Types Of Therapy For Anxiety

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

Types Of Therapy For Anxiety

There are currently millions of people who suffer from anxiety each day. Each person who suffers from anxiety has different symptoms, causes and challenges to face. It can be hard for most people to cope with their symptoms of anxiety.

Understanding how to cope with anxiety is critical. Coping properly can improve an affected person’s quality of life. The primary way to learn how to cope with anxiety is through therapy.

Anxiety is different for everyone. There are several different types of anxiety that can affect a person, like:

There are so many different types of anxiety. Because of this, there is no one true fit when seeking therapy for anxiety. Sometimes, the affected person will first need to try a few different approaches. This will help find the right fit to help their condition. The key is to commit to therapy. Commit to mental health services that a therapist or mental health professional is able to provide.

Here are the primary forms of therapy that have been proven to be effective in the treatment of anxiety:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective form of therapy for treating anxiety. CBT targets 3 main areas of functioning:

  • Emotions
  • Thoughts
  • Behaviors

Each of these areas directly affects one another. They will each influence each other. They will strengthen the negative reactions that come with anxiety.

CBT teaches the client how to effectively learn and practice coping strategies. These strategies target each of these areas. They use exercises that target negative thoughts. This helps so they do not trigger intense emotions and irrational behaviors. This form of therapy tends to be particularly effective for social anxiety.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavioral therapy uses a combination of CBT and incorporates mindfulness training. CBT and mindfulness training helps the client learn how to handle triggers.  It also adds relaxation exercises. These exercises curb the underlying feeling of anxiety affected people feel.

DBT uses a combination of CBT and mindfulness exercises. The goal of this is to make emotional reactions less intense.

Making emotional reactions less intense will help. It will make negative thoughts and reactive behaviors less intense.

With DBT, emotions are targeted to change thoughts and behaviors. This is in reaction to the feelings of anxiety.

DBT also uses acceptance exercises and meditation practices. This helps keep the body calm. It also helps to maintain a healthy perspective on life and tough situations.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is a form of therapy that specifically targets feared situations. These are situations that a person with anxiety may want to avoid. Exposure therapy is especially effective for people who suffer from:

  • Phobias
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.

Exposure therapy uses gradual and repeated exposure to a trigger for anxiety. This makes the anxious reaction less intense. It uses exposure techniques to help the client get used to the trigger. This makes the trigger less threatening to the client. It also reduces the anxious reaction.


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