Releasing the Chokehold: How Therapy Can Help With Anxiety Disorders

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Releasing the Chokehold: How Therapy Can Help With Anxiety Disorders

A semi-realistic illustration of a pink watering can watering a brain, representing therapy helping with anxiety.

It’s a vast understatement to say that dealing with an anxiety disorder can make your life more difficult. Anxiety affects every part of a person’s daily life, from everyday social interactions to workplace performance and relationships with loved ones.

Medication is often considered a first-line treatment for anxiety, but anxiety medication isn’t the only effective treatment. If medication isn’t working for you, you want to try something new, or you simply want to enhance the treatment you’re already receiving, therapy for anxiety can be a very effective resource.

There are several ways that therapy sessions can help people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and other types of anxiety. Here’s what you need to know!

Helps Identify Triggers & Fears

When a person has limited control over their anxiety or is unaware that they have it in the first place, anxiety symptoms seem to pop up out of nowhere, which can make it difficult to calm down in the moment. Therapy is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders because it’s a place to discuss these moments and explore why they might happen. Over time, speaking with a mental health professional can help people identify possible triggers that cause panic attacks and other anxiety symptoms. When these moments arise in the future, it becomes much easier to maintain control and get through the situation in a healthier way.

Fear is one of the most common symptoms of anxiety disorders, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent part of life. With help from a qualified mental health professional, you can identify and confront the root cause of fearful feelings in order to break free from its chokehold.

Teaches Coping Skills & Relaxation Techniques

Another reason therapy is a valuable resource for people with anxiety is that professionals teach useful de-stressing techniques, healthy coping mechanisms, and other essential emotional tools to reduce or diffuse anxiety. Especially for anxious patients, therapists often focus on specific mental relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, mindfulness, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation, to help alleviate intense feelings of worry or fear.

Customized to Each Person

Everyone is different, so treating anxiety disorders is never “one size fits all.” Because no two people experience anxiety the same way, many people dealing with anxiety find therapy effective because there are many types of therapy worth trying. This means that even if your first attempt at treatment isn’t helping you achieve your goals, you can find something different that works for you (see also: mental health vs. behavioral health).

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is the most widely used therapy for anxiety, but many professionals also utilize dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), exposure therapy, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), and psychodynamic therapy, among many other techniques. Some people prefer individualized therapy, while others benefit from attending an anxiety support group or a family therapy session.

Break Free From Anxiety

Is someone you love struggling with anxiety, or are you wrestling with this complex condition yourself? Get the tools you need to take back your life at Hope Springs Behavioral Health. Our compassionate team can connect you with a variety of resources for anxiety treatment and management, including CBT, DBT, individual and group therapy, and much more. Contact us today and start looking forward to a better future!