How CBT Can Help With Anxiety
By now, you have already made the most important step. You have determined that your anxiety is interfering with your life and needs to be addressed by a professional. The endless worry, fear, and panic needs treatment, but you are unsure what kind of treatment. Surely, the options for mental health treatment are expansive and diverse. Becoming overwhelmed by options including therapy, medication, supplements, chiropractic and others is common.
To avoid the tendency to become confused and frustrated, you may consider a treatment method that has a record of being very effective in the treatment of anxiety and one that offers limited risks and high rewards. That treatment option is therapy. More specifically, it is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Over the years, CBT has become the preferred therapy type when treating people with anxiety.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a very safe, effective, and drugless option to help you manage your symptoms. This therapy can be costly. However, if you’re willing to be a participant in a study there will be no cost to you; you may also get paid for your time, travelling or other associated expenses. If you consider participating in clinical research for the first time, psychotherapy involves very few risks when compared to those that involve medication.
What is CBT?
CBT is a form of psychotherapy that can help you understand your thoughts and feelings, which influence the way you behave. It is used for various mental and emotional concerns including anxiety, phobias, depression and addiction. This therapeutic style was formed by the contributions of several psychologists in the 1950 and 1960s including Alfred Adler, Albert Ellis, and Aaron Beck.
Largely, cognitive-behavioral therapy is interested in the relationship between someone’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors and is based on the concept that these play a crucial role in the way you behave. Therapists trained in CBT believe that these three facets are influenced by the other, and in turn, they influence the others. By controlling your thought, you can take control of your health and improve your anxiety symptoms. For example, if you have a feeling that you do not desire like anxiety, a CBT therapist would focus on the thoughts and behaviors to modify the feeling. If the behavior was undesirable, the therapist would investigate the role of the thoughts and feelings.
CBT operates under the idea that people have faulty thoughts and beliefs called cognitive distortions. Rather than seeing an event or situation as the cause of the anxiety, CBT believes that your analysis of the situation, not the event itself, causes the anxiety. This may mark a major shift in thinking, but it is one that will ultimately benefit your symptoms.
Who is a CBT Therapist?
Someone specially trained as a psychotherapist using CBT, will have a master’s degree or higher in a discipline like psychology, counseling, or social work. If you begin Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for anxiety, your therapist will meet with you for weekly appointments that last about an hour. Usually, these appointments will occur individually in their office, but group therapies are helpful as well.
Your therapist will take an active role by providing education about your symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. A CBT therapist will function as a teacher, coach, and partner during the course of treatment. Depending on your needs, therapy can last anywhere from a few sessions to a few years of treatment. The goal is to gain skills that you can use in a number of situations rather than becoming dependent on therapy or your therapist.
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