Types Of Therapy For Anxiety
There are various approaches therapists are trained in to help clients. These approaches are called modalities.
In general, you can separate modalities into two different categories: insight oriented vs behavioral / skills based.
Insight orientated modalities explore how your past shaped who you are today. Its very much concerned with the origins of the challenges you are dealing with, and by understanding these origins, we can find resolution.
Behavioral and skills based therapies focus on practical, present day solutions. These type of modalities take the stance that by focusing on our present day behavior, we can
A good anxiety therapist is going to be familiar with many different modalities, and will draw from different modalities to meet your specific needs.
With that being said, I think a good anxiety therapist should at least be familiar, comfortable, and regularly use these modalities:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT address how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors all impact one another. Your clinician will work with you to understand these three components and you will work together to experiment with new behavior that will change other parts of the triangle. Sessions typically around 45 to 60 minutes in length and talk with one another.
Acceptance Commitment Therapy ACT is also a type of CBT and like DBT has a mindfulness component to it. ACTs main goal is to help clients identify values and figure out ways to align behaviors with those values.
Coping Support And Resources
In addition to your prescribed treatment, you may want to join a support group. It can be very helpful to talk with other people who are experiencing symptoms similar to yours. Its good to know that you are not alone. Someone else with similar symptoms can understand what youre going through and offer support and encouragement. Being part of a group can also help you develop new social skills.
Your community will likely have several support groups, either for your specific disorder or for anxiety in general. Check with your medical professionals to learn what resources are available in your area. You might ask your:
- mental health provider
- county mental health services agency
You can also participate in support groups online. This may be a good way to start if you have social anxiety disorder or feel uncomfortable in a face-to-face group setting.
Treatment of diagnosed anxiety is often multi-disciplinary. This means you may see one or all of the following medical practitioners:
- primary care physician
What Kind Of Therapist Do I Need: A Psychologist Or A Counselor
Before we dive into the various types of therapy, its important to understand the differences between mental health professionals. Some people may seek a therapist with extensive training and a state-approved license, while others might find excellent advice from a social worker, life coach, priest, or another expert.
That is to say, degrees and schooling may not be as necessary for one persons condition or preferences compared to experience and vice versa.
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Is Worry And Stress Taking Up Too Much Of Your Timereach Out To A Therapist To Make A Changehow To Find A Therapist For Anxiety
If you struggle with anxiety, you are not alone. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.”
Anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder GAD can bring with it a long list of symptoms, physical, mental, and emotional. The good news is that it’s treatable. If you are struggling with your mental health, you may want to find an anxiety therapist that can help.
What Is Anxiety?
Before we cover how to find an anxiety therapist, let’s talk about what anxiety is. Anxiety is excessive worrying and stress. While everyone experiences anxiety in their life, some people may experience more than others.
When anxiety symptoms reach the point that it impacts your day-to-day life and mental health, you may be experiencing an anxiety disorder and it may be time to see a mental health professional that specializes in anxiety. Some people are unable to do the things they need to daily because of their anxiety.
Many physical health symptoms come with anxiety including:
- Sleep disturbance
- Racing thoughts
- Digestive issues
These are just a few of the more common symptoms that come with severe anxiety and why it may be important to find an anxiety therapist.
Are There Therapists That Specialize In Anxiety?
The following are things that you should look for if you want to find an anxiety therapist.
What Are The Different Types Of Therapy
Before delving into the different types of therapy, itâs useful to understand the different types of mental health professionals. Some people may be looking for a therapist with advanced training and a state-approved license, while others may find great counsel in life coaches, clergy, or others. Schooling doesnât always mean the best therapist, but letâs break down some of the more advanced degrees.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who can prescribe medication to their patients, in addition to practicing psychotherapy.
Psychologists are similar to psychiatrists, but are unable to prescribe medication. In a scenario where they believe a patient would benefit from medication, psychologists typically have a working relationship with other psychiatrists and doctors to facilitate that conversation. Psychologists usually have a doctoral degree and are trained in understanding how the mind and behavior correspond. You may see some psychologists listed as counseling psychologists and others as clinical psychologists â the primary difference is that a counseling psychologist helps patients to deal with more day-to-day problems, where clinical psychology may focus more on severe mental illness. That said, both are considered licensed psychologists and neither will prescribe medication.
Licensed Professional Counselor or Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
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How Effective Is Therapy
Studies show that both exposure therapy and CBT not only relieve symptoms but improve quality of life. Most effective for many anxiety disorders is a treatment protocol that has elements of both exposure therapy and cognitive therapy. The evidence supports therapy as a first-line treatment across the lifespan and for all types of anxiety disorder. And while therapy is at least as effective as medication for the duration of treatment, its effects far outlast those of medication. In addition, it is better tolerated: Fewer patients drop out of psychotherapy for anxiety than programs of pharmacotherapy there are few negative side effects to psychotherapy. What is more, the relapse rate for those who discontinue medication is far higherup to 95 percent in some studiesthan for patients who discontinue therapy. Recent studies show that CBT delivered electronically is as effective as CBT conducted face to face.
Bonnie Weiss And Her Work On Self
Bonnie Weiss, psychotherapist, teacher, author, and trainer has written various books on IFS in self-therapy. Notably, Weissâ exercises are incredibly useful resources for guiding individuals and therapists through a step-by-step process of self-directed IFS.
These exercises provide a structured means of navigating through oneâs own inner parts, communicating with them. Weissâ extensive work covers themes such as blending and reblending with wounded parts, accessing The Self and developing our personal potential.
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What Types Of Psychotherapy Are Helpful For Anxiety And Depression
More info on this topic
Just as no two people are affected the exact same way by depression and anxiety, there is no one size fits all treatment. What works for one person might not work for another.
The best way to treat depression or anxiety is to become as informed as possible about the treatment options, and then tailor them to meet your needs. In many cases, it is helpful to work with a professional to determine the best fit.
How Long Will Therapy Be Needed
Research indicates that 50 percent of patients recover within 20 sessions, which commonly take place at weekly intervals. As with drug therapy, patients fare best when therapy is continued for a period beyond symptom remission. There are three goals of psychotherapy. The first is responsean improvement in symptoms. Patients may begin to experience improvement within a few sessions. The second is remissiondisappearance of all symptoms and a return to healthy functioning in all domains of life. There may be a temptation to stop therapy at this point, but the consensus of experts is that treatment should continue at least six months after disappearance of symptoms to ensure recovery and to maintain the ability to handle the stresses of daily life. Studies repeatedly show that completing a full course of therapy is critical for full recovery.
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What To Look For In A Psychiatrist
Those who have never visited a psychiatrist may not know how to find one that suits their specific needs. There are a few factors to keep in mind when you search for a psychiatrist:
- Your condition or concern. Psychiatrists treat many conditions, but some specialize in areas of focus that may suit your needs. You may want to look for a psychiatrist, who may treat your conditions while matching your specific conditions and concerns.
- Which medications you may or may not need. You may need a psychiatrist to manage medications while also providing talk therapy options.
- Credentials. When choosing the best psychiatrist for you, you may want to consider their credentials. Do they have proper education, training, licensing and practice experience? Which areas of mental health do they specialize in? Be sure to research their treatment approaches and philosophy as well.
- Telehealth offerings. If you prefer telehealth appointments or find it difficult to schedule an in-person visit, you may want to search for a psychiatrist who offers telehealth appointments. Psychiatrists registered with GeneSight can also send a GeneSight® at Home sample collection kit directly to you to complete the GeneSight test from the comfort and privacy of your own home.
How To Cope With Anxiety In The Meantime
There’s a lot of work that goes into managing anxiety, and some of it happens at home. Here are some tips that will help you cope when your therapist isn’t around to guide you through exercises.
Embrace Acceptance and Evaluate Your Situation
Anxiety can make us want to run, but peace can be found in the basic premise of acceptance. When we embrace the situation and accept what is happening, we can better evaluate what’s going on around and within us. What are the outcomes? What’s going to happen? Calmly look at the big picture. In most situations, you’ll find there’s nothing to be extremely nervous about. This perspective can help calm down your anxiety when it becomes overwhelming.
Take a Break
Anxiety is a mental health condition that needs to be taken seriously. If you need to take a break because your anxiety is getting to you, know that it’s okay to take a break. Sit down and take some time to meditate or engage in deep breathing exercises. Try to bring yourself back to a calm, grounded state. When anxiety becomes too much, centering yourself and resting for at least a few minutes can make it much easier to get through the day.
Note: Know that moderate to severe complications of anxiety can result in physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, hyperventilation, and sweating. If you or someone you know are experiencing such symptoms, reach out for help immediately.
Consider Online Therapy
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Maximizing Effectiveness Of Therapy For Anxiety
Modes of therapy are different ways a type of therapy can be conducted. It can include how many people are in therapy with you and how you get treatment. As anxiety can present its own set of challenges, certain modes of therapy may be more or less effective for a person with anxiety than someone with another condition.
Sometimes, obstacles prevent people from getting help for anxiety. A person with social anxiety might feel nervous about meeting a therapist in person or calling them on the phone. Agoraphobia or other specific phobias can also make people reluctant to leave their house or drive in a car. These activities are often necessary for getting to therapy. In this case, finding a therapist who can meet you in your home can be helpful. Or, you might choose to speak with a distance therapist online or on the phone.
Some people with anxiety might find it helpful to speak with others with similar experiences. These people could benefit from group therapy for anxiety. In a group therapy session, people can discuss and learn about their anxiety together, led by a licensed therapist. Not only can the group therapy experience be validating for many people, it can also help them practice skills they can use to reduce anxiety with other group members.
Seeing A Psychologist About Anxiety Disorders
Though many types of anxiety disorders exist, research suggests that most are driven by similar underlying processes. People with anxiety disorders tend to become easily overwhelmed by their emotions, and they tend to have particularly negative reactions to those unpleasant feelings and situations.
Often, people try to cope with those negative reactions by avoiding situations or experiences that make them anxious. Unfortunately, avoidance can backfire and actually feed the anxiety.
Psychologists are trained in diagnosing anxiety disorders and teaching patients healthier, more effective ways to cope. A form of psychotherapy known as cognitive-behavioral therapy is highly effective at treating anxiety disorders. Through CBT, psychologists help patients learn to identify and manage the factors that contribute to their anxiety.
Through the cognitive component of therapy, patients learn to understand how their thoughts contribute to their anxiety symptoms. By learning to change those thought patterns, they can reduce the likelihood and intensity of anxiety symptoms.
With the behavioral component, patients learn techniques to reduce undesired behaviors associated with anxiety disorders. Specifically, patients are encouraged to approach activities and situations that provoke anxiety to learn that their feared outcomes are unlikely.
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Treating Anxiety With Cbt
Cognitive behavioral therapy has become the leading treatment for anxiety, and with good reason. Research indicates that CBT can be an effective treatment for anxiety after as few as 8 sessions, with or without any form of medication . Due to the high prevalence of anxiety disorders , it’s valuable to have a strong understanding of best practices for its treatment.
This guide will provide a general overview of CBT for anxiety disorders without delving too deeply into any single diagnosis. Of course, one size doesn’t fit all. It’s important to be flexible and use your best clinical judgement when working with clients. One size doesn’t fit all.
Tips For Managing Anxiety
Self-care goes hand in hand with looking after your mental health. Learning techniques and methods to help you manage your anxiety can really make a difference. It’s important to not let the fear of your anxiety rule your life and having some self-care methods in place can help you cope with symptoms.
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What To Expect From Therapy
Contrary to popular belief or what you see on TV, you wont instantly be cured after your first therapy session. In fact, you may experience ups and downs as you continue treatment. You are apt to feel relief and renewed hope that youll be able to make changes to improve your life. When you decide to seek professional help for your anxiety, youll be able to explore your anxiety, recognize your triggers, and identify the cause of your negative thoughts and feelings.
If you dont feel as though you can truly open up to your therapist after your first several sessions, it doesnt mean therapy isnt right for youit just means your psychotherapist isnt the right match. Some people meet with a few different therapists before finding the best fit for their mental health needs. Ultimately, you may need to try a few different approaches and meet with multiple therapists before finding a treatment that works for you.
Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve
This nerve is part of our rest and digest system and, when we stimulate it, it can help to reduce stress and anxiety. There are several ways we can stimulate this nerve, including exposing ourselves to something cold, self-massage and even singing. Counsellor Fiona Austin explains more in her article, The vagus nerve – our biological antidote to anxiety and stress.
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Finding A Therapist Who Specializes In Anxiety
Finding a therapist can be overwhelming. Therapists are notoriously poor at marketing and developing an online presence. So, doing a google search in your area will likely yield results, but youll likely only see a very small percentage of therapists that actually offer services in your area.
To help with your local Google search, here are some search terms that might be helpful to use:
- CBT anxiety therapy in
- Anxiety specialist in
Finding Online Anxiety Therapists
Before COVID, most therapists were opposed to online therapy. The general antidotal agreement in the field was that in-person is better.
Since COVID, therapists had no choice but to move their services online. And many are seeing the benefits and some are even shutting down their in-person practices altogether.
This is a huge benefit for clients as you have more access to specialists, no matter where you live. However, just because you find an online therapist, doesnt mean the therapist can legally work with you.
Most states say that just because therapy happens online, the therapy is considered happening in the state the client currently is located. So, if youre located in California, your therapist needs a California license to legally see you for session.
Here are some ways to find an online therapist specializing in anxiety :
- Google Search Suggestions:
- anxiety specialist
- anxiety therapist
- anxiety psychologist