National Psychotherapy Day: Psychotherapy as a pertinent treatment for anxiety

National Psychotherapy Day: Psychotherapy as a pertinent treatment for anxiety

With anxiety becoming one of the most common mental disorders among the American population, experts, and medical professionals are developing new age methods to treat the mental disorder. Anxiety is usually treated with medications, such as anti-anxiety drugs or therapies or a combination of the both.

Psychotherapy remains one of the most effective methods of treating anxiety. It is often considered to be the first line of treatment for the disorder. Cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy are the two most commonly practiced forms of psychotherapy. Cognitive therapy helps the patient change the way he thinks, feels and behaves. It teaches how to overcome anxiety by mentally re-approaching anxiety-inducing situations. Cognitive therapy has long been successfully used to treat patients with anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder or panic attacks.

Behavioral therapy primarily deals with the behavior of the anxiety patient. The treatment helps him get rid of his unwanted or non-productive behavior that is often triggered by an anxiety disorder. As stated by the American Psychological Association, behavioral therapy teaches a patient the techniques such as relaxation or deep breathing exercises to keep himself calm and stable when experiencing hyperventilation due to panic attacks.

Cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy are often practiced in combination, which is popularly known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). With the amalgamation of both the therapies, CBT turns out to have a broad spectrum of treatment and thus can be used to treat all the anxiety disorders, namely, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder (PD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder/social phobia and specific phobias.

Development of CBT

CBT is one of the pioneers and most common therapies used to treat anxiety. Ever since its evolution, the therapy has undergone several changes. The introduction of Rational Emotive Therapy (RET)/Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy by psychologist Albert Ellis in 1950 was one of its most recognized advancements. Ellis believed that the psychoanalysis treatment prevailing until the development of RET was not competent enough to treat patients holistically as it did not guide them to change their way of thinking. RET was primarily based on Stoic philosophy, which means “development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotion.”

Taking a cue from RET, one of Ellis’ students, physician Maxie C. Maultsby, Jr. developed Rational Behavior Therapy, which involves therapist assigning “therapeutic homework” to patients, and the therapy emphasized on the patients’ rational self-counseling skills. This encouraged patients to add their own initiative and efforts, even beyond the realm of CBT for recovery purposes.

Unlike the above, Exposure with Response Prevention is a different form of CBT. The therapy is primarily used to treat specific phobias. In the therapy, the patient is gradually made familiar with the object, places, situations or actions that cause phobia in him.

Road to recovery

Everybody feels anxious under stressful conditions. Symptoms such as nervousness, feeling scared or switching on the alert mode when sensing danger are some of the common reflexes. However, anxiety disorders are more serious and severe. These can be identified with a constant state of worrying and alertness as one tends to sense danger every time. While common anxiety tends to last only until the situation is over, an anxiety disorder keeps developing and goes on to hinder daily activities and routine. Anxiety disorders require immediate medical intervention. On this National Psychotherapy Day, a day observed to promote the treatment and eliminate stigma, let’s educate and make people aware of the effective ways to handle anxiety in them. It is also important to make people understand the importance of psychotherapy in treating anxiety disorders.

If you or a loved one is afflicted with an anxiety disorder, contact the Anxiety Treatment Centers of California to learn about anxiety disorders treatment centers in California. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-972-9459 or chat online for information regarding the best anxiety treatment centers in California. Our representatives can help you avail the best anxiety disorders treatment in California.

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