Anxiety treatment using CBT

CBT can help with Anxiety

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has emerged as a leading treatment for anxiety disorders. It offers a structured and evidence-based approach that helps individuals manage and – more importantly – alleviate their symptoms. CBT deals with the interaction of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and it provides practical skills to challenge and reframe negative thinking patterns. And, this – in turn – is what can lead to a decrease in anxiety and an increase in our overall quality of life.

A key principle of CBT is the identification and alteration of what’s called ‘cognitive distortions’. These distortions are irrational thoughts and beliefs that contribute to our anxiety because they magnifying perceived threats and “catastrophize” potential outcomes. Cognitive restructuring is one technique of CBT whereby individuals learn to recognize these distortions and replace them with healthier, realistic and balanced thoughts. As an example, someone with social anxiety might challenge the belief that “everyone is laughing at me” by considering alternative explanations for people’s behaviors.

Behavioral strategies serve an important role within CBT. Exposure therapy, a rather common component of CBT, involves slowly exposing individuals to a feared situation in a controlled and supportive environment. This process helps individuals confront their fears and learn that they can actually cope with such a scenario. Phobias are a source of anxiety and are often treated with a form of exposure therapy.

Very importantly, CBT teaches practical skills. These include relaxation techniques and stress management strategies. These tools help individuals regulate their physiological arousal and work to calm their minds when faced with anxiety-provoking situations. Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation are all examples of techniques that can be worked into our daily lives to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety-induced symptoms.

Another reason why CBT speaks to so many clients it it’s focus on goal setting and problem-solving. Therapists and clients work together to identify specific goals related to anxiety management and then develop actionable and achievable steps to improve matters. Breaking down larger goals into manageable tasks and addressing obstacles as they arise allows people to build confidence in their ability to face anxiety-provoking situations and make meaningful progress towards desired outcomes.

CBT is a structured and “time-limited” therapy. It’s very common to decide upon a set number of sessions which will be focused on a specific goal. This approach helps make CBT more accessible and cost-effective and encourages active participation from clients.

Evolve Counseling Services is Fort Collins’s most trusted therapy practice for treating anxiety with CBT. 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.

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