How CBT Can Be Helpful To Cure Anxiety?


Do you know that 1 out of 8 people suffer from an anxiety disorder in a given year? There is more, 1 out of 4 people have an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Any type of mental disorder that is characterized by the feelings of fear and anxiety fall in the category of this disorder. You worry too much about the future events and you fear about the current events. As a result, physical symptoms like shakiness and fast heart rate are observed. The situation cannot be treated my medication as well as it can be treated by CBT.

CBT i.e. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has proven to be quite effective in treating anxiety and other related disorders like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). The therapy is divided into behavioural and cognitive components.

Cognitive components seek to identify the beliefs and thoughts of a person which trigger emotional and behavioural reactions. For example, a person with social anxiety might feel that people would notice even his minor social mistakes and reject him, making him feel worthless. Such beliefs can be catered through rational analysis and adaptive beliefs. For example, the person is made to believe that it is not necessary that he/she will behave so bad that people would start noticing. However, if this happens, then the likelihood that people would reject him is low.

Behavioural components include desensitization and exposure. A structured approach is designed by the therapist to help the patient:

  • Increase rewarding behaviours and experiences
  • Overcome barriers for engaging the new behaviours
  • Reduce the behaviours which maintain symptoms

CBT Techniques for Treating Anxiety

Technique 1:

 Focus on How to Change the Feelings

Writing down your feelings or thoughts is a good start. Having the client think about how he/she expects his/her feelings to improve can calm these feelings. Expectations can be changed through all good psychological interventions.

Technique 2:

Chew the Feelings and Act Normal

Anxiety is not an illness, it is a survival response, but sometimes this response can go wrong. During the situation of anxiety, trying to act normal can help. Salivating, deep breathing, having an open body posture, smiling, talking calmly and softly can create positive responses. You may not be able to adopt all of these behaviours, but even a single one can alter the feedback to the fear response system within you.

Technique 3:

Catch the Assumption and Come to Logical Conclusions

So you might fear to attend a party. The therapist will ask you if you have a fear of some consequence. When that consequence comes forward, he will help you chase down to a logical conclusion to handle the situation.

For example,the client says the consequence he fears is meeting new people.

The therapist will ask, what is the consequence of that?

The client might say he thinks people might not like him and so on.

A series of talk on this topic will eventually help you come to a logical conclusion. The client learns how to actually survive and thrive if the worst happens.

Nevertheless, Benefits and limitations exist, but there is no denial that CBT works effectively to cure anxiety.

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