How Exactly Does Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Help Anxiety?
You hear a knock on your door. You’re debating acting like you’re not home because you didn’t really expect or want to have any guests over. You were actually kind of looking forward to being alone in the comfort of your own home.
The internal battle happens inside yourself about whether or not you should answer. You walk towards the door and decide to face whatever lies on the other side.
As you open the door, it feels like a wave of cold air just hit you directly in the face. You’re short of breath, your body starts shaking, and your heartbeat quickens. You were right about it being an uninvited guest. But it is a guest you’re familiar with, anxiety.
Let’s learn more about cognitive-behavioral therapy and how it can help with anxiety.
What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT is one of the most common and effective forms of therapy. It’s a combination of two approaches: cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. The basic idea behind cognitive-behavioral therapy is that what we think, how we feel, and how we behave are all linked or closely connected.
The main goal of cognitive-behavioral therapy is to identify, acknowledge, and start to change any negative, stressful, or untrue beliefs that an individual may hold. CBT is an approach that looks at an individual’s behaviors, feelings, and thoughts. A negative or traumatic event can obviously cause problems. The way we feel about that event or ourselves in relation to that event can also cause problems.
When you first start the process of cognitive-behavioral therapy, you’ll work with your therapist so they can get a better understanding of the specific problem you’re dealing with. You’ll discuss your concerns and any signs and symptoms you’ve been facing. In addition to relaying all of the necessary information, you’ll also set up the goals that you have for therapy in general.
Once you start your first few sessions, your therapist may ask you some questions to gain a better perspective on how you respond to certain challenges in your life. This will help them get a better idea of your past, any negative thought patterns or behaviors, and any fears you may have. Once the thought patterns are identified, your therapist will work with you to start to change those negative thoughts and emotions.
An individual who is interested in cognitive-behavioral therapy should plan for attending at least five to twenty sessions for it to work effectively. CBT isn’t something that will happen overnight. The change takes time. With the right amount of time, dedication, and attention, you’ll be able to track your progress over a number of sessions.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Anxiety
CBT is an effective form of treatment for individuals struggling with anxiety. A lot of anxiety stems from past events or future events that haven’t even occurred yet. This is the entire idea behind cognitive-behavioral therapy: Your thoughts and feelings are affecting how you’re feeling, not your current situation. CBT can be a great way for anxiety-driven people to change their perspective on certain events or stressful situations.
Anxiety is a normal emotion or feeling to experience from time to time. It’s as common as happiness, sadness, or anger. If and when anxiety starts to feel like it’s taking control over your life, it may be time to reach out for additional support. Cognitive-behavioral therapy may be exactly what you need.
If you’re interested in learning more about cognitive-behavioral therapy or other possible treatment options for anxiety, reach out to us today to set up a appointment.