Psychotherapy is a behavior therapy where the person and the counselor build a trusting relationship and work through various issues by talking through them based on varying approaches.
There are various types of psychotherapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) etc.
Not all mental illnesses respond to a particular psychotherapy in the same way and the selection of particular therapy based on the symptoms, treatment history, and the goals expected from the therapy.
Adding a psychotherapy suitable for your anxiety symptoms can help in improving the treatment outcomes and the benefits might last longer.
What are the different kind of behavior therapies available for the treatment of Anxiety?
Various types of behavior therapies are available to help people struggling with anxiety symptoms.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy particularly beneficial. These therapies can teach you how to overcome anxiety.
When to use cognitive behavior therapy for the treatment of anxiety?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy. CBT is typically conceptualized as a short-term, skills-focused treatment aimed at altering maladaptive emotional responses by changing the patient’s thoughts,behaviors, or both.
CBT, is a common type of talk therapy that for some people can work as well or better than medication to treat anxiety. A large amount of research has accumulated on the efficacy and effectiveness of CBT for anxiety disorders including post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobia.
The two most commonly used CBT methods used to treat anxiety disorders are exposure and cognitive therapy.
In treating anxiety disorders, cognitive therapy is most often used in conjunction with behavioral techniques, which may include exposure exercises. Cognitive therapy is typically time-limited to about 20 sessions or less, and is problem-focused on the issues the patient identifies as of primary concern.
Exposure-based techniques are some of the most commonly used CBT methods used in treating anxiety disorders. Exposure can take several forms including imaginal, in vivo (in real life), and interoceptive. Imaginal exposure occurs when the patient vividly imagines the feared situation/consequences and does not avoid their subsequent anxiety. In general, exposure therapy is of limited duration and is typically completed in about 10 sessions.
CBT often requires only 10 to 20 sessions.
The sessions provide opportunities to identify situations that may be triggering or contributing to your anxiety. You might identify current patterns of thinking leading to anxiety along with your therapist.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials Randomized placebo-controlled trials indicates that CBT is efficacious for adult anxiety disorders.
Is CBT self-directed therapy?
If you’ve wanted to try CBT for anxiety or depression but aren’t able to see a CBT therapist, you may not need to. Many studies have found that self-directed CBT can be very effective.
Self-directed CBT was generally recommended as a therapy option for individuals with mild-to-moderate anxiety.
When to use Dialectical Behavior Therapy(DBT) for the treatment of Anxiety?
DBT is a specific form of CBT which focuses to help people who have extreme emotional reactions. The aim of DBT is the tone down the intensity of persons reactions and guide them to interact with the environment around them in a healthier and less emotional way.
DBT often is the most effective therapy for those who struggle with self-harm behaviors like cutting and chronic suicidal ideation.
The main focus of DBT are the social and emotional aspects of daily life. Besides one-on-one counseling sessions, DBT group therapy sessions are also available.
DBT focuses on helping people change their extreme behavior patterns, as opposed to trying to think or talk through the issues they are struggling with.
DBT relies on the mindfulness skills used in Buddhism. DBT guides patients to use specific mindfulness techniques to learn to live with pain in the world and accept how things are instead of suffering by trying to change them.
Differential Role of CBT Skills, DBT Skills and Psychological Flexibility in Predicting Depressive versus Anxiety Symptom Improvement Study emphasizes that the development of DBT skills and the cultivation of psychological flexibility may prove beneficial for the amelioration of anxiety symptoms.
When can one go for Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) for the treatment of Anxiety?
Rational-emotive behavioral therapy is a comprehensive, multimodal, active-directive and relatively brief form of psychotherapy.
REBT approach helps to identify irrational beliefs and negative thought patterns that may lead to emotional or behavioral issues.
Once you identify these patterns, a therapist can help you develop strategies to replace them with more rational thought patterns.
CBT and REBT approaches work to help you accept and change irrational thoughts that cause anxiety. But REBT puts a little more emphasis on the acceptance part.
REBT method can be beneficially directed toward addressing both irrationalities in depressive thinking but also conditions that commonly coexist with depression such as anxiety, anger, panic, and an inappropriately low tolerance for frustration.
The effect of rational-emotive behavior therapy on anxiety and resilience in students REBT was effective in students as it reduced anxiety and increased resilience.
How can Acceptance and Commitment Therapy help in the Treatment of anxiety?
ACT has been identified by the American Psychological Association as an empirically supported treatment for depression, mixed anxiety disorders, psychosis, chronic pain, and obsessive–compulsive disorder.
The ACT therapist would teach the patient new ways of being with anxiety, such as simply noticing it for what it is (a cluster of thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations), opening up to experiencing anxiety as it is (as an ongoing stream of shifting thoughts, feelings and sensations), letting go of efforts to control or avoid experiencing anxiety (and thus reducing the high cost of such efforts), and learning to re-engage in avoided yet personally valued activities, even in the presence of unwanted anxiety.
The focus on pursuing valued behavior and changing one’s relationship to anxiety, from struggle to acceptance, has the paradoxical effect of reducing anxiety disorder symptoms, to the same extent or more than traditional, cognitive behavioral approaches, as suggested by large randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of ACT for anxiety disorders.
ACT differs from traditional cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) by trying to teach people to better control their thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories and other private events. ACT teaches them to just notice, accept, and embrace their private events, especially previously unwanted ones.
If you are capable of self improvement, and can fight yourself it is better to use CBT. If you can’t fight yourself, then use ACT.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: A Transdiagnostic Behavioral Intervention for Mental Health and Medical Conditions – ACT represents a promising way to meet the heterogeneous needs and treatment preferences of patients with a broad range of problems, including mental health, medical, behavioral, and co-occurring mental and physical health symptoms.