How Effective is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety?

How Effective is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety?

Team Psychiatry

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common issues people deal with when it comes to mental health. In fact, almost 30% of adults will deal with anxiety at some point in their lives. So if you are dealing with the symptoms of anxiety, you are not alone.

Thankfully, there are treatment methods available that can be highly effective and empowering for those who are dealing with anxiety disorders.

One effective treatment option is known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). For many types of anxiety, CBT can help both alleviate the symptoms and also give the patient tools to help with their anxiety long after treatment has ended.

Below, we'll explain what CBT is and how it works for treating anxiety in patients.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a pragmatic and highly structured type of therapy that focuses on providing the patient insight into negative thought patterns that can lead to symptoms such as anxiety.

Instead of focusing on past issues or other life events, CBT looks to provide tools so patients can identify negative thought patterns and deal with them before they escalate into larger negative emotions, such as anxiety.

If you are experiencing anxiety symptoms, you are probably already aware of how your thought patterns can escalate or “snowball” and exacerbate your anxiety.

CBT therapy provides the tools and coaching to help spot those patterns and stop them before they escalate. Over time, this new, more helpful behavior becomes your normal, automatic way of thinking and dealing with stressful thoughts.

How Long Does CBT Take To Treat Anxiety?

Some patients see results from CBT in as little as 6 to 12 sessions. Every individual is different and your therapist can provide more information regarding the length of your treatment.

Your sessions will generally involve some "homework" which will generally involve applying what you learn in therapy to your day-to-day life. How seriously you take these assignments will have an impact on how fast you can see results from CBT.

Are Medications Required With CBT?

CBT is usually preferred in lieu of medications as there are no side effects with CBT and the benefits can last even after therapy has ended.

However, if your doctor decides you need medications before, during, or after therapy, they may prescribe something if it will help with the overall outcome.

Some patients are able to deal with their anxiety symptoms with CBT alone. Others may find medication necessary at some point during treatment or after treatment.

Every patient is different, and your doctor will help you decide which combination of therapies will yield the best chance of success.

More Information On Anxiety And CBT

Anxiety can be difficult to deal with and often it can lead to feelings of hopelessness as it interferes with your daily activities.

But there are highly effective treatments such as CBT that can quickly help you start to control your anxiety.

If you believe you may be suffering from anxiety and want to learn more about CBT, contact the compassionate and caring mental health experts at South County Psychiatry.

Our doctors and staff are dedicated to helping you overcome your anxiety so you can enjoy every day to the fullest.