New Zealand psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald has been singled out for his pioneering work in treating anxiety and listed as one of this year’s top-10 online experts on the subject.
Leading psychotherapy website PsychCentral.com has included MacDonald in its list of top-10 anxiety blogs for 2014 for his website OvercomingSocialAnxiety.com, praising its work around social anxiety, social phobias and shyness:
With training in behavioral and psychodynamic techniques, Kyle is pioneering an online-based treatment. The social anxiety blog is a well-illustrated and down-to-earth read, neatly written in a nonjudgmental voice.
The inclusion in such a prestigious top-10 is reward for MacDonald, who has more than 15 years’ clinical experience as a registered psychotherapist and launched the website last year as a way to reach a broader audience in New Zealand and around the world.
MacDonald said the aim of his blog was to present anxiety – which, according to figures in the United States, affects around 7% per cent of people aged over 18 and can create significant problems in social or work situations and lead to panic attacks – in a simple, factual and easily digestible form using new media.
“People who suffer from social anxiety tend to feel they may be judged negatively by others in social or work situations and that they may feel crippling embarrassment and shame,” MacDonald said.
“Because of this they tend to avoid situations that cause anxiety – something which seriously impairs their lifestyle – but then also feel upset about the anxiety and the problems it causes. It can become a vicious cycle.
“What our blog does is explain the process by which social anxiety can affect you and what you do to treat it by using videos, simplified case studies and up-to-date news on the latest clinical treatment developments. It also allows us to show some of the great work being done around New Zealand to help people who suffer with social anxiety.”
The website overcomingsocialanxiety.com is also leading the way with its groundbreaking online-based treatment, which offers a step-by-step system to help people tolerate social anxiety, access to video sessions with MacDonald, customized workbooks, video and audio tracks.
“The very act of having to go out to find help can be crippling for people who suffer from social anxiety,” MacDonald said.
“The online treatment gives them easy access to all the tools they need to manage their anxiety and understand how to get on with their life.”
• Kyle MacDonald is co-director of private psychotherapy service, the Robert Street Clinic in Ellerslie, Auckland, a regular co-presenter on NewsTalkZB’s The Nutter’s Club with Mike King and is resident psychotherapist on RadioLive.
• Psych Central is the oldest and largest mental health resource online and has been reviewing online resources since 1992. It receives more than 7 million unique visitors each month from all over the world.
For more information about the website overcomingsocialanxiety.com, or Kyle McDonald contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org or +64 21 708 689.