CBT For Anxiety
Here at The Therapy Company, we can offer CBT for anxiety as part of an ongoing treatment plan. CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a highly popular talking therapy that is commonly used to help people with anxiety problems and disorders such as Generalised Anxiety Disorders, Panic Disorders, Social Anxiety Disorders, and specific phobias.
Unfortunately, less than 40% of people struggling with anxiety disorders decide to seek treatments that can help to better manage symptoms. However, those that do decide to proceed with therapies such as CBT, often in conjunction with medication, often see a significant reduction in anxiety levels daily. For each person, the duration and quantity of sessions may vary but the average number of sessions is normally between 8-20 sessions.
How Does CBT Treat Anxiety?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is specifically ideal for treating and managing anxiety. CBT is centered around helping people to first identify their current ways of thinking and then once they’ve achieved the self-awareness to do that, they have the power to change their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. Together, working with highly-qualified counsellors and therapists, you will slowly but surely work through reducing key symptoms of anxiety that are affecting the current quality of your life.
Anxiety often starts within the thought process and consequently results in spreading anxiety throughout the body. This is why CBT works so well for anxiety. CBT is centered around tackling irrational thought processes first so that you can learn to break things down and analyse thought processes instead of following the trail of negative or intrusive thoughts. Fundamentally, CBT helps to reduce negative thought patterns and change the story around your automatic thoughts that increase anxiety.
What Are The Ways That CBT Reduces Anxiety?
Many elements of anxiety start to take control over our minds, and therefore our actions and behaviours. Fortunately, CBT can help to reduce anxiety specifically to these different elements and layers.
•Avoidance – People suffering from anxiety can often avoid certain people or situations to achieve short-term anxiety relief. However, in the long-term, this enhances anxiety and makes it worse. Avoidance examples may be canceling plans with friends last minute due to anxiety or avoiding certain places due to intrusive thoughts.
•CBT Solution: Through CBT avoidance can be tackled to face your anxiety head-on. Exposure therapy is key here to help you slowly but surely face your fears with relaxation techniques that you’ll also be taught to put into practice.
•Control: Another common behaviour pattern amongst anxiety sufferers is excessive control. There are various examples of how sufferers practice this specific pattern of control such as being unwilling to change rigid daily patterns.
• CBT Solution: When undertaking CBT, you may be encouraged to slowly change up your routine as part of exposure therapy. This can help to make you feel more positive about adapting to change in the long term.
• Distraction – Another common behaviour amongst people suffering from Generalised Anxiety Disorders, or other types of anxiety disorders, is to distract themselves by tuning in to TV or radio with the sole purpose of muting or pushing away intrusive thoughts.
• CBT Solution – Through CBT, you’ll learn alternative skills that will help you to avoid distraction and challenge and/or reframe negative or intrusive thoughts.
Through Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, you’ll learn how to treat anxiety symptoms.
Anxious people tend to avoid particular circumstances, situations, and people that make them anxious because of a specific association. Exposure tasks help you to slowly but surely face those difficult challenges that may feel more or less impossible when first starting. For example, an example may be starting public speaking in front of two or three trusted friends before making a public speech. Or it could be as simple as going into a shop and asking for something if you have a stammer and generally avoid that type of encounter.
Once awareness of patterns is developed through CBT, you may be taught the technique of thought stopping which you’ll then put into practice. This will help you to interrupt and replace some of your automatic negative thoughts so that they serve your higher good. Once interrupted, the client learns ways to replace these thoughts and behaviours with more helpful patterns
Reframing thoughts is another CBT technique that provides immense value for anxiety sufferers. Reframing thoughts involves interrupting negative thought patterns and reframing them for your health and well-being. This takes a lot of practice but after a few weeks or months, it can make a massive difference in reducing anxiety symptoms.
How Can The Therapy Company Help?
Here at The Therapy Company, we provide CBT at three different practices across the North West. Private CBT therapy is much more accessible than using public services through the NHS. This is largely down to the fact that the waiting list is often anywhere between 6-18 months long which is often too long to wait. Moreover, with private CBT therapy, you are also likely to benefit from a more personable and professional experience.