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How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Helps Treat Anxiety

“Anxiety” is a loose expression that is associated with states of worry, fear, nervousness, apprehension, or restlessness. Millions of people in the United States experience anxiety when dealing with stress, but for some, the effects can have a debilitating impact on everyday life and symptoms can be very difficult to manage. In these cases of persistent anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment option.

Henry David Thoreau, a famous American author, once said “For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking the root.” The goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to achieve just that; it is intended to remedy the root causes of anxiety rather than pacify the symptoms, an objective that medication and other treatments fail to achieve. CBT is a holistic, goal-oriented approach to overcoming anxiety, while teaching the affected client methods of alleviating future symptoms.

As the name suggests, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on two components of anxiety: The cognitive, or how we think, and the behavioral, or how we act. Cognitive Therapy examines an individual’s negative perceptions and how they impact anxiety. Behavioral Therapy, on the other hand, examines the individual’s behavior in situations that trigger symptoms.

Because symptoms vary so greatly, CBT is tailored to the unique needs of each individual. Clients learn how their perceptions and behaviors affect their symptoms. More importantly, clients are taught to challenge and transform these behaviors, leading to a realistic, identifiable thought process regarding current moods. If a client suffers from panic attacks, for example, CBT can help train the client to think about the reason for the attack and question its validity, developing better coping and problem solving abilities.

Studies have proven that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a highly effective treatment option for multiple types of anxiety disorders including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, and many other conditions.

If you would like to receive individual therapy from a therapist who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the Minneapolis area, please contact Choices Psychotherapy, Ltd.