KARACHI (PPI) - Extreme shyness that holds people back in social situations and prevents them from meeting other people needs enhanced cognitive behaviour therapy to get treated. About one in 20 people suffer from an extreme form of shyness known as social phobia. People with social phobia can usually interact easily with family and a few close friends but meeting new people, talking in a group, or speaking in public can cause their extreme shyness to kick in. Current treatments, including cognitive therapy and other traditional systems of teaching people practical skills to manage their fears, can achieve reasonably good results. Researchers, however, have been trying to refine the process even further to improve outcomes as theoretical models suggest that targeting several specific cognitive factors in treatment could increase the efficacy of treatment. To explore the methods of treating social phobia in adults with a better success ratio, researchers identified 195 people with social phobia and randomly allocated them to one of three treatments - standard cognitive restructuring plus in vivo exposure; an enhanced treatment that amplified the standard programme with several additional treatment techniques (e.g., performance feedback, attention retraining); and a non-specific stress management treatment. Improved treatment included giving sufferers clear, detailed feedback about their social performance and teaching them how to better focus their attention when feeling frightened. Participants in the study were divided into small groups. After learning some basic anxiety management techniques, they were gradually encouraged to face their fears over 12 weekly sessions. At the end of the treatment, over 40 percent of participants showed large and dramatic changes in how they coped with their fears while many others showed good improvements. Moreover, the enhanced treatment demonstrated significantly greater effects on diagnoses, diagnostic severity, and anxiety during a speech. The findings indicate that traditional cognitive behaviour therapy clubbed with enhanced techniques including practical sessions can better treat social phobia among adults. The findings appeared in latest issue of Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. WORLD THALASSEMIA DAY ON 8TH The World Thalassemia Day would be observed on May 08 to raise awareness among the people about this disorder. The Thalassemia is hereditary genetic disorder. There are two forms of Thalassemia - Beta Thalassemia major and Beta Thalassemia minor. A person with Thalassemia minor may appear perfectly healthy and has no symptoms at all. If a man and woman having Thalassemia minor get married, there is a 1 in 4 chance at each pregnancy that they will have a baby with Beta Thalassemia Major BTM. The BTM is a serious blood disorder where the baby is unable to produce enough red cells in the blood. As a result, affected children develop severe blood deficiency, so they require regular blood transfusion for their whole life. The signs appear at the age of four months. The only treatment of BTM is bone marrow transplantation, which costs about Rs.1.8 to 2 million and only wealthy people can bear such expenses, therefore most patients depend on life long blood transfusion and medicines, which cost Rs.6000/- per month. Pakistan has above 100, 000 children suffering from BTM and ten million from Beta Thalassemia Minor. Every year about 6,000 children are born with thalassemia.