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What is psychotherapy for anxiety disorders?

Psychotherapy involves talking with a trained mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or counselor, to discover what caused an anxiety disorder and how to deal with its symptoms.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Two therapeutic approaches that work well with anxiety are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT). Both of these behavioral approaches/methods are widely used and have been shown clinically effective in the treatment of anxiety. Cognitive Behavioralists encourage the examination of perceptions, thoughts and behaviors which are directly connected to our feelings, emotions and physical experiences. Through self-monitoring, identifying faulty thinking, challenging distorted thoughts and addressing defeating behaviors, the client can become more cognizant of his/her behaviors and work on changing the outcome. ACT focuses on acceptance, living a life in accordance with one's values, and living in the “here and now” by becoming more mindfully aware of one's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Certain types of psychotherapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy, are beneficial in treating anxiety disorders. In some situations, insight-oriented psychotherapy can also be helpful. All three approaches involve working with a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker, to understand the sources of anxiety and learn how to control symptoms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.