Treating anxiety disorders with therapy
In case you’re suffering from panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, unrelenting worries, or an incapacitating phobia, it’s essential to be aware that you don’t necessarily have to live with anxiety and fear. Treatment can assist, and for many anxiety problems, therapy is often the most effective option. This is because therapy also deals with underlying issues. Anxiety disorders differ; therefore, therapy should be tailored to meet individual needs. The length and type of therapy are also largely dependent on the nature of anxiety disorder and personal profile.
The leading methods used to treat anxiety are Cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. They may be used alone or combined.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most primarily used therapy for anxiety disorders. Research has suggested it to be very effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder and phobia.
CBT focuses on the negative patterns and distortions in the way we look at the world and ourselves.
It is comprised of:
Cognitive therapy investigates how negative thought patterns, or cognitions, result in anxiety.
Behavior therapy establishes how you behave and react in situations that trigger anxiety.
The basic idea of CBT is that our thoughts—not external events—affect how our emotions. In a layman’s language, it’s not the situation you’re in that determines how you think, but your perception of the case.
Cognitive restructuring in CBT for anxiety
Cognitive restructuring is a process in which you challenge the negative thinking patterns that contribute to your anxiety, replacing them with more positive, realistic thoughts. This involves three steps:
- Identifying your negative thoughts.
- Challenging your negative thoughts
- Replacing negative thoughts with real reviews.
Nonetheless, CBT may also include the following:
- Learning to identify when you’re anxious and what that generally feels like in your body
- Learning coping skillsets and relaxation techniques to counteract anxiety and panic
- Confronting your fears (either unreal or in real life)
Exposure therapy for anxiety
Exposure therapy exposes an individual to the situations or objects you fear. The premise is that through repeated exposures, you’ll feel an increasing sense of control over the case, and your anxiety will diminish. The exposure is done in two ways: Your therapist may ask you to imagine the scary situation or confront it practically. Exposure therapy may be carried out alone, or it may be conducted as part of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Systematic desensitization- rather than being exposed to the object you fear all at once. A therapist could decide to do it in steps. Systematic desensitization involves three parts:
- Learning relaxation skills.
- Creating a step-by-step list.
- Working through the steps.
Complementary therapies for anxiety disorders
- Relaxation techniques
Making anxiety therapy work for you
Support your anxiety by making positive choices. You can do the following:
- Learn about anxiety.
- Cultivate your connections with other people.
- Adopt healthy lifestyle habits
- Reduce stress in your life