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How Does Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Anxiety work?

A lot of therapies are used to curb anxiety. However, the leading approach is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It can take 8-15 sessions for significant improvement. To be precise, therapy provides you with tools and teaches you how to utilize them.

How to Know You have an Anxiety Disorder

If you often suffer from worries, panic attacks, unrelenting thoughts or incapacitating phobia, you probably have an anxiety disorder. However, you don’t have to live with fear and anxiety.

For most anxiety problems, treatment can help especially therapy. In particular, the so-called cognitive behavioral therapy is quite beneficial. This therapy teaches you how anxiety levels, worrying thoughts, and fears can be managed.

How CBT Works

In anxiety disorders treatment, research shows that therapy is the most effective method with 50-75 % effectiveness after 8-15 therapy sessions. It can treat panic disorders, social anxiety, phobias, and general anxiety disorders. It usually addresses distortions and negative patterns in the way we view ourselves.

Typically, CBT entails two main components:

  • Behavioral therapy examines your behavior and response in situations that initiate anxiety.
  • Cognitive therapy examines how thoughts, especially negative ones, contribute to anxiety.

Your thoughts affect the way you feel. That is the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy. In short, what determines how you feel is not the situation you’re in, it’s your perception of the situation. And for many people suffering from anxiety disorders, negative thinking ignites the negative emotions of anxiety and fear. The sole aim of cognitive behavioral therapy is to figure out and correct the negative thoughts and beliefs.

Cognitive Restructuring in CBT

Cognitive restructuring—also called thought challenging—is a process of challenging the negative thinking patterns that trigger anxiety and replacing them with realistic, positive thoughts. This process involves these steps:

#1 Identifying Your Negative Thoughts

People with anxiety disorders perceive situations to be more dangerous than they are in real sense. Though it’s challenging to recognize your own scary thoughts, you can employ this tactic; ask yourself: What was I thinking when I started feeling anxious? Your answer here will be that negative thought, and you’ll have identified it!

#2 Challenging all your Negative Thoughts

The second step involves evaluating your anxiety-provoking thoughts. To get this, you need to analyze unhelpful beliefs, questioning the evidence for most frightening thoughts and examining the reality of negative thoughts.

To successfully challenge negative thoughts, you can weigh the merits and demerits of worrying, conduct experiments and evaluating the realistic chances that what you are anxious about shall come to pass.

#3 Replacing Negative Thoughts with Real Thoughts

Immediately you identify your negative thoughts, you can try replacing them with more accurate and positive thoughts. Your therapist can help you come up with some.

In conclusion, to succeed in this therapy, you will need some skills such as the ability to recognize thought distortions, ability to challenge negative thought and willingly replace them with more useful thoughts. Research has shown that those who employ these techniques have an 85 % wellness success rate. This indicates that CBT really works.