In a continually changing world with multiple stressors, it is sometimes difficult to ignore anxiety. However, it is important to note that anxiety is a normal and common emotion to feel in your daily life. Like anger, sadness, excitement, and happiness, anxiety has a place in your body’s natural alert system. Feeling anxiety is often an indicator that you need to do something, should not do something, or forgot to do something. Without those warning signals in our brains, we might not be cautious in dangerous situations or feel apologetic when we have done something wrong.
For some, anxiety is more than just a natural indicator that your internal balance is off-kilter. Anxiety can be a recurring and sometimes debilitating issue that disrupts various life areas, including social, interpersonal, education, family, and work. Chronic anxiety may be linked to a psychological or anxiety-based disorder, making it difficult to find relief without help. This is where cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety may be the right choice.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a short-term therapy program providing the tools and skills to make positive changes in your life.
The way we feel about ourselves, our families, friends, jobs, and other aspects of our lives greatly affect external factors. Your mental health impacts your physical health and the world you create for yourself. When anxiety goes untreated, scientific research tells us there is a high risk of depression and substance abuse.
Working with one of our cognitive behaviour therapist will help you overcome feelings of anxiety by exploring and practicing bespoke stress management tactics tailored to your individual needs and condition.
CBT for anxiety disorders is a customizable therapy, moulded to fit your unique needs. At the Cognitive & Interpersonal Therapy Centre, we know that anxiety is not a uniform condition. We work closely with you to create and develop the right strategies and goals for you. Some of the anxiety disorders we specialize in include:
A common anxiety condition is panic disorder. It causes you to experience a sudden feeling of panic, terror, or loss of control, even when no danger is present. Panic disorder can be mild or severe and cause emotional and physical symptoms.
Also known as social phobia, social anxiety causes an uncontrollable fear of social settings and situations. This fear is often spurred by the thought that others are judging you or that you will somehow embarrass yourself. CBT for social anxiety helps you develop the tools to cope with stress before and during social situations so that you can lead a more full and enjoyable life.
Sometimes anxiety causes fear and avoidance of specific situations that can trigger fear, panic, helplessness, or embarrassment. This avoidance is called agoraphobia and sometimes becomes generalized to other situations, limiting your comfort zone. Being outside of your comfort zone could bring on feelings of claustrophobia, helplessness, and shame if you suffer from this condition. In severe cases, a person with Agoraphobia may be unable to leave their house.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, also known as GAD, causes consistent concern and stress over everyday things in your life, like your health, work, finances, or relationships. People with GAD find it difficult to control their worry and can suffer physical symptoms such as headaches, irritability and poor sleep. Individuals suffering from GAD may find it difficult to work or form meaningful relationships with others because of their constant worry.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, is driven by compulsion, intrusive thoughts, and obsessive behaviours. People with OCD may experience obsessions, compulsions or both. Obsessions are intrusive, unwanted thoughts, urges or images that cause a great deal of anxiety. Compulsions are repetitive behaviours that serve to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsessions. While some individuals with this condition manage symptoms with medication, most doctors recommend CBT for OCD.
Bordering on the symptoms of OCD, Health Anxiety mirrors some of this obsessive worry, with a single focus on health and medical conditions. Individuals suffering from Health Anxiety experience fear and constant worry about physical symptoms they may or may not be experiencing and the potential link to illness and disease.
Commonly referred to as PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition sparked by a past traumatic event or events. An individual with PTSD may have intrusive flashbacks of the event they experienced, and have intense physical reactions as a result. Avoidance of situations, people, thoughts or activities that can bring back memories of the past traumatic event(s) is also common. PTSD often includes nightmares, insomnia, depression, and panic attacks.
A phobia is the clinical term for a fear. Generally, these are uncontrollable and sometimes irrational fears. Phobias may affect your life by restricting you from attending events, working, or building relationships because of your fear.
This form of anxiety is above average but not yet meeting the levels of an anxiety disorder. As the name implies, subclinical anxiety generally refers to symptoms that do not reach a diagnostic threshold but that still affect your daily life. Cognitive behavioural therapy helps manage subclinical anxiety and reduces its chances of growing into a more complex anxiety disorder.
If you decide to undergo cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders, your therapist will ask you to prepare for your initial appointment by creating a list of things you want to work on and goals you would like to meet. This is an essential step of the process as it helps you pinpoint the areas of your life you would like to change and allows your therapist to see where you are struggling in your efforts to overcome anxiety.
Working one on one, you and your therapist will determine a plan of action to take on over the next 8 to 20 weeks of therapy. At your first meeting, you will introduce yourself and explain some of the issues you face at home, at work, with your family, in your romantic life, and in other important areas of your life. Throughout your following meetings, you will take your plan one step at a time and carefully craft a selection of coping mechanisms you can use long after therapy is over.
If you are interested in learning more about CBT for anxiety disorders, the Cognitive & Interpersonal Therapy Centre is here to help. We invite you to reach out through our contact page or by calling 1-416-570-5050.