Therapy For Anxiety: Frequently Asked Questions

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If you’re experiencing obsessive thoughts, debilitating phobia, panic episodes, or relentless worries, you need to know that you really don’t need to live a life filled with anxiety and fear. There is a treatment for all these, and therapy is frequently the most effective choice for most anxiety issues. That is because therapy for anxiety, unlike anxiety medications, treats and manages the symptoms of the condition. Therapy helps unravel the preexisting causes of your fears and anxieties; learn relaxation strategies; see things in fresh, less fearful ways; and develop effective problem-solving and coping techniques. Therapy provides you with tools to beat anxiety and teaches you when and how to utilize these tools.

Anxiety disorders vary significantly, so therapy must be customized to your particular symptoms and diagnosis. For instance, if you have OCD, your treatment plan will not be the same with someone who needs relief from his anxiety episodes. The duration of treatment will also be dependent on the intensity and type of anxiety. But several anxiety therapies are reasonably short-term. The American Psychological Association states that many individuals get better considerably within eight to ten sessions of therapy.

Various therapy forms are used to manage anxiety, but the most common approaches are exposure therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Each of these therapies can be utilized alone or in combination with other therapies as well. Anxiety therapy may be performed individually or done by groups wherein subjects have similar anxiety issues and concerns. Ultimately, the goal is one and the same: to reduce your anxiety levels, overcome your fearful thoughts, and achieve peace of mind.

 

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Below are answers to some frequently asked questions on therapy for anxiety. 

Can a counselor help with anxiety?

A counselor can help someone experiencing anxiety by providing smart advice, like encouraging him to be physically fit, eating right, getting sufficient amounts of sleep, and discouraging him from consuming too much alcohol. The counselor is also one of the best people that the individual with anxiety can talk to. He can share his worries with the counselor, whose job is to listen without any judgment.

Does anxiety make you afraid?

Anxiety and fear are intimately connected with each other. Both of these emotions imply danger and the potential for injury. Anxiety is often viewed as a pointless yet future-oriented fear. Thus, when you feel anxious, you somehow feel scared.

What can you do for severe anxiety?

Among the most effective techniques for alleviating severe anxiety symptoms are meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation. When done regularly, these techniques can tremendously help reduce tension in the body and promote emotional and mental wellness.

What is exposure therapy for anxiety?  

Exposure therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that can be utilized for decreasing fear and anxiety reactions. In this form of therapy, the individual is slowly exposed to an object or a situation that he is scared of, as he learns to become more immune to these stimuli over time.

What therapy is best for anxiety?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, specifically exposure therapy, is one of the most effective therapy forms to reduce symptoms of anxiety, including PTSD and certain phobias. The basic principle behind this therapy is if there’s something that you’re so scared of, the best way to overcome it is to confront it head-on.

How many CBT sessions are needed for anxiety?

If you are going through cognitive behavioral therapy as an individual patient, it typically takes a maximum of 12 sessions to successfully manage mild anxiety. For moderate anxiety, 12 to 24 sessions have been the common recommendation. Finally, for severe anxiety, the patient is required to attend a minimum of 24 sessions.

Does CBD help anxiety?

Researchers have found that CBD products can effectively help minimize symptoms of anxiety disorder and social anxiety. In fact, the FDA authorized the administration of cannabidiol for patients with epilepsy.

How successful is CBT?

CBT’s success rates vary from 82% for treating personality disorders, 87% for depression, and 46% for patients with generalized anxiety disorders.

Can CBT make anxiety worse?

Sometimes, CBT can aggravate people’s already anxious feelings. This may happen at the start of therapy when emotions that patients aren’t aware of or have ignored are stimulated. This is actually normal but difficult.

Who is CBT not good for?

Because CBT is structured, it may not be the therapy of choice for people with more complicated mental health illnesses. As CBT entails facing your fears and emotions head-on, people might experience initial stages where they feel more anxious and emotionally uncomfortable than usual.

What are the disadvantages of CBT?

For CBT to work on you, you must be completely committed to the whole process. The therapist can only do so much – you need to cooperate and meet him halfway. Additionally, going to the regular therapy sessions and doing the extra work and effort between sessions will take up most of your time.

Can therapy make things worse?

Keep in mind that therapy is a type of treatment, and any type of treatment has its pros and cons, and that goes for therapy as well. Another factor that may negatively affect your treatment is if you haven’t found the right therapist capable of meeting your needs. Your therapist should be someone you trust and one that you can connect with.

Is crying in therapy a breakthrough?

Not everyone who is in therapy cries, but crying for some is part of the healing process. But there can be two reasons why patients cry in therapy. It could be that something positive is happening, which can actually be considered a breakthrough, or it could just be that the patient doesn’t think that the approach is not working for him and he has simply given up.

When should you stop therapy?

Preferably, therapy sessions are stopped when the treatment goals are met. If you entered therapy because you want help with your phobia and that phobia has disappeared, then the therapy has been successful. Thus, it is time to end it. If you and your partner when into therapy, settle your arguments, and need mediation to fix your relationship, and now you’ve learned how to manage it, your goals have been met.

Do therapists give up on clients?

There are several instances when therapists stop treating their patients. First, they can do so if the patient can no longer pay for their services. Second, they can decide to terminate the treatment if they see that the patient has not benefited from the therapy sessions. Lastly, they can stop seeing their patients if they find that their problems are beyond the scope of their skills.

 

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Indeed, there is no one-time cure for anxiety. Surpassing an anxiety disorder will take commitment and time. Therapy entails confronting your fears instead of eluding them, so often you will feel worse even before you feel better. What’s important is that you continue with your treatment and abide by your therapist’s recommendations. If you feel down and frustrated with how your recovery is going, keep in mind that anxiety therapy has been proven to be very effective in the longer term. And you will eventually earn all its benefits if you just persevere.

 

 

 

James Bramblett