Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a widely used and effective approach in the treatment of anxiety disorders. It focuses on identifying and modifying the negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to anxiety. CBT can be a helpful tool to incorporate into anxiety treatment. Plus it can help provide skills you can utilize outside of your sessions with an anxiety therapist to better manage anxious thoughts.
Here are some of the ways that our counseling practice uses CBT to help address anxiety:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps you become aware of your negative thoughts and beliefs that fuel anxiety. You might think, “Yeah, I already know I’m anxious,” and you’re right. But with CBT for anxiety, you learn to question if these thoughts are accurate and valid. Then, you replace them with more realistic and balanced thoughts. This process is known as cognitive restructuring.
CBT helps you recognize the behaviors and actions you do when you feel anxious. Sometimes these behaviors are clear, and sometimes we act in ways that anxiety makes us do without realizing it. You learn to slowly face anxiety-inducing situations using a technique called exposure therapy. By gradually exposing yourself to feared situations in a controlled way, you can learn that your anxiety lessens over time. This helps you break the cycle of avoiding those situations.
CBT teaches you various relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness. These techniques help you manage the physical symptoms of anxiety and promote a sense of calm. Additionally, you learn adaptive coping skills to deal with stress and anxiety, such as problem-solving, assertiveness, and effective communication.
CBT helps you challenge and modify cognitive distortions, which are irrational and negative thinking patterns. By examining the evidence for and against your anxious thoughts, you can develop a more balanced and realistic perspective. This process enables you to respond to situations in a more adaptive and less anxiety-provoking way. When managing anxiety, information is power. If we can collect facts to challenge our irrational anxious thoughts, we can get closer to the reality of a situation.
CBT for anxiety helps you solve problems that cause your symptoms. You break problems into smaller steps and think of possible solutions. This makes you feel more in control and less anxious. In anxiety therapy, you and your therapist can work together to come up with ideas and even act out potential solutions.
CBT explores the core beliefs and assumptions that underlie anxiety. We all have experiences in our life that have shaped our core beliefs, in positive and negative ways. By examining and challenging these beliefs, you can develop alternative, more helpful beliefs that promote resilience and reduce anxiety.
People often use CBT for anxiety with the help of a trained therapist. But there are also self-help resources you can use. These include workbooks, online programs, and apps for your phone. They can guide you through CBT techniques. Remember, CBT needs practice and commitment over time to work. Many anxiety therapists use CBT with their clients. Talk to your therapist about it to see if it can help you.
CBT is a powerful tool for anxiety therapy. It helps you recognize and challenge negative thoughts while learning coping skills. All while having the support of a caring anxiety therapist.
You do not have to go about changing your anxious behaviors alone. The team at our Manhattan-based therapy practice is here to help. Take the first step towards transforming your negative thoughts:
We offer a diverse range of individual counseling services and couples therapy. Our dedicated therapists can help with stress management, symptoms of depression, self-esteem challenges, and college student counseling. Additionally, we specialize in offering support for postpartum depression and anxiety, addressing body image concerns, and navigating the unique challenges faced by women, among other aspects. If you need support reach out to connect with a therapist.