Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been dubbed the most effective treatment for anxiety disorders, for both children and adults. Now at some point in our lives we may experience or personally know someone who suffers from panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, incapacitating phobias or even unrelenting worries. In many cases this is where one may have an anxiety disorder. But the good thing about it is that you don’t have to live with this kind of feeling ( anxiety or fear). For those that don’t know treatment is a good intervention for many anxiety problems, therefore therapy is a good place to start. With specific types of therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is know to teach you how to control anxiety levels, stop worrisome thoughts, and conquer fears. So the main question that we all have before we continue reading, is Does Cognitive behavioral therapy work for anxiety?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety

This is where thought challenging process also know as Cognitive restructuring is a very useful technique for countering negative moods. This technique is the core part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ( CBT), where you challenge the negative though patterns that contribute to one’s anxiety, with the goal of replacing them with more positive, realistic thoughts. This techniques consist of of three steps:

  1. Recognize your negative thoughts

With anxiety disorders, situations are perceived as more dangerous than they really are. To someone with claustrophobia ( fear of small spaces or restricted spaces). For example being in an elevator, one may have a fear of suffocation or the fear of restriction. Identify your own situation where you begin to feel this way, your therapist will help you with this step.

  1. Challenge your negative thoughts

In the next step your therapist will teach you how to evaluate your anxiety- provoking thoughts. This consist of questions that support your frightening thoughts. Here is where you will be analyzing unhelpful beliefs, and testing out the reality of negative predictions. Strategies for challenging thoughts include conducting experiments, weighting the pros and cons of worrying or avoiding that issue that you fear, and determine the realistic chances that you’re anxious about will actually happen.

  1. Replace negative thoughts with realistic thoughts

Finally, once you have identified the predictions and negative distortion in your anxious thoughts, you can intervene by replacing them with new thoughts that are more positive.

To better understand how though challenging process works in cognitive behavioral therapy, consider this example: Michelle is under the impression that her future relationships won’t work out all because of one bad experience, therefore always has unpleasant thoughts when it comes to dating men, that this relationship will never work out.

Challenging Negative Thoughts

Negative thought -1: Too early in a relationship and already having doubts this relationship won’t work.

Cognitive distortion: Predicting the worst

More realistic thought: If I give this person a chance to get to know me, things might work out

Negative thought -2: When I run out of money she will leave me

Cognitive distortion: : There can’t be any reason for her to stick around me if I’m not providing for her

More realistic thoughts: She has always been loyal to me

Negative thought -3: I bet I’ll make a fool of myself in front of everybody

Cognitive distortion: Jumping to negative conclusions

More realistic thoughts:

This is where thought challenging process also know as Cognitive restructuring is a very useful technique for countering negative moods. This technique is the core part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ( CBT), where you challenge the negative though patterns that contribute to one’s anxiety, with the goal of replacing them with more positive, realistic thoughts. This techniques consist of of three steps:

1. Recognize your negative thoughts

 

With anxiety disorders, situations are perceived as more dangerous than they really are. To someone with claustrophobia ( fear of small spaces or restricted spaces). For example being in an elevator, one may have a fear of suffocation or the fear of restriction. Identify your own situation where you begin to feel this way, your therapist will help you with this step.

2. Challenge your negative thoughts

 

In the next step your therapist will teach you how to evaluate your anxiety- provoking thoughts. This consist of questions that support your frightening thoughts. Here is where you will be analyzing unhelpful beliefs, and testing out the reality of negative predictions. Strategies for challenging thoughts include conducting experiments, weighting the pros and cons of worrying or avoiding that issue that you fear, and determine the realistic chances that you’re anxious about will actually happen.

 

3. Replace negative thoughts with realistic thoughts

 

Finally, once you have identified the predictions and negative distortion in your anxious thoughts, you can intervene by replacing them with new thoughts that are more positive.

To better understand how though challenging process works in cognitive behavioral therapy, consider this example: Michelle is under the impression that her future relationships won’t work out all because of one bad experience, therefore always has unpleasant thoughts when it comes to dating men, that this relationship will never work out.

Challenging Negative Thoughts

Negative thought -1: Too early in a relationship and already having doubts this relationship won’t work.

Cognitive distortion: Predicting the worst

More realistic thought: If I give this person a chance to get to know me, things might work out

Negative thought -2: When I run out of money she will leave me

Cognitive distortion: : There can’t be any reason for her to stick around me if I’m not providing for her

More realistic thoughts: She has always been loyal to me

Negative thought -3: I bet I’ll make a fool of myself in front of everybody

Cognitive distortion: Jumping to negative conclusions

More realistic thoughts: If I practice I can complete the presentation without problems

So the mission here would be to replace your negative thoughts with more realistic one’s. Of course its easier said than done, as we already know that negative thoughts are part of a lifelong pattern of thinking. So here it takes practice to form new habits. By any chance do you have any challenging negative thoughts, that you may be experiencing?

If I practice I can complete the presentation without problems

So the mission here would be to replace your negative thoughts with more realistic one’s. Of course its easier said than done, as we already know that negative thoughts are part of a lifelong pattern of thinking. So here it takes practice to form new habits. By any chance do you have any challenging negative thoughts, that you may be experiencing?

 

Let’s start with the basics of CBT. The CBT model suggests that dysfunctional cognition (thoughts) are causally linked to emotional distress, and that correcting these dysfunctional cognition results in improvement of emotional distress and interfering behaviors. In more simple terms, CBT’s goal is to change patterns of thinking and/or behavior that are behind people’s difficulties, and in doing so, change the way they feel. CBT works by shifting people’s outlooks, as well as their behaviors, by focusing on the thoughts, beliefs or images that they hold and how this relates to the way they behave as a means to cope with emotional issues.

Thoughts Challenging in CBT Anxiety

This is where the thought challenging process also know as Cognitive restructuring is a very useful technique for countering negative moods. This technique is the core part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ( CBT), where you challenge the negative though patterns that contribute to one’s anxiety, with the goal of replacing them with more positive, realistic thoughts. This techniques consist of of three steps:

1. Recognize your negative thoughts

With anxiety disorders, situations are perceived as more dangerous than they really are. To someone with claustrophobia fear of small spaces or restricted spaces). For example being in an elevator, one may have a fear of suffocation or the fear of restriction. Identify your own situation where you begin to feel this way, your therapist will help you with this step.

2. Challenge your negative thoughts

In the next step your therapist will teach you how to evaluate your anxiety- provoking thoughts. This consist of questions that support your frightening thoughts. Here is where you will be analyzing unhelpful beliefs, and testing out the reality of negative predictions. Strategies for challenging thoughts include conducting experiments, weighting the pros and cons of worrying or avoiding that issue that you fear, and determine the realistic chances that you’re anxious about will actually happen.

3. Replace negative thoughts with realistic thoughts

Finally, once you have identified the predictions and negative distortion in your anxious thoughts, you can intervene by replacing them with new thoughts that are more positive.

To better understand how though challenging process works in cognitive behavioral therapy, consider this example: Michelle is under the impression that her future relationships won’t work out all because of one bad experience, therefore always has unpleasant thoughts when it comes to dating men, that this relationship will never work out.

Challenging Negative Thoughts

Negative thought -1: Too early in a relationship and already having doubts this relationship won’t work.

Cognitive distortion: Predicting the worst

More realistic thought: If I give this person a chance to get to know me, things might work out

Negative thought -2: When I run out of money she will leave me

Cognitive distortion: : There can’t be any reason for her to stick around me if I’m not providing for her

More realistic thoughts: She has always been loyal to me

Negative thought -3: I bet I’ll make a fool of myself in front of everybody

Cognitive distortion: Jumping to negative conclusions

More realistic thoughts: If I practice I can complete the presentation without problems

So the mission here would be to replace your negative thoughts with more realistic one’s. Of course its easier said than done, as we already know that negative thoughts are part of a lifelong pattern of thinking. So here it takes practice to form new habits. By any chance do you have any challenging negative thoughts, that you may be experiencing?

Exposure Therapy

As we all can agree that the emotions of anxiety is an unwanted type of sensation, therefore it is only natural to avoid that kind of situation if you can. In most cases the main way that people do this is by steering clear of the situation that make them feel anxious. For example, if you have a fear of driving on the highway, you might drive two extra hours on the local route just to avoid having that feeling of having to drive fast on the highway -road. Beside the inconvenience factor, the issue with avoiding fears is that you never have the chance to overcome them. In fact, avoiding those fears often make the fear of that situation stronger-longer.

Exposure therapy – exposes that person to the situation or object of fear. This intervention works through repeated exposures; meaning that person will feel an increasing sense of control over the situation and your anxiety will diminish.

Exposure therapy can be applied in two ways :

  • the therapist will ask you to imagine the scary situation or
  • one may be confront it in real life

When applying the systematic desensitization technique to treat phobia, a therapist sometimes follows the following steps:

  1. Relaxation
  2. Constructing an anxiety hierarchy
  3. Pairing relaxation with the situations described in the anxiety hierarchy

With the systematically desensitizing, will allow you to gradually challenge your fears, build confidence, and master skills for controlling panic.

Improve your Anxiety Skills 

Now let’s look again at the skills CBT helps people learn how to do:

  • Identify fears, worries and anxieties
  • Identify body changes connected with anxiety
  • Connect thoughts with feelings and physical symptoms
  • Identify specific triggers for anxiety
  • Label and correct sources of anxiety when possible
  • Take charge of feelings and behaviors
  • Develop realistic thinking and self-talk
  • Learn and use relaxation and self-calming skills
  • Confront fears via gradual exposure
  • Expand problem-solving and coping skills
  • Build confidence and optimism
  • Use appropriate assertiveness and social skills

The best thing you can do now is to seek out this type of treatment to help you get started with a plan with a combination of appropriate techniques, and geared to address your specific symptoms and unique needs.

 

 

 

 

 

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