CBT and Anxiety: How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Changes Your Thinking

Are you having trouble with a mental health issue such as anxiety, but don’t know how to move forward? Maybe it’s your negative thinking. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be a helpful tool for resolving your anxiety issues and finally bring relief.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

The Mayo Clinic defines CBT as treatment that allows you to:

“become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way.”

It is a technique that helps you and your therapist better understand why you have certain kinds of thinking or beliefs, and steer your thinking toward a different perspective.

How is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practiced?

There are four components to CBT. These include:

  • Determining what the troubling issues are in your life: job loss, divorce, anxiety issue, mental health struggle, etc.
  • Creating awareness of your thinking around these issues: what you say to yourself and how you interpret the meaning in situations.
  • Identifying negative thinking and patterns that develop; especially how you respond to situations.
  • Developing new thinking patterns: trying to look at situations from a different perspective, with an alternative way of responding.

The technique can between 10-20 sessions to learn.

CBT and Anxiety

So how do CBT and anxiety relate to each other? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps clients identify what makes them anxious and come up with different ways to practice looking at situations so that they will cause less anxiety.

For example, a person struggling with anxiety over germs (obsessive compulsive disorder) can:

  • Work with a therapist to identify what causes the OCD.
  • Become aware of how the client interprets a situation that triggers the OCD.
  • Identify the negative thinking patterns associated with the OCD.
  • Look at an OCD situation from a different perspective.

The idea is that a person with OCD or anxiety can use the technique to identify their negative thought patterns and, ultimately, be able to make different situational choices.

CBT, Anxiety, and New Perspectives

By participating in CBT therapy, you may learn to handle anxiety through identification of certain tendencies and solutions. Perhaps you have a thinking error, you could learn to make a different choice to address anxiety instead of simply using a soothing technique.

For instance you could:

  • Say to yourself that you are experiencing anxiety.
  • Repeat a saying to yourself to relax.
  • Do something active to get the energy out.
  • Distract yourself from what makes you feel anxious.
  • Avoid substances to numb the feelings of anxiety.

Who Can Help With CBT and Anxiety?

To get the full benefit of CBT and anxiety seek out the help of a licensed mental health professional in your area. When conducting your search, keep these things in mind:

  • What kind of education and training does the therapist possess?
  • Does the therapist have specific training in CBT?
  • Does the therapist discuss how they implement CBT into their practice?
  • When meeting with the therapist for the first time, do you feel relaxed and at ease?
  • Does the therapist have any recommendations from other professionals or clients?

Before working with any therapist, make sure that you have done your homework and feel you can trust the therapist you choose to work with.

Anxiety is a common problem for many people and it can be frustrating to deal with. The condition can make it hard to function in daily life, robbing you of the happiness you deserve.

Questions, Concerns, Thoughts?

I invite you to call me for a free 15 – minute phone consultation to discuss your specific needs and to answer any questions you have about anxiety, treatment and my practice. Please visit my website @ www.theanxietydocseattle.com or call me directly @ (206) 745-4933.