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Anxiety is a normal emotion people feel when they encounter something that worries them. Anxiety can be adaptive for you in some situations, but it becomes an anxiety disorder when it is excessive and interferes with your daily life. Using BetterHelp, you can find a licensed Cognitive Behavioral therapist for your anxiety. When you find a skilled therapist, you will get the proper help and support to overcome your anxiety or depression.

Below, find out how Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT-A) works for anxiety healing and why you should contact Betterhelp.com today.

Studies show that anxiety disorders affect an estimated 40 million adults in the United States. The commonest types of anxiety disorders include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
  • Panic disorder.
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD).
  • Specific phobia.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What is cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety?

Cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety is a psychotherapy that helps people with anxiety disorders heal. CBT-A involves cognitive and behavioral therapy together. Cognitive therapy teaches people how to change negative thinking patterns, and behavioral therapy teaches how to cope with specific situations.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety is similar to other types of CBT in that it teaches you coping skills. It also helps you change your negative thought patterns.

Additionally, CBT-A involves working with your thoughts in a more direct way than traditional CBT does. It helps you replace negative thoughts with more realistic ones. CBT is also the appropriate method to treat other mental health problems such as social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addictions, chronic pain, or fatigue.

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How does cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety work?

CBT-A promotes coping skills by teaching you how to identify and challenge negative thoughts. You’ll learn to think differently about situations that cause you distress. It will also reveal new ways to handle overpowering issues constructively.

A trained CBT therapist helps you identify your triggers and work with you to change how you think about them. You’ll learn to recognize when you’re likely to react in a way that makes your anxiety worse. He may even advise you to engage in relaxation exercises, breathing exercises, and journaling to reduce your anxiety.

What are the components of CBT for anxiety?

There are two main components of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety:

  1. Identification of the causes and maintenance of your anxiety
  2. Changing your negative thoughts and attitudes to become more realistic and hopeful

The first step in CBT is identifying the situations or events that make you anxious. You carry out this process by identifying “cues” and then assessing the impact those cues have on your body and mind.

For example, if you’re worried about public speaking, think about specific situations where you’ve spoken publicly before and assess how those performances went. This method will help you determine what works for you and what doesn’t.

Once you’ve identified your triggers and assessed their impact on your mind, it’s time to develop coping strategies. These coping strategies may include avoiding certain situations or people; practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation; talking things through with a therapist; taking medicine (if it helps), or seeking professional support from a mental health provider.

What are the CBT techniques for anxiety?

The goal of CBT techniques is to help people confront their fears and learn how to cope with them effectively. CBT uses several different techniques to improve mood and manage anxiety symptoms. The most common techniques include:

Exposure Therapy

This therapy is a form of CBT that teaches clients how to manage anxiety and distress by exposing them to their fears. In exposure therapy, you slowly expose yourself to the feared situation until you have become comfortable with it. The goal is to gradually increase your exposure over time until the feared situation no longer causes you distress.

The best way to begin exposure therapy is by making a list of your worst fears. For example, many people fear public speaking and may have experienced stage fright before an important presentation at work or school. This person might list their worst public speaking moments on paper and the consequences of having those events happen again.

Relaxation Training

Relaxation training is a key part of CBT. It is a technique that helps you to identify, challenge and change negative thoughts and behaviors. Relaxation exercises reduce tension and stress, which can be overwhelming.

For example, if you tend to be anxious in social situations, you may sit in a quiet room with your eyes closed and your mind focused on your breathing. Breathe deeply for about 5 seconds, then breathe slowly for 5 seconds. Repeat this procedure 10 times. Then think of a situation that makes you feel anxious or stressed. Then relax as much as possible while thinking about this situation.

Cognitive Restructuring

Cognitive restructuring, also known as thought modification, is a form of behavioral therapy that helps people with mood disorders and other mental illnesses change how they think about themselves and their symptoms.

This approach focuses on the process of thinking rather than simply changing thoughts. The therapist guides the patient through an action plan for changing maladaptive thoughts and behaviors. The goals are to help patients:

Identify inaccurate or distorted beliefs about themselves (such as “I’m not good enough”), situations (such as “I must do something drastic”), or other people (such as “People won’t like me”).

Eliminate these negative thoughts and replace them with more realistic ones.

Recognize that they have a choice in how they respond to negative thoughts.

Change their behavior in response to negative self-statements by doing something else instead of engaging in destructive behaviors.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a technique that employs meditation and other mental practices to help patients cope with anxiety. It can be particularly effective for people with other health issues when used with other therapies.

The goal of mindfulness is to increase awareness of thoughts and feelings, allowing you to observe them as they arise and pass away. The goal isn’t necessarily to stop thinking or feeling but to gain greater control over these processes. Mindfulness training involves deliberately paying attention to your thoughts and feelings during a specified period each day.

The focus is on the present moment, so you don’t have time to worry about past events or what might happen in the future.  Mindfulness helps you feel calmer and less tense than before you began practicing it.

Social Skills

The Social Skills Technique is a cognitive behavioral therapy technique that teaches clients how to manage their social interactions. This technique aims to teach the client how to recognize the feelings they experience when they are in different situations and how their thoughts affect their behavior.

It also teaches them how to change those thoughts, which can help them be more self-aware and make better decisions regarding their social skills.

This technique works better through role-playing or by writing about a situation where they had difficulty with a particular aspect of socializing. The client then discusses what happened during the incident and how it affected them emotionally, mentally, and physically.

The therapist helps the client brainstorm ways to handle the situation differently. The therapist will also suggest strategies based on these ideas and help the client practice each until they become second nature.

Scheduling

Scheduling is a technique in which you list your problems and the consequences. This technique helps you understand the problem better and plan how to handle it. You make a schedule for each problem that gives you a time frame for when you will do something about it.

Write it in the order of importance (from most important to least important) and circle any items that might be related to each other. For example, if your problem is procrastination, you might make a schedule like this: “I will start working on my resume at 3 pm today.” Or “I will take out the trash at 7 pm tomorrow.”

The advantage of scheduling is that it forces you to decide what needs to be done and when. It also helps you avoid distractions so that you can focus on your task at hand.

FAQs

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy about?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a psychotherapy that focuses on helping people change how they think and act. CBT helps with various problems, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

Can cognitive behavioral therapy help anxiety?

Yes. CBT is one of the most effective models to treat anxiety disorders because it identifies the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to your struggles with anxiety. The goal of CBT is simple: to teach you how to challenge negative thinking patterns, replace them with more productive behaviors, and ultimately learn how you can control your emotions in stressful situations.

What are the 5 steps of CBT?

There are 5 steps to cognitive behavioral therapy:

Step 1: Identify troubling thoughts or behaviors by listing them out.

Step 2: Challenge these thoughts or behaviors.

Step 3: Replace old, unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving with new, more helpful strategies.

Step 4: Work on your lists and practice your new skills in real-life situations until they become automatic.

Step 5: Evaluate your progress and make changes as needed to continue getting better at managing your emotions and behavior

What are the three C’s of CBT?

The catch: Take a moment to notice what is happening around you. What is happening in your body? What do you see, hear or smell? What do you think about it?

Check: Take in this information about yourself and your surroundings. Do these thoughts make sense to you? Can you test these ideas by having someone else tell you what they think?

Change: Use these thoughts and feelings to create a new way of thinking and behaving that is more effective for you.

What makes CBT different from others?

CBT mainly helps develop more effective strategies for coping with difficult situations. It also helps people manage their symptoms and improve relationships with family, friends, and work colleagues. It becomes realistic by changing negative thoughts into more positive ones or replacing negative emotions with more positive ones.

How to find a CBT therapist

The role of a professional cognitive-behavioral therapist is to help you change your negative thoughts and reduce anxiety. Finding a CBT therapist is not difficult, but getting the right one is important. You can look online to find the closest therapists in your local area. You should find out if your potential therapist has any experience working with individuals who struggle with similar issues as you do. If not, this could be a red flag for you. Many websites offer CBT-A treatments; however, BetterHelp remains the best and number one top-rated site.

BetterHelp offers a wide range of mental health services, including counseling, therapy, and psychotherapy. They have over 45,000 licensed therapists who are certified professionals. Do not hesitate to schedule your first appointment at BetterHelp today if you need therapy.

Does CBT take time to work?

Yes, it takes time for CBT to work for you because it involves changing your thoughts and behaviors. You might feel better after one session or need multiple sessions before noticing improvement. It depends on what’s causing your anxiety symptoms and how severe they are.

What does the session with Betterhelp CBT therapists look like?

The sessions for CBT-A at Betterhelp.com are designed to help you live a more fulfilling life. You will have access to a professional therapist via messaging, phone, or live video chat. Your therapist will guide you on identifying your issues and analyzing them to the best techniques that work better. You will also have time to explore different techniques and strategies that work better for you during each session. These strategies include relaxation techniques, positive thinking exercises, and goal-setting exercises. In addition, you will benefit from one-on-one guidance from your therapist to a personalized treatment plan that works best for your situation.

BetterHelp is the most-rated online platform with experienced and licensed CBT therapists. 

Our platform gives you 20% off your first appointment. So, book an appointment today here.

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