People are often much more open about going to their medical doctor than they are about their therapists. Finding a qualified anxiety therapist in NYC can be challenging.
Psychotherapy is one of the most common types of treatment for anxiety disorders. This type of therapy includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective anxiety therapy that focuses on changing both your thinking patterns and behavior. It is an extensively researched treatment method. A 2018 study found CBT to be one of the most effective anxiety treatments.
In a CBT session, your psychologist will help you understand how the negative thoughts that fuel your anxiety affect your symptoms. You will learn to replace those thoughts with more realistic ones, reducing the severity of your anxiety. Through behavioral experiments, your psychologist will encourage you to take on activities or situations that provoke anxiety so you can learn that the feared outcomes are unlikely to occur.
Unlike psychodynamic therapy, which explores childhood issues to reveal the root causes of present problems, CBT focuses on current circumstances and emotions. Depending on the severity of your anxiety, your psychologist may also incorporate eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) into your sessions. This technique involves bilateral brain stimulation using specific eye movements, tapping, or tones to change your adverse emotional reactions to traumatic memories.
The best therapists for anxiety will use evidence-based techniques proven effective by research studies. This practically always means some form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Anxiety disorders usually include exposure therapy, which helps people overcome their fears by gradually exposing them to things that trigger them.
Several forms of exposure therapy exist, including systematic desensitization, in which your therapist slowly exposes you to your fear, starting with low-stress, non-threatening situations and moving up the ladder of intensity. Therapists may also use flooding, which involves exposing you to your fear simultaneously. This is usually only used when other methods don’t work, and it can be traumatic to experience.
Other effective therapies for anxiety include dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which teaches skills like mindfulness, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. Interpersonal therapy (IPT) targets relationship issues that can contribute to or exacerbate anxiety, such as unresolved grief, interpersonal conflicts, and unmet needs. EMDR is another treatment that can be helpful for phobias and anxiety disorders rooted in trauma.
Psychologists are trained to diagnose anxiety disorders and teach patients healthier, more effective ways to cope. One of the most widely used methods is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which teaches patients to recognize and change maladaptive thoughts that lead to feelings of fear. Techniques include:
- Identifying distorted thoughts.
- Questioning and analyzing unhelpful beliefs.
- Changing pessimistic predictions and assumptions.
Other forms of psychotherapy can also be beneficial in managing anxiety. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a mindfulness-based, values-directed approach that can help patients develop psychological flexibility to choose actions that align with their goals and values. Interpersonal therapy (IPT) can help address relationship issues that may exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a technique that allows people to process trauma, which can reduce anxiety symptoms associated with PTSD or specific phobias.
Whatever your reasons for seeking therapy, there is no shame in overcoming mental health challenges. If you are ready to begin your journey toward healing, check online for a list of qualified therapists who specialize in helping manage anxiety.
If you’re dealing with chronic anxiety, psychotherapy can make all the difference. Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, can help you identify and change negative thought patterns that contribute to your anxiety symptoms, as well as improve your coping skills. There are many different psychotherapy modalities, so finding one that fits your personality and preferences is essential. For example, if you think your anxiety is caused by unhealed past trauma, you may benefit from psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Other effective treatments for anxiety include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy. CBT is one of the most extensively researched therapy approaches for anxiety disorders, and exposure therapy is beneficial for people with social anxiety or specific phobias.
In addition to these treatment modalities, psychoanalytic therapy can also be effective for some people. This type of psychotherapy involves free association, where your therapist encourages you to share your thoughts and feelings without censorship. This allows you to uncover unconscious ideas and emotions that could be contributing to your anxiety. Your therapist can then help you understand and make sense of these ideas.
Cultivating connections with other people promotes relaxation, vitality, and a positive mental outlook. People with anxiety can benefit from attending group therapy, where they can share their experiences and feelings. This can help them discover that their fears are irrational and learn to cope with their symptoms. It can also instill hope as they see that others can overcome their anxiety.
A counselor leads anxiety group counseling sessions typically includes five to 20 participants who deal with similar problems. A qualified therapist can find the right group for you based on your needs and preferences. Group therapy sessions can be conducted in person or remotely.
Anxiety group therapy is a highly effective treatment for anxiety disorders. The participants are taught cognitive-behavioral techniques, which help them identify and challenge their negative thoughts. They are also encouraged to practice new coping skills in the group setting, allowing them to observe and receive feedback from their peers. As a result, they can gain more confidence and motivation to change their unhealthy habits.