Anxiety Therapy Methods

Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric issue found among the general population (Öst, 2008). Their lifetime prevalence rate is around 33.7% (Bandelow & Michaelis, 2015), and anxiety disorders are the foremost mental disorder found in women (Chambala, 2008). Anticipatory anxiety may be considered the quintessential form of anxiety--in other words, when people hear the word “anxiety,” it is likely what comes to mind are individuals who ruminate about the future, constantly worrying and fearing what is to come. It is important to remember, however, that anticipatory anxiety is just one type of anxiety; there are, in fact, several different types of anxiety disorder. It manifests in children and adults alike across the world, often escalating to severe levels.

Anxiety that has reached a clinical level means that the individual living with the disorder must experience interference in living their day to day lives; they will have a difficult time, in other words, their living lives to the fullest. And in severe cases, anxiety disorders could interfere with a person’s social life or job. There are several different subtypes of anxiety disorders, including but not limited to:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorders
  • Specific phobias
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder

Individuals suffering from an anxiety disorder might see severe negative cognitive, emotional, and physiological manifestations of their illness. One such way this can occur is through panic attacks, which often send individuals to the emergency room, convinced that they are about to die. And while anxiety disorders can be incredibly difficult to live with, there are, thankfully, several different therapeutic approaches that have been found to improve the quality of life for those suffering from anxiety.

Some of these therapeutic approaches include:

  • Hypnosis: akin to meditation, hypnosis generally involves clients entering various states of consciousness with their particular, individualized needs kept in mind. Clients never, however, lose control: they will always have awareness of what is happening.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: this type of therapy is rooted in the core belief that emotional disorders are caused by cognitive factors which can be changed through the employment of cognitive and behavioral techniques. The methods used in cognitive behavioral therapy, in particular, are focused on a client’s individual needs and can be tailored based on their cognitive progress.
  • Attention bias modification: an emerging form of therapy, attention bias modification therapy uses computer based attention training to aid clients suffering with anxiety in dealing with perceived threats in the environment around them that normally cause them to hyper fixate.
  • Cognitive therapy: the most commonly seen psychological treatment for those living with anxiety disorders, cognitive therapy is characterized by clients working with their therapists to zero in on the beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that affect their ability to change their behaviors.
  • Vagus nerve stimulation: during this specific approach, an anticonvulsant device electrically stimulates a client’s vagus nerve; this particular nerve is targeted because it has the unique ability to control one’s feelings of anxiety. Though this approach is generally utilized on individuals who are experiencing treatment resistant depression or epilepsy, some studies have also shown this method’s effectiveness in addressing treatment resistant anxiety disorders.

Another treatment route for anxiety is group therapy. This therapeutic approach can be incredibly useful in helping individuals process their anxiety, reframe disturbing thoughts they experience, and tolerate painful emotions over time.

Here at Grouport, we offer group therapy that is conducted over Zoom. This makes seeking therapy during an ongoing global pandemic possible from the safety of your home. Each one of our incoming clients receives a twenty minute initial consultation conducted by a trained professional. Clients are then matched into a weekly therapy group best suited to their needs. Each therapy group meets for an hour every week. More FAQs about Grouport can be found here.

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