Do you suffer from some form of anxiety? The most likely answer is yes. You are not alone. In fact, there are 40 million people in the US with an anxiety disorder. That is nearly 1 in 5 people.
Would it surprise you to know, of those suffering from anxiety, less than half actually seek help?
Why? It could be that they think nothing can be done to help and they must just ‘cope.’ That is not true. Your anxiety can be treated and your quality of life can improve.
Don’t be a statistic. Read on and discover how cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety can change your life for the better and sooner than you think.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
CBT is an effective intervention in helping people with various types of anxiety disorders. CBT is the product of a lot of at least 2 forms of therapy that have their roots in different psychotherapy camps.
Behavioral therapy preceded CBT in its current form today. The basic concept of behavior therapy is that what we do affects how we think. We may not even realize the truth of this ourselves. But rest assured it is true.
In fact, there are many behaviors that we may have developed without even realizing it that we believe are helping us to get on with life.
The opposite is true.
Often, these behaviors or habits may reinforce our anxiety. CBT in its modern form can help you to identify and challenge those behaviors.
The mind is more powerful than the body. While it is true, what we do affects how we think, it is also true that we think affects the body and how we behave. Positive thoughts have a powerful effect on the body and wellbeing.
The opposite is true. Negative thoughts are destructive and they can erode our belief system in our self and what we are capable of. This, in turn, will affect what you do or do not do in life.
Now you see the advantage of CBT. It brings together the best of both psychotherapy camps and approaches the problem holistically. You are a person who thinks and behaves.
CBT will help you understand this relationship between thinking and behavior and use it to positively impact your emotions and well-being.
What Types of Problems can CBT Help?
CBT is an effective treatment intervention for many types of anxiety disorders. After reading this article, you may not be surprised to know that anxiety can express itself in multiple ways. That ‘output’ for your anxiety may also change.
If you have an anxiety disorder do not feel it is your fault. Anxiety is the result of complex interactions between genetics, environment, brain chemistry and general wellbeing.
Please know that with expert help you can overcome the following anxiety disorders:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
What are Automatic Negative Thoughts?
These are mental responses to external stimuli or even physiological stimuli from within our own body. They are automatic in the sense that we do not have to work for them, they simply arise in our thinking.
They are negative because we have automatically chosen a perception that in all likelihood is not true but represents some degree of fear that it could be true. The way we think tends to be on a spectrum of positivity and negativity.
What we really want are thoughts that are balanced and realistic. Automatic negative thoughts are powerful and feed our anxiety. They first need to be identified and then challenged.
What Will Happen During the First Consultation?
No individual therapy is guaranteed to produce first-class results every time with everyone. Why not? We are individuals and that is the point.
CBT is not an ‘off the shelf’ therapy. It has to be individualized according to your unique needs. Of course, the therapy will follow well-established principles and evidence-based techniques. That is why it is so valuable.
However, CBT is not right for everyone. Your first few sessions will focus on asking questions about the severity of your symptoms and under what circumstances you experience them.
If you engage an expert like Dr. Blair then it doesn’t matter if CBT is not a perfect fit for you. They will adjust the therapy strategy appropriately.
What is Exposure?
If you know anyone who has gone through CBT they may have told you something about exposure. It is not anything to be afraid of. It is a tool that the therapist will use and also teach you to use to challenge yourself.
Remember this is about taking control. You will always be in control of any exposure exercises. Your exposure will start small and gradually increase.
It will usually start as a thought being played out in your mind and will develop from there. Exposure is your friend.
Anxiety can come from things that are out if our control. However, there are things you can control. Your treatment plan is going to teach you that.