With this form of therapy, a person begins to change the thoughts and behaviors they have, in order to combat the underlying anxiety. Unlike medication that simply covers up the symptoms, CBT requires a patient to engage their phobias and to slowly work on exposing themselves to the situations that are generating the anxiety. As the patient puts themselves in a place where they must deal with these anxieties, they are able to reduce the severity of them. In order for CBT to work, there are five things the patient should embrace.
Be Open and Honest About Your Anxieties with Your Doctor
Your fears and anxieties are real to you. Your doctor will not judge you based on what you are afraid of. Instead, they will take the time to listen to your concerns and help you to create a therapy plan that addresses these concerns. If you only address the concerns that you feel don’t make you sound “crazy” you are unlikely to fully benefit from this form of therapy.
Embrace the Healing Process
In order to deal with anxiety, you need to place yourself in a situation that provokes it. With small times at a time, you are able to address the concerns you have and lower the degree of anxiety you have. A person who might struggle in situations where they have to eat in front of other people might begin by having a luncheon with their therapist in the office or even eat a piece of fruit. This can progress to eating out at a restaurant and build up from there.
In turn, a person who fears crowds may begin small and go into a tiny shop where there are a few people at first. When they become more and more comfortable there, they might go to another place where the number of people increases.
Utilize Solutions Beyond Medication
Medication can make an unbearable situation feel like we can handle it. As part of CBT, you are also provided with a set of tools that allow you to relax and to reduce stress with your body. In order to be successful, you do need to work on building off of these internal tools you have.
This is as simple as doing things that help to offset the symptoms of stress. You might slow your breathing to deal with a fast heartbeat, dizziness, sweating, and other associated concerns with your anxiety. At the same time, you might find that you are able to effectively clear your mind and prevent the thoughts that were causing your anxiety to flare back up.
Don’t Rely on One Technique and Give Up If It Doesn’t Work
There are a dozen medications that treat different conditions. The reason is every person is different. That means while one CBT technique works for someone you know, another might be a better choice for you. Don’t write off this form of treatment simply because the first technique you try doesn’t work. Instead, remain open-minded and willing to explore each of the options you have.
Keep Up with Your Traditional Therapy and Medication Prescribed
CBT is not a replacement for your other therapy and medications. It should be done in conjunction with both of them. That way, you are able to maximize your results and to further aid the healing process.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the best treatment options a person with anxiety will have. Take a moment to review this process and discover how it can work for you.