Personal Stories



Listen to Jeff Kukes’ Interview with Not Broken Radio

Recently, Jeff Kukes joined Brett Francis of Not Broken Radio to talk about the history and mission of AKFSA and the services we provide for awareness and treatment of social anxiety. You can listen to the full program (Episode 45 – Social Anxiety/Phobia from March 27, 2017) by using the links below: Direct listen links: READ MORE »

Online Treatment for Social Anxiety Survey Now Available

We’re seeking research participants for an online social anxiety survey. In a partnership with Georgia State University, this survey is now available for participants who suffer from social anxiety, their friends and family members. The purpose of the study is to find out what kinds of information you would want included in an online treatment READ MORE »

Research Holds Promise For New Treatments

By Page L. Anderson, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Georgia State University

As a researcher, my primary interest is developing and testing treatments that will be acceptable and accessible for the people who need them. I started as a part of a team to test virtual reality as a form of exposure therapy, which involves facing one’s fears in a therapeutic way. Exposure therapy is highly effective, READ MORE »

With Expert Training, More Professionals Can Treat Selective Mutism

By Dr. Aimee Kotrba, Thriving Minds Behavioral Health

I am a psychologist who specializes in Selective Mutism, a form of anxiety that affects children. These children face anxiety that limits them from speaking in public situations and in school settings, and sometimes even to their own families. However, I didn’t hear about Selective Mutism through all of my graduate school training. During my READ MORE »

I’ve Got 99 Problems But Social Anxiety Ain’t One

By Dr. Emma Warnock-Parkes

At the Oxford Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma (University of Oxford, UK) run by Professors David Clark and Anke Ehlers, our research is focused on improving treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder.  So I was delighted to be asked to contribute to the website by the wonderful people at the Kukes Foundation. A few weeks READ MORE »

Understanding Social Anxiety From the 1980s Through Now

By Frank Schneier, M.D

I became interested in studying social anxiety in the late 1980s, as I was finishing my psychiatry residency. I was hoping to find an area of research that was ripe for advancement, and the first journal articles on what was then the newly-described condition of “social phobia” caught my eye. At that time, panic disorder READ MORE »

Researching Social Anxiety Brings Satisfaction

By C. Richard Spates Ph.D.

As a Professor of Psychology at Western Michigan University, I have dedicated my career to helping society learn more about anxiety, which is still so misunderstood by so many. I first became interested in anxiety disorders in graduate school at the University of Illinois, which had a renowned clinic when I was there nearly 40 READ MORE »

Exploring The Link Between Social Anxiety and Substance Abuse

By Jennifer Dahne

In my PhD research at the University of Maryland, my colleagues and I are focusing on a topic of interest to me during my study of psychology. We started by exploring the relationship between social anxiety and cigarette smoking. Initially, I thought that those with social anxiety would be risk averse and avoid behavior like READ MORE »

Social Work Powers Difference Making

By Lori Blumenstein-Bott, LMSW, Executive Director, The Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety

March is Social Work month, which gives me an opportunity to reflect on my 30 plus years in this field. Throughout my career I have enjoyed a wide variety of the types of work that fall under the title “Social Worker.” Through each iteration, one constant theme emerges for me; everything must be focused on READ MORE »

Releasing The Secret Pain of Social Anxiety

By Lisa Klarner

After years of suffering it took quite a journey to find out what was wrong with me. Then, it took many years of therapy to help overcome it. “It” ended up being social anxiety disorder. When I was really struggling, I was afraid even when walking through the grocery store. I tried to avoid seeing READ MORE »