The role of maladaptive beliefs in cognitive-behavioral therapy: Evidence from social anxiety disorder

Matthew Tyler Boden, Oliver P. John, Philip R Goldin, Kelly Werner, Richard G. Heimberg, James J. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Beliefs that are negatively biased, inaccurate, and rigid are thought to play a key role in the mood and anxiety disorders. Our goal in this study was to examine whether a change in maladaptive beliefs mediated the outcome of individual cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder (SAD). In a sample of 47 individuals with SAD receiving CBT, we measured maladaptive interpersonal beliefs as well as emotional and behavioral components of social anxiety, both at baseline and after treatment completion. We found that (a) maladaptive interpersonal beliefs were associated with social anxiety at baseline and treatment completion; (b) maladaptive interpersonal beliefs were significantly reduced from baseline to treatment completion; and (c) treatment-related reductions in maladaptive interpersonal beliefs fully accounted for reductions in social anxiety after CBT. These results extend the literature by providing support for cognitive models of mental disorders, broadly, and SAD, specifically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-291
Number of pages5
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Belief change
  • Cognitive models
  • Core beliefs
  • Maladaptive beliefs
  • Social anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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