CBT Therapy for Anxiety
What is CBT Therapy for Anxiety?
CBT is an effective therapy for anxiety. It is completely normal to feel anxious from time to time. However, when anxiety feels ongoing, overwhelming and distressing to the extent that it is preventing you from doing the things in life that matter the most to you, then it might be time to seek support from a therapist.
Anxiety symptoms can be described as a feelings of nervousness, fear or unease. It is a feeling of uncertainty or dread that something bad is about to happen. The symptoms of anxiety are the same as the effects of adrenaline in the body such as feeling dizzy/lightheaded, shallow breathing, racing heartbeat, feeling sweaty, shaky knees, feeling nauseous and so forth.
These experiences of adrenaline or anxiety can be extremely distressing if they are ongoing and persistent for you. CBT therapy helps you to understand what keeps you stuck in this vicious cycle helps you to learn the skills to overcome anxiety in your life.
When you are in your fight or flight response. Adrenaline is running through your body acting like an alarm system that is preparing you to respond to potential danger or threat. From an evolutionary perspective this was very useful, to help to us to survive or escape from predators in the wild, such as tigers, bears or snakes.
The problem if you struggle with anxiety is that you probably feel that you are stuck in a loop, overestimating the level of danger or threat in a various situations. It is the ‘perception’ of threat in which our minds are preoccupied or worrying about potential risk or what bad things could happen. The problem with this is that often we are reacting through the fight or flight response as if potential threat is already happening. It feels very real.
For someone who suffers from high levels of anxiety, there might as well be a tiger or a snake in the room with them, because this is what it feels like.
At Suaimhneas Cork CBT Therapy and Mindfulness, we will help you to find ways to overcome your anxiety, reclaim your energy and your vitality, so that you can focus on what is important to you in your life.
How does CBT for Anxiety work?
There are many different types of anxiety disorders. CBT is an evidence-based psychotherapy and is recommended by the Nice Guidelines for all anxiety disorders (https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs53).
Types of anxiety include Generalised Anxiety, Panic, Agoraphobia, Social Anxiety, Health Anxiety and OCD.
One of the most important aspects of CBT is to identify negative, anxiety inducing thought patterns and to challenge them. When you are anxious, your thoughts tend to be negative and exaggerated, and you doubt your own ability to cope or handle the situation.
Another aspect of CBT therapy for anxiety is changing what you are doing in your life to keep you stuck in a vicious cycle of anxiety. It is natural to try to do things to control or avoid your anxiety. However, in CBT we call these safety behaviours or safety seeking strategies. These may give us a powerful relief from anxiety in the short term, but in the long term it keeps you anxious. You never get the chance to learn that there are other ways to cope with anxiety.
One of the most effective CBT techniques for reducing anxiety is exposure therapy. As a behavioural technique, exposure therapy involves gradually exposing yourself to the things that trigger your anxiety. This may seem counterintuitive, but it has been proven to be an extremely an extremely effective anxiety treatment. Exposure therapy helps you to confront your fears and learn new coping skills.
Please click on the links below if you would like to learn more about how CBT works for different types of anxiety disorders.
Generalized Anxiety disorder involves ‘persistent and excessive worry’ about a number of events or activities (e.g. finances, work, school, family) to the extent that it affects our daily activities.
Feel free to contact us at Suaimhneas CBT Therapy Cork and Mindfulness if you have any questions or if you would like to to book an appointment. Don’t hesitate to get in touch on our contact form below, or phone us at 086 840 3722.