Hello, I’m Martin, founder of Conquer Social Anxiety. Growing up, I was an outgoing, joyful, and naturally extroverted child that enjoyed socializing with others. But one day something changed. Social anxiety showed up, suddenly and out of nowhere.
The internet told me I was doomed to suffer from it for the rest of my life. But fortunately, I didn’t buy it. I had been confident around other people before, so why should I not be able to be it again?
So, I read a bunch of self-help books, tried autosuggestion and imagination exercises, tried to “fake it until I make it”, experimented with various NLP approaches, learned and applied Emotional Freedom Techniques, and tried to face my fears whenever possible, to a level of exhibiting a behavior which psychologists have termed antiphobic.
My untiring search for a solution to social anxiety allowed me to lower my anxiety by a measurable degree, but I kept having frequent relapses. Relapses which not only complicated my life, but above all, radically lowered its overall quality.
So, I sought professional help. I participated in a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Group, which is often among the first recommendations for people suffering from SAD. While some of the other participants seemed to be benefiting, I made little improvements within this specific therapeutic environment.
After another relapse a couple of years later, I decided that I was going to do something against it once and for all. I found a local support group in my city and attended a meeting. It was both sad and comforting to find out just how many people actually suffer from social anxiety. I was not alone. And my proactive approach to the issue seemed to be well received by the other attendees, who soon convinced me to start running my own meetups.
I have organized and led various support groups for people suffering from social anxiety in Washington, DC and Buenos Aires, Argentina. I have met many people who struggled with SAD over the years and I believe that geography should not be a limiting factor when it comes to reaching out for help. That’s why I have created this website. Additionally, the world seems to lack sufficient professionals who specialize in SAD. Typically, professionals specialize in a specific type of psychotherapy and then treat a wide range of patients based on their approach of choice. I believe their is a need for professionals who specialize in social anxiety disorder, while being trained and open-minded regarding the various therapeutic approaches. This would allow people with SAD to try and benefit from different approaches, without having to change their therapist.
I have found my purpose in life in providing people suffering from social anxiety with the information, support and guidance I desperately sought for so many years. I don’t have all the answers, nor do I claim to have found the secret formula. The information my team and I provide is science-backed, holistic and presented in an unbiased manner. Since social anxiety is a complex problem and can present itself in different ways and for different reasons, we believe that considering the whole spectrum of therapy approaches is the most reasonable and promising path to not leave behind any non-responders to standard treatment.
I am a trained physical therapist and I am currently pursuing my Bachelors of Science in Psychology with emphasis in clinical psychology. I am a certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner, Mindfulness & Meditation Instructor, Psychological First Aid Provider and I am the author of the book State of the Art Interventions for Social Anxiety Disorder. I have written articles and created psycho-educational video material about social anxiety for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), and I frequently write about newest scientific insights related to social anxiety, which you can find on our blog.
I hope this website is helpful to you and you find the information you are seeking. Please feel free to schedule your free consultation session to address any questions you might have. My team and I are looking forward to working with you!
Martin Stork, Founder