Treating Anxiety with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Hallie Condit, MSW, LICSW

(425) 462-2799

Kirkland, Washington

condit-therapist@earthlink.net

We provide high quality treatment for anxiety disorders and panic disorders with cognitive behavioral therapy.

Do you experience any of these thoughts, behaviors, or symptoms?

Troubled by feeling anxious?
Always worried about something?
Having shortness of breath, palpitations, or shaking?
Worried about losing control of yourself or of "going crazy”?
Avoiding social situations?
Difficulty concentrating?

To learn more about how I can help you with these issues, please call
(425) 462-799, or e-mail me at condit-therapist@earthlink.net
.

Cognitive-behavioral treatment has been proven in numerous clinical trials to be an effective method for helping people with these symptoms. With cognitive behavioral treatment, you can have peace of mind again.

You will learn ways of changing your thoughts and behaviors. This will help you feel more in control of your feelings and your life. We will work together to identify and change the thoughts and behaviors that trigger your symptoms. You will be taught how to shift these thoughts to more constructive thoughts. Weekly homework assignments will be given to practice strategies learned in our sessions.

With practice you will find that these symptoms and feelings will start to fade. This will inspire you to defeat these problems, and take charge of your life. With new tools at your disposal, you'll be able to deal with future signs of returning anxiety, fear, and panic; and thereby prevent setbacks.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

People with these types of disorders have recurring fears and worries. These distressing thoughts can be about health, finances, or other problems in their lives. They often have a sense that something bad will happen. Sometimes the reasons for these feelings can be hard to identify. The fears and worries can be intense, and often keep individuals from concentrating on daily tasks.

Panic disorder involves feelings of terror and dread. People who experience panic attacks often experience physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, palpitations, sweating, and shaking. Individuals with a panic disorder often develop fears about when and where their next panic attack will occur. As a result, they often restrict their activities.

Some individuals develop phobias, or intense fears, about certain objects or situations. Phobias may involve fears about encountering certain insects, animals, or flying in airplanes. Social phobias involve fears of social settings or crowds of people.

Some people who experience panic attacks avoid putting themselves in a situations that may trigger a panic attack. These types of behaviors can create problems by making it difficult to perform a job, carry out family obligations, or live a normal life.

Many anxious people are prone to other disorders such as depression. They may turn to alcohol or other drugs to try to cope. It can affect relationships with family members, friends and coworkers. Their job performance may falter.

Anxiety can usually be treated successfully by a therapist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, research has demonstrated that both 'behavioral therapy' and 'cognitive therapy' can be highly effective.

Behavioral therapy involves using techniques to reduce or stop the undesired behaviors. For example, one approach involves training clients in relaxation and deep breathing techniques to counteract agitation and hyperventilation (rapid, shallow breathing).

Through cognitive therapy, clients learn to understand how their thoughts contribute to their symptoms. They learn how to change those thought patterns to reduce the likelihood of occurrence and the intensity of reaction.

The client’s increased mental awareness is often combined with behavioral techniques to help the individual gradually confront and tolerate fearful situations in a controlled, safe environment.

What can I expect from treatment?

It is very important to understand that treatment does not work instantly. The client should be comfortable from the outset with the general treatment being proposed, and with the therapist with whom he or she is working.

The client’s cooperation is crucial, and there must be a strong sense that the client and therapist are collaborating as a team to remedy the anxiety disorder.

Treatment needs to be tailored to the needs of the client. A therapist and client should work together to assess whether a treatment plan seems to be on track. Adjustments to the plan sometimes are necessary, since clients can respond differently to treatment.

There is no question that these types of problems can impair a person's functioning in work, family and social environments. But for most individuals who seek appropriate professional help, the likelihood of recovery is very good.
By working with a qualified and experienced therapist, people who suffer from anxiety disorders can regain control of their feelings and thoughts -- and their lives.

These types of issues can cause distress and disrupt the lives of people experiencing them. The frequency and intensity of these symptoms can be debilitating. With cognitive behavioral therapy, people with anxiety can lead normal lives.

Source: American Psychological Association

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