Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (cbt) Effectively Alleviates Anxiety In Teens And Adults
Anxiety is a serious condition that affects the mind, the emotions and the body. Psychologists see it manifest in several forms: obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias and more. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is one of the most common subtypes of the affliction. Characterized by persistent worry, near-constant nervousness and tension, GAD can affect adults and teens. Because it is diffuse and not related to a particular situation such as a phobia, it impacts one's whole life, making normal life very difficult.
In spite of its imposing grip on one's life, there is a way out. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT for short, has proven to be extremely effective in helping people regain their normal sense of self. In the mid 1950s, Albert Ellis developed Rational Emotive Therapy as an alternative option to psychoanalysis. Origins of this forerunner to CBT reach back to the Stoic philosophers of Ancient Greece and Rome:
"Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them." - Epictetus
Ever since then, theorists and practitioners including Aaron Beck, Dr. Maxie Maultsby, Jr. and, more recently, Marsha Linehan have made crucial contributions to the method, helping to make it what it is today.
The aim of CBT is to help individuals recognize how their own negative thoughts - referred to as cognitions - fuel their anxiety, and to objectively examine how their behavior and situational responses set off their anxiety. Beliefs held, in some instances for a person's whole life, significantly impact how one sees the world. In general, those who are afflicted by anxiety hold irrational and/or unrealistic beliefs that must be supplanted before positive change can happen.
The therapy is broken up into two portions: cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. During the first section, the therapist helps the individual identify cognitive distortions, which are a type of assumption stemming from negative thoughts. For instance, if a person believes they will appear awkward and strange at a party (negative thought), he might mistakenly assume everyone will hate him as a result of his awkwardness. A prediction of the worst-case scenario and jumping to an irrational conclusion are the distortions resulting from the initial thought.
The basic outline is to identify negative thoughts, and to learn how to challenge them and replace them with positive ones. The last step can be very difficult, because the negativity might be reinforced by lifelong patterns. Because of these hardened belief systems and patterns of self-negating conduct, it's crucial that one actively take part in their therapy, which involves individual and group sessions as well as homework. CBT often demonstrates results after just a few months, but only if the individual works at it.
Healing depression isn't simply a matter of taking medication - that only masks the symptoms for a short period of time. Likewise, trying to motivate oneself to calm down or not get anxious is more difficult than it sounds, for the triggers of anxiety are usually deeply rooted in one's psyche. In addition to being a major disruptive force in daily life that impacts thoughts and emotions, anxiety can have physical implications as well. Tension, edginess, insomnia and stomach problems are quite common among people who suffer from anxiety issues.
People suffering from GAD have the same worries as other people, only theirs are more severe and largely inseparable from their daily lives. Psychologists can help people of all ages conquer this chronic disorder. The cognitive behavioral therapy will help a person recognize the relationship between his thoughts and behaviors and his anxiety. Together with a program of regular exercise and relaxation techniques like meditation, it's possible to see the world in a whole new, positive light.
by: Stephen Daniels