How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help with Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by excessive, unrealistic and persistent fear, aggravating one’s stressful situation. It can be anything from mild feelings of anxiety to acute, life-shattering panic, and is nearly always disabling in some way, in different aspects of life, intimate personal relationships or overall quality of life. A common treatment technique for anxiety disorders is CBT, an explicit, short-term psychotherapeutic approach that addresses negative psychological and behavioral processes. This blog discusses how a form of therapy called CBT empowers people to deal with and overcome anxiety, providing guidance for a less stressed life.

Understanding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is a form of therapy that helps to get rid of mental health disorders through combining cognitive methods and behaviors. CBT was created during the 1960s by a psychiatrist named Dr. Aaron Beck, and stands for ‘Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,’ the therapy holds the belief that thoughts, feelings and behaviors are closely related. Self-sabotaging patterns mean that when people engage in these thought processes, they end up experiencing negative feelings and engaging in coping mechanisms that make anxiety a recurring issue. What CBT does is to make people realize these negative beliefs and ways of thinking and then make change it.

CBT usually forms contractual fixed sessions with a professional psychologist where the clients are encouraged to identify and change incorrect thinking processes. These sessions are very structured; therapists and clients actively engage in defining possible issues that exist, as well as finding ways on how these issues can be resolved. Homework is usually assigned as a way to enforce what was discussed and applied in sessions and as a way to also practice a newly gained skill in real life. In that aspect, this style of intervention assists the clients to get a clear perspective of their anxiety and how they can handle them.

Another aspect of CBT which has been widely accepted over the other approach is that it is a solution based practice which is also goal oriented. CBT is different from some of the other styles that analyze a patient’s past experiences and childhood patterns, as CBT centers on current situations and ways of resolving them. For such reasons, it is particularly suitable for treating anxiety as it gives clients something practical and useful to help them manage their condition and experience desirable changes in their lives. CBT was useful to break complex issues into those that were more manageable in order to help people regain control from their anxiety and assist them in making the necessary changes.

How CBT Addresses Anxiety

There is a lot of concern about people having anxiety that is identified as excessive worrying, fearing, and avoiding specific activities. The following are some of the symptoms that people who suffer from the condition experience: These symptoms affect a person’s functioning in society and sometimes skip a phase in their development. CBT entails different aspects to fight anxiety, such as cognitive and behavioral therapies including cognitive restructuring and exposure therapy, relaxation therapy.

Cognitive restructuring entails the following, where alternatives equals new ways of thinking: This involves the recognition of thought patterns that cause anxiety and replacing them. As an example, a man or woman with social anxiety disorders will fill their mind with thoughts such as, “Everybody is looking at me” or “I am going to embarrass myself. ” These are cognitions that are mode conditioned and may not necessarily be realistic and rational, but they can be modified and replaced by heathier ones. A therapist can assist the person to challenge such beliefs, look for pros and cons of such ideas or provide ways of thinking that goes against beliefs like such. And over time, with the help of such cognitive changes that take place, the level of anxiety decreases, and self-esteem increases.

Another progressive part of the CBT for anxiety is exposure therapy. It entails exposing the concerned persons to the entities they fear, bit by bit in a manner that is comprehensively monitored and controlled. This process assists in breaking tropisms and reduction of avoidant behavior around the stimuli that elicit a reaction in them. For instance, the leakage of classified information that would cause a person with a phobia for flying to start by watching pictures of airplanes online and then physically get to an airport and later take a short trip in an airplane. In other words when exposed to those situations that cause anxiety… gradually the reaction is reduced and the individual builds up his confidence to handle such situations.

In addition, another technique incorporated in CBT is the utilization of relaxation techniques that would assist the patient in handling the bodily manifestations of anxiety. Such methods could be as follows: the breathing exercises, relaxation with muscle groups, mindfulness meditation. Through the use of these techniques, people are likely to be able to control their bodies and minds and hence lead to a reduction in severity of contestants. Further, it is common that therapists explain to the clients how to apply these techniques in practice and equip them with the ways to fight anxiety if this feeling occurs in their everyday practice.

Self-report techniques have been found to be very useful in treating different types of anxiety disorders; these include CBT in the treatment of GAD, SAD, PD, and specific phobias. In fact, the studies proved that, CBT has been proved to be effective in the reduction of anxiety and an enhancement of functional ability. Most people experience some improvement, and some research suggests that gains made from using CBT remain over the long term, even after treatment has ceased. It’s especially crucial for producing long-term effectiveness in clients who are looking for a permanent cure for anxiety.

The Benefits of CBT for Anxiety

Another advantage of CBT for anxiety is durability since the process is systemic and time-bound. CBT usually ranges from twelve to twenty, although dependant on the persons presentation and the severity of the anxiety may differ. This short-term approach also makes CBT a vocal treatment since it provides an understandable issue-solution approach and the possibility of producing small gains within a limited timeframe. For some people it may be quite reassuring because they can seem to be faced with the difficulties which long-term therapies can entail.

Another of the major strengths of CBT is that it focuses heavily on learning of skills. They are presented with strategies and procedures that are used in handling anxiety and they are therefore able to handle the anxiety on their own. This focus on self-efficacy is important, it facilitates the person in gaining a sense of control of this condition that is anxiety. The client approves the therapies instead of just the therapist handling it and this helps in its long-term impact in healing.

However, it is pertinent to note that CBT enhances the therapeutic alliance. This is why the roles of a therapist and a client who seek help are quite symbiotic, as they both define objectives, obstacles, and strategies. This should also feel very empowering to the client, especially when the focus is on how she or he has the capacity to bring about change. It is also worth to mention that the support non-bias approach make it possible for such individuals to free express themselves as they engage in the therapeutic process, this is basically due to the fact that they may have encountered previous difficulties in expressing their anxiety.

Moreover, CBT can be easily modified and applied to make it suit specific needs of all patients. Still, it is possible that with the help of an experienced practitioner, the methods and approaches applied may be adapted to the particular manifestations of the pathology and client’s contexts. This flexibility enhance high chances of success due to the tailor made strategy to suit the specific circumstances of each situation.

However, CBT is not only helpful when conducted separately for patients, but also when carried out with a group of patients. Group CBT also comes with a positive side effect of fellowship where persons can relate their journey with others and learn from their counterparts. Such sense of community can indeed be quite reassuring and encouraging, as it sorts of fires up the necessity to know that it is not the only one experiencing anxiety.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is not only founded on empirical findings but also presents a form of therapy that has been evidenced as effective. There is an abundant research on the effectiveness of CBT for the anxiety patients, and most patient have reported about the positive changes in their condition after the therapy. It should be noted that the said treatment carries certain expectations of achieving positive outcomes due to this strong evidence.

In the light of the above arguments, it can be said that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a remarkable effective tool in treating anxiety. The advantage of CBT over other techniques is that it helps people identify and alter negative thinking patterns, prevent avoidance of anxiety-inducing stimuli, as well as learn useful ways of addressing anxiety in a way that does not have a detrimental impact on quality of life. Based on the nature of your anxiety, lasting six months or less, whether you are struggling with generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder, or a particular fear or phobia, CBT has a clear and scientifically grounded model of change. If you know someone or you are someone who is experiencing or concerned greatly with anxiety, you may want to consult with a competent CBT therapist to know how this type of therapy can positively change one’s life.