If you have struggled with anxiety recently, it’s important to know you are not alone. A transition in life such as a new job, relocation, or a change in marital status – can all be reasons to experience a higher level of anxiety.
However, no matter what the cause of the anxiety, one strategy that may help adults dealing with anxiety is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT is a form of therapy that’s used to address a specific struggle, such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, anger, eating disorders, or phobias.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety is a gradual process where a person learns to examine his or her thought processes as destructive, disruptive, or having some other negative effect on his or her life. As those thoughts are identified, adults can reframe their thinking over time.
Recognizing a thought pattern is key for adults who struggle with anxiety. Understanding where that thought process intersects a negative behavior or emotion is another aspect of CBT. Slowly, negative thoughts can be identified, challenged, replaced with more objective, realistic thought patterns.
CBT is a strategy used in a variety of therapies.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps adults identify their negative thoughts and thinking patterns, emotional and behavioral responses.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy incorporates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety and takes it a step further. This therapy will often include mindfulness and emotional regulation strategies to help reframe a negative thought once it’s identified.
Multimodal therapy incorporates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy alongside other modes of therapy that are all connected: affect, sensation, imagery, interpersonal factors, and more.
Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy helps someone identify an irrational belief and challenge it. Then, recognition and transformation of these thought patterns can take place.
More than just identifying negative thought patterns, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety can also involve techniques such as journaling, role-playing, and relaxation. These techniques are folded into an overall plan that a trained counselor can help an adult establish. Plans may involve goal-setting, self-monitoring, practicing new habits and patterns, and problem-solving.
One highlight of CBT is that it can help adults struggling with anxiety to be more present in their daily life. It has been found effective on a short-term basis, too. Learning techniques and strategies can help a person dealing with anxiety understand that they cannot control what happens to them or around them, but they can control their responses to what happens to them or around them.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can bring hope and freedom to adults who have struggled to overcome what others may quantify as simply “worrying too much.” But a trained counselor will teach and practice these strategies that can help a person move from debilitating to overcoming.
God does not want His children to be paralyzed by anxious thought patterns, Psalm 34:17 says, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” To simply be aware that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy exists can restore a positive outlook to a person whose anxiety has caused significant pain and suffering – not just to himself but also to his family.
In addition to helping a person who struggles with anxiety and his family, CBT has other benefits:
- It can be more affordable than other types of therapy.
- It can be done in person or remotely.
- It helps a person realize that they can cope with thought patterns that historically have kept them from leading a full life.
Some things to think about if you are considering Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety are that it is a highly structured form of therapy and relies heavily on willing participation from the person who is struggling with anxiety. A trained counselor may be more instructive with this type of therapy, too.
While it is a short-term strategy, the steps within CBT are still gradual. Applying them in everyday life takes practice, over and over, until the client sees progress in being able to turn his or her thought patterns into positive responses. This type of therapy can be difficult because it involves working to change a thought pattern and its emotional or behavioral response.
If you are interested in talking with someone about using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety in your own life or possibly recommending it for someone you know, please talk with one of our trained counselors in the online directory.
“Anxious”, Courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Stressed Out”, Courtesy of Christopher Lemercier, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Reading”, Courtesy of Laura Chouette, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Smiling Woman”, Courtesy of Emiliano Vittoriosi, Unsplash.com, CC0 License