Life is full of stressors (if you haven’t noticed already.) Many of us juggle work, family life, school, household chores, social lives, our health needs and so much more. So it should come to no one’s surprise that worrying in daily life is pretty normal.
But what happens when your anxiety levels never lower? When your stress persists day after day and starts affecting how you live?
Therapy for Anxiety Disorders
Thankfully, behavioral therapy and/or prescribed medications is available for those of us who struggle with anxiety in everyday life. However, you may still wonder how exactly a mental health professional and counseling can help with your worries. While it may seem impossible, especially when you’re in the midst of your overwhelming anxiety and perhaps even panic, therapy can help you feel grounded again and give you the tools to cope with stressful situations.
Types of Effective Treatments for Anxiety
Whether you suffer from panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder or a variety of other anxiety disorders, there are many different types of therapies for anxiety. As a unique individual, it is up to you and your mental health professional to decide on which therapy or combination of therapies may work best for you and your anxiety. Let’s explore some research-backed types of therapies that are best for treating anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on a person’s thoughts and beliefs and how these feelings affect how they react to certain stressors. With CBT, a therapist and a client will work together to shift these patterns of thoughts into constructive thoughts, that in turn change how a patient reacts to the world around them.
According to research, CBT has been shown to be 50-70% effective in helping people overcome anxiety.
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) Therapy
Also known as Exposure Therapy, ERP therapy encourages an anxious person to face their anxiety without relying on any coping mechanisms. ERP therapy works to expose a person to their fears or anxieties until these fears become tolerable, teaching clients that while there may always be stressors present, they are indeed survivable.
In particular, Exposure and Response Prevention therapy has been proven to be 65-80% effective for those who struggle with OCD. Keep in mind, ERP therapy is a more aggressive therapy.
Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
MBCT is a type of psychotherapy that combines cognitive therapy, meditation and an “attitude of mindfulness.” Patients are encouraged to treat their symptoms of anxiety by using mindful meditation, a practice of paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without any judgment, your breath and your body. MBCT, like CBT, helps those struggling with anxiety to recognize their thoughts, slow down the stressful situation and turn negative thoughts into more positive, reality-based thoughts.
MBCT has been proven to help those who struggle with anxiety, depression and substance abuse to avoid relapse.
An Anxiety Therapy for You
While the above therapies for anxiety disorders have been proven to help many people cope with their worries and stress, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. What may work for your friend or your family member may not work for you and vice versa. Saying that, know that there are multiple proven therapies to successfully treat overbearing feelings of anxiety and that there is hope for you! Life doesn’t have to be one giant hurdle after another.
If you live in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out today and get a free 15 minute consultation. I’m eager to help you conquer your fears and face life undaunted.
Dr. Lindsay Howard, Psychologist, Psy.D.
Hi! My name is Lindsay Howard, and I am a clinical psychologist who provides therapy for those who struggle with anxiety. I serve the community of Parkland, FL and all residents of Florida. Learn more about how I can help you thrive by clicking below, or feel free to schedule a free 15 minute consultation today.