Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a widely recognized and effective approach when it comes to treating anxiety.
A basic tenet of CBT is that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all interconnected. Individuals suffering from anxiety often experience distorted or irrational thoughts. These thoughts can generate excessive worry and fear. And then these negative thoughts can lead to unwanted behaviors and a cycle of anxiety begins.
CBT attempts to help patients identify and challenge these distorted thought patterns (cognitive distortions). By teaching patients to recognize and reframe these thoughts, CBT helps individuals gain a more rational and balanced perspective on their anxiety-inducing situations. The end results is that they are able to reduce the intensity and frequency of their anxiety.
Additionally, CBT helps equip individuals with practical strategies to manage their anxiety-related behaviors. One such strategy is exposure therapy, where patients gradually confront their fears, with the aim of desensitizing themselves to anxiety triggers. By gradually exposing themselves to anxiety-provoking situations, they will learn that their fears are often exaggerated and that they can actually cope much more effectively than they have been.
CBT also often incorporates relaxation techniques. Deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation are two common techniques. These techniques can help individuals manage the physical symptoms of anxiety: racing heart, shortness of breath, etc. Learning to control our physiological responses is very empowering.
Goal setting and problem-solving are also important aspects of CBT. Having goals in place allows individuals to approach their anxiety management in a systematic and structured manner. Breaking down the challenges patients face allows them to develop coping strategies and build resilience, which are both vital to managing anxiety over the long term.
Evolve Counseling Services is Fort Collins’s most trusted therapy practice when it comes to helping college students deal with depression and anxiety. Give us a call to begin a discussion on how we can help bring out the best in you. Serving students (and adults!) in Fort Collins, Colorado State University, and across Colorado via online therapy sessions.