After you improve your self-monitoring and reduce your self-reinforcing behaviors, your therapist can help by giving you new interventions to limit your symptoms. With anxiety, there are dozens of helpful interventions that your therapist can tailor to your symptoms, goals and abilities. This in itself is another benefit of a therapist. If you read books or information online, you can be easily inundated with tips and tricks that might not be right for you.
For example, a useful tool for anxiety is guided imagery. This involves the client working to clear their mind of worry and anxious thoughts and substitute them with visions of far-off, peaceful destinations. Guided imagery can reduce overall anxiety, but if the client has racing, anxious thoughts that are too pervasive, they cannot clear their mind. This makes the tool useless.
A skilled therapist can recommend another intervention like autogenic training as a replacement. The therapist will save you time, energy and frustrations by giving you techniques most useful for you.
Some other options for treating anxiety, like medications and relaxations, really only target the symptoms of anxiety rather than the sources. A therapist can do both. By discussing your symptom history and using your self-monitoring skills, the therapist can assist you in building your awareness of the people, places and things that spark your anxiety.
From there, you can engage in a decision-making process to see which items can be avoided, which can be modified and which need to be accepted as-is because of their unchangeable nature. Some people might be mistakenly tempted to avoid every anxious trigger or simply accept everything as unchangeable. These options tend to make anxiety bigger and stronger in the long-term. Working with your therapist will help you differentiate between the avoidable, changeable and unchangeable to improve your life and beat back against anxiety.
The list of therapy benefits for anxiety truly goes on, so consider these additional benefits:
- Therapy provides you a sounding board in the form of someone to tell your thoughts and feelings to.
- Therapy builds structure and routine in your life by having a weekly appointment to leave the house.
- Therapy has been shown to physically change your brain leading to improved levels of happiness.
- Therapy can push your limits, allowing you to do things that you previously thought impossible.
- Even though you are seeking therapy for anxiety your therapist can improve your communication skills, which will benefit all aspects of life.
- Since therapy is not a crutch, it will show you how to cope with current and future issues even after therapy has ended.
The most obvious answers are usually the best ones. The case of seeking therapy for anxiety proves this statement. Depending on your situation and your therapist, treatment for anxiety can be efficient, relatively painless and really helpful in improving all aspects of life. Choose the treatment that is right for you. Choose therapy.