Anxiety, when left untreated, can cause serious disruption in your life. It can hinder your performance at work, affect your relationships with partners, family and friends and make you feel worried, stressed, and frightened.
Finding the right treatment is vital to treating anxiety issues effectively. The treatment for anxiety depends on the intensity and frequency patterns of how anxiety disrupts the daily life activities of a person. There are different evidence-based treatments for treating anxiety, including psychological treatments, counselling, medicinal treatment, and anxiety management strategies. Usually, for people with mild symptoms of anxiety, adopting a healthy lifestyle can help manage worry and fear.
Psychotherapy & Counselling for Anxiety
One of the main reasons why people find anxiety so challenging to cope with is a lack of skills in being able to manage stress, worry and fear.
Psychotherapy and counselling treatments (talk therapy), like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and behavioural therapy, are some of the best ways to treat persistent anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most widely used treatment for anxiety disorders. Some people may also need a combination of different therapies like Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness – Based cognitive therapy and Behavioural Therapy.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy is an effective evidence-based approach for treating anxiety disorders. The main aim of the therapy is to recognise, challenge and change anxious thoughts. It starts by helping you identify both your productive and unproductive thoughts.
The therapy examines how you think (cognitive), feel (emotive) and act (behavioural) in a certain way. Typically, negative thoughts, beliefs, and unhealthy responses cause or trigger anxiety. Once that pattern is identified, the therapy focuses on teaching new skills & strategies to reduce anxiety. In other words, it helps change the negative way of thinking and behaving.
CBT teaches problem-solving skills that help you face your fears and worries with a rational, realistic, and logical approach. It also teaches skills like breathing and muscle relaxation techniques that reduce hyperarousal in the body.
Unlike cognitive behavioural therapy, behaviour therapy focuses on practising and engaging in activities that brings positive impact in life.
People with anxiety disorders avoid facing frightening situations at any cost. And by doing so, what they really lose is an opportunity to confront and challenge their fears. By facing their fears, they can learn & grow and have more positive experiences. Behaviour therapy through graded exposure treatment helps reverse this pattern of avoidance. It teaches you the skills to help you face things or situations that make you anxious. As you keep encountering your fearful situations, without escaping, you learn to take better control over your fear and anxiety.