Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most researched and recognized treatment for Anxiety Disorders, with countless scientific studies showing its benefits. CBT is a form of treatment that works to challenge faulty cognition and negative self beliefs, which, when paired with behavioral therapy, can help us see our thoughts and feelings more rationally. Often times, it is precisely these negative beliefs and intrusive thoughts that lead us to engage in compulsions, therefore addressing and challenging negative beliefs is a fundamental piece of our treatment strategy.
Exposure and Response Prevention
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) refers to the act of exposing ourselves to the unwanted thoughts and feelings we experience in anxiety disorders. By actively facing our fears, we begin to teach our mind that what it once thought was a horrifying situation, might really be tolerable after all, and that with time, our experience of anxiety will decrease on its own. With the guidance and experience of their therapist, clients will create a hierarchy of feared scenarios and begin the scary but highly beneficial task of working through their fears. Exposures can be done in the office, in the clients home through online therapy, or in an agreed upon outside location. Always done with the utmost respect for the client, exposures are meant to be challenging but not overwhelming to the point of feeling 'flooded.'
Borrowing the wisdom of eastern traditions, Mindfulness teaches us accept the present moment and all that it entails, including unwanted thoughts, feelings and sensations, without judgement or an intention to change what is. Not only limited to meditation, Mindfulness and Acceptance tools can help us respond better to the pain of having an anxiety disorder, and can enhance our ability to tolerate that which we cannot control in all aspects of our life. Studies have repeatedly shown the benefits of Mindfulness based practices and therapies in the treatment of anxiety disorders.