If you suffer from obsessive thoughts, panic attacks or unrelenting worries, you may have an anxiety disorder. You don’t always have to suffer from anxiety or think of anxiety as a life sentence. Treatment can help, and therapy is a good place to start.
Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Obsessive, worried thoughts
- Difficulty concentrating
- Racing heartbeat
- Trouble breathing
Because anxiety can interfere with work, school, daily activities, relationships, sleeping patterns and eating habits, it’s one of the most common reasons people seek out therapy. Anxiety support in the form of therapy can help reduce or even resolve your anxiety completely allowing you to resume regular activities and regain a sense of control.
How does therapy help anxiety, exactly?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders aims to help a person develop a more adaptive response to a fear. A CBT therapist may use “exposure” therapy to treat certain anxiety disorders, such as a specific phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, or obsessive compulsive disorder. Exposure therapy has been found to be effective in treating anxiety-related disorders. It works by helping a person confront a specific fear or memory while in a safe and supportive environment. The main goals of exposure therapy are to help the patient learn that anxiety can lessen over time and give him or her the tools to cope with fear or traumatic memories.
A recent study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that CBT is effective in treating trauma-related disorders in children and teens.
About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
The type of therapy most often recommended for the treatment of anxiety due to its demonstrated effectiveness. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a blend of two therapies: cognitive therapy (CT) and behavioral therapy. CT was developed by psychotherapist Aaron Beck, M.D., in the 1960s. CT focuses on a person’s thoughts and beliefs, and how they influence a person’s mood and actions, and aims to change a person’s thinking to be more adaptive and healthy. Behavioral therapy focuses on a person’s actions and aims to change unhealthy behavior patterns.
CBT helps a person focus on his or her current problems and how to solve them. Both patient and therapist need to be actively involved in this process. The therapist helps the patient learn how to identify distorted or unhelpful thinking patterns, recognize and change inaccurate beliefs, relate to others in more positive ways, and change behaviors accordingly. CBT can be applied and adapted to treat many specific mental disorders.
If you are experiencing anxiety or can’t control worry, let’s talk about how we can work collaboratively to bring peace and fulfillment back into your life.
I look forward to offering you support, encouragement, and guidance as you reach your maximum potential! Call me today to schedule your initial appointment.