder various techniques and strategies to manage stress and anxiety. This may include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness techniques, and guided imagery, which can help individuals better cope with social situations.

4. Role-playing and simulation: Occupational therapists often use role-playing and simulation activities to help individuals practice social situations and gain confidence. By role-playing scenarios in a supportive and controlled environment, individuals can learn and rehearse appropriate social behaviors, responses, and communication.

5. Enhancing self-esteem and self-confidence: Occupational therapists work on building the self-esteem and self-confidence of individuals with social anxiety. They focus on identifying and utilizing individuals’ strengths, setting achievable goals, and providing positive reinforcement to boost their self-belief and sense of accomplishment.

6. Activity analysis and adaptation: Occupational therapists analyze individuals’ daily routines and activities to identify factors that contribute to their social anxiety. They can provide recommendations and adaptations to make these activities more manageable and less anxiety-inducing. By breaking down and gradually adapting activities, individuals can feel more comfortable and confident in engaging in social interactions.

7. Social support and community integration: Occupational therapists can help individuals with social anxiety disorder connect with support groups and communities. This helps create a network of understanding and like-minded individuals who can provide empathy, encouragement, and opportunities for social interaction.

Overall, occupational therapy aims to improve an individual’s ability to participate in meaningful activities, manage anxiety, and navigate social situations, ultimately enhancing their overall quality of life.

Occupational therapy assessments for social anxiety disorder

We are able to provide many types of occupational therapy assessments online, including Functional Capacity Assessments (FCA) and reports required for the NDIS. Please see this article for more information on assessments we can provide.

NDIS registered provider

We are a registered NDIS provider and work with self-managed, plan-managed and agency-managed clients. 


If your are an NDIS provider or support coordinator we can provide reliable occupational therapy for clients with social anxiety disorder in any location. Refer a client and we’ll connect you to the right clinician. 

Is online occupational therapy effective?

Yes! A growing body of evidence shows that online delivery of therapy can be as effective as face to face. Online therapy has many other benefits too, including being convenient and accessible for people in regional and rural areas.  

How does online occupational therapy work?

At Umbo online therapy is not just zoom plus business-as-usual. It’s much more diverse than simply videoconferencing. Umbo therapists provide an individualised approach to each person, using the latest evidence, and a variety of technologies and engagement techniques.

Umbo champions person-centred therapy. It means the person and their family/support people leads the conversation. We believe that the most effective therapy occurs when support is given in the environment where the person lives, learns, works or plays. Therefore we work with the family, and teach skills to you or to other supporters. This means you’re achieving real-life goals, rather than just achieving goals in a clinic.

We are a certified social enterprise helping Australian families access allied health services.