CBT – helping anxiety

Treating anxiety with CBThttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5Z-dvL-qo8Anxiety is a persistent state of apprehension that affects a person’s day-to-day life. Constant anxiety, if left untreated, can progress to chronic mental disorders and an inability to cope.

Here, we see how Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can help with the treatment of anxiety.

CBT treating anxiety

There are a variety of current treatments for anxiety disorders that can significantly improve your quality of life. Two of the most popular are medication and Psychotherapy. Of the various types of psychotherapy experts agree that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is one of the most effective for treating anxiety disorders.

What is CBT and how does it help anxiety?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a two-sided technique for treating anxiety that focuses on cognition, the way we think and behaviour, the way we act. CBT is based on the idea that anxiety is caused by the persons negative thoughts or beliefs about a given situation. By challenging those negative thoughts a person can begin to take control of their anxiety.

Our ideal of CBT is that we can really work on changing feelings by helping the way a person thinks of certain situations and how they behave in certain situations. They unpack irrational beliefs in a very systematic way and then they very often involve creating situations where one emotionally confronts that irrational belief so they’re a double-edged approach.

The first half of CBT is the cognitive element which focuses on changing thought patterns that may be preventing a person from overcoming his or her fears. So, with a cognitive component we want to understand how a person views those threatening situations, we want to understand why it seems so dangerous to them and challenge them on that.

The second component of CBT is the behavioural element. One of the most effective and proven methods is exposure and response prevention therapy or ERP. It focuses on helping individuals cope with their fears by slowly coming into contact with objects or situations that trigger their anxiety. The exposure part is really taking the people and putting them in the situations. It’s called exposure and response prevention because the response prevention part is really not having people do their rituals or their typical behaviours that they do to avoid that situation but to stick with it and stay there until your anxiety level is at least half of what it was when you started.

Exposure and response prevention therapy may not be effective or appropriate for everyone some patients might respond better to other, less common types of cognitive behavioural therapy. These include Dialectical behaviour therapy which is usually used with individuals who harm themselves.

Self Instructional Therapy which encourages patients to teach themselves how to cope effectively with difficult situations and Schema- focused Therapy, a treatment based on the idea that negative thoughts and behaviours are routed in past experiences.

A course of CBT usually lasts around twelve weeks, it is often conducted individually but may also take place in groups of patients with similar symptoms. CBT can also be used in conjunction with drug therapy

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