Some people require medication for their anxiety disorder treatment. But others do very well in therapy, alone. In fact, therapy is the most effective type of treatment for long-term results. Through anxiety therapy, you learn coping skills to manage your anxiety and even keep anxiety attacks from occurring.
Types of Therapy Used for Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Behavioral therapies help you understand why you experience your anxiety. They also help you understand your triggers and how to manage your reactions to these triggers. Specific methods also teach you how to change negative thought patterns and behaviors. Of course, you need therapy customized to your specific diagnosis and symptoms. Some of these sessions are conducted in an individual setting, whereas others are performed as group, family or couple.
The setting and frequency depend on your personal needs. The same is true for the type of therapy chosen as your anxiety disorder treatment. Below are some anxiety therapy types:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Exposure Therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- Art therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
Keep reading to learn more about each of these types and what to expect from your anxiety disorder treatment with your Raleigh therapist.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is the most popular anxiety therapy. According to research, it effectively treats a wide range of anxiety disorders, such as:
- Social anxiety
- Generalized anxiety
- Panic disorders
- PTSD and trauma
CBT focuses on the premise of your thoughts affecting your feelings and how you behave. By identifying your negative thinking patterns and behaviors, you can understand them. Then, you can learn to replace these negative patterns with objective thoughts and healthier actions.
CBT helps you stop "black and white" thinking. Instead, you learn that things are not either fully bad or good. You learn to see the shades of gray as part of your experiences. Obviously, it takes practice to stop negative thoughts that trigger anxiety. But CBT is one of the most reliable and efficient types of anxiety disorder treatment.
Exposure therapy is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. Like CBT, it works well for multiple anxiety disorders like phobias, social anxiety and PTSD. This work focuses on conquering your fears head-on.
Called "systematic desensitization," exposure therapy introduces you to things that cause your anxiety. The three steps of this process include:
- Relaxation training
- Listing your anxiety triggers
- Exposing yourself to your anxiety triggers to use your relaxation skills
Through exposure and using your learned coping skills, you can overcome the fears that cause your anxiety.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. It works well for a variety of mental health disorders, such as borderline personality disorder and anxiety. Furthermore, the focus of DBT is on creating an opposite outlook about the things that cause your anxiety. Then you establish acceptance and change.
As part of DBT, you learn four key skills:
- Distress tolerance
- Interpersonal effectiveness
- Emotion regulation
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
ACT focuses on identifying your life values. You then practice acting in ways that align with these values. It is another method of anxiety disorder treatment proven quite effective.
Art therapy involves the use of creative art methods to express your thoughts and feelings. It also works well toward relaxation and mindfulness. Most therapists using this method for anxiety disorder treatment use it in conjunction with other methods of anxiety therapy, such as CBT or DBT.
According to Freud, anxiety stems from internal conflicts. Also, psychoanalysis works to resolve these conflicts by looking deeply into your thoughts, fears and desires. This type of anxiety therapy helps you understand yourself better while also reducing your anxiety symptoms. However, psychoanalysis typically takes much longer than methods like CBT.
Interpersonal therapy explores your relationships and social roles to identify unresolved grief, relationship conflicts, changing roles, and social problems. Also, as an anxiety therapy, this method helps you learn healthy communication skills and how to better express your feelings. This method works best for people with social anxiety disorder.
What to Expect from Your Anxiety Therapy
It is important to remember that anxiety therapy benefits take time to appear. You can feel some quick relief, particularly in knowing you are getting the help you need to recover from your anxiety disorder. But in many cases, people feel worse before they feel better, such as through increased anxiety in the beginning of a therapy program. Feeling worse is actually a real sign that the therapy is working.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to talk to a therapist about your anxiety. Also, they can learn more about your condition, triggers and how anxiety affects your daily life. By getting to know you, they can develop an individualized anxiety disorder treatment plan.
Greene Psychology Group in Raleigh, NC offers anxiety therapy through in-person and teletherapy visits. Lastly, call us today at 919-205-5339 to schedule your first visit.