Although it is normal to feel a certain amount of daily anxiety, anxiety disorders amplify this everyday experience into an unhealthy extreme. Living with an anxiety disorder can be debilitating and can easily make the tasks of daily life feel overwhelming. Fortunately, if you are dealing with chronic anxiety, you have various treatment options available to you. One of these options is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a popular and proven tool professionals use to alleviate the symptoms of many mental health conditions, including anxiety. A cognitive behavioral therapy program teaches clients to change and reframe the thoughts and behaviors that trigger their anxiety.
Atlanta Center for Mental Health has years of experience treating anxiety with cognitive behavioral therapy. It is one of many evidence-based practices we use to help clients overcome their mental health struggles and find real and lasting recovery. If you have been struggling with your mental health, learn more about our cognitive behavioral therapy program by calling 833.625.0458.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a short-term treatment in which clients learn to identify and alter unhealthy thoughts patterns and emotional responses. CBT posits that thoughts come before feelings, and your feelings lead to actions, so changing your thought patterns can counter negative behaviors. Generally, CBT does this by helping you learn to:
- Identify negative thoughts
- Question and challenge the negative thought
- Replace negative thoughts with more positive or realistic ones
Through practicing this process, clients will be able to quickly identify and counter distorted thinking before it can trigger or worsen their anxiety.
3 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques for Anxiety
Learning the self-reflection necessary for CBT often requires practice. People sometimes have trouble identifying the fears and thought patterns behind their anxiety. In CBT, the counselor will have clients practice cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to become familiar with their feelings and understand the roots of their anxiety. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety, you can use these techniques in cognitive behavioral therapy to identify and combat difficult feelings.
1. Exposure Therapy
Exposure therapy can be used for people coping with social anxiety, phobias, or generalized anxiety. Your counselor will slowly expose you to the situations or things that trigger your anxiety. Your counselor will guide you through the situation and help you cope with it in the moment. Over time, this technique can help you feel less vulnerable when faced with these situations and can allow you to identify why you find these situations uncomfortable.
2. Thought Records
One of the hallmarks of CBT is that clients often are tasked with “homework,” such as journaling or a thought record. Writing is one of the best ways to record your thoughts and feelings as they come up throughout the week. If you are using a thought record, you will keep track of your positive and negative thoughts and use the record to reason out the thoughts behind your behaviors throughout the week. Doing so can help you see your progress while identifying thoughts and behaviors you want to improve on.
3. Relaxation Practices
CBT also teaches practical skills that clients can use to lower their stress and anxiety in their daily lives. For people who have phobias, social anxiety, difficulty sleeping, or other daily stressors, these techniques can help them relax and maintain control in stressful situations. Some of these relaxation practices can include:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Guided imagery relaxation
Learn More Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques With Atlanta Center for Mental Health
These are just a few of the many available CBT techniques. At Atlanta Center for Mental Health, we will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan using the cognitive behavioral therapy techniques that best address your anxiety. Everybody’s experience with anxiety is different, and as a result, everyone has unique treatment needs. The Atlanta Center for Mental Health staff is dedicated to understanding your mental health and helping you overcome anxiety. Call 833.625.0458 or fill out our online contact form to learn more about our anxiety treatment program.