How counseling helps students deal with social anxiety

     Social anxiety is a huge issue nowadays. According to Mayo Clinic, “Social anxiety is a chronic mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety.” In simple terms, social anxiety is being nervous to have social interactions. Social anxiety affects approximately 15 million Americans, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. The average age social anxiety onsets is during the teenage years.

     Many people don’t understand how hard someone with social anxiety has it. They don’t really know how to help someone with this issue, but Highlands High School counselor Laura Schnitzler has worked her whole career to help people with exactly these sorts of topics. 

Counselor Laura Schnitzler said, “I want to have the same role in students’ lives, as my school counselor did in mine.” (Treiston Collins)

     Throughout Schnitzler’s career, she has found peace in helping those with not only scheduling and college applications, but with their mental health as well. She wanted to be a school counselor because, when she was back in school, she had a school counselor who would commonly check in with her to make sure everything was going okay. 

     Schnitzler explains her experience in high school, saying, “I was not one to seek out help when I needed it. But I had a school counselor who would check in with me and they seemed to know if something was wrong, I just really appreciated it.” 

     Schnitzler thinks as a school counselor, it’s important for her to check in with many students who may have a similar mindset to what she had whilst in highschool.

     Students struggle a lot these days with a wide variety of things, ranging from home issues to suicidal thoughts, especially in the age of internet and online issues. Many students go to their counselor for help with these issues and more. 

     “Students come to me for lots of academic issues: if they are having trouble in class, if they may be having trouble communicating with their teacher, and even if they are concerned about a friend,” said Schnitzler. 

      Counseling is very beneficial to students, especially if they’re struggling. According to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, “Counseling is a process that helps individuals identify effective strategies to cope with difficult situations and to achieve personal goals.” 

     Counseling helps start and fuel the discussion of issues that may be embarrassing to tell family or friends. Counseling is a safe place, a place where one can be free and talk about what’s on their mind. 

     As the patient, remember to be thinking about how you might be feeling. If you ever see someone struggling to talk to people, give them a chance. It helps them to know that there are people who aren’t going to judge them.  If you are struggling to have social interaction, seek help, look for a school counselor who could help, and if needed, try professional therapy. Don’t give up, seek help.