Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints and rumination. Anxiety disorders include obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder (PD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder/social phobia, and specific phobias, such as fear of the outdoors (agoraphobia) or confined spaces (claustrophobia).
Anxiety disorders can severely impair a person’s functioning in work, family and social environments.
Two common forms of psychotherapy utilized for treatment of anxiety disorders are:
- Behavioral therapy – It examines how you behave and react in situations that trigger anxiety. The therapist will help the patient to combat undesirable behaviors which often come hand in hand with anxiety
- Cognitive therapy – It examines how negative thoughts, orcognitions, contribute to anxiety. The therapist helps the patient to adapt his or her problematic thought patterns into those which are healthier.
Other forms of psychotherapy, include emotion-based psychotherapy (EBT), psychodynamic therapy, or “talk” therapy, deal more with the roots of anxiety and usually, although not always, require longer treatments. They include interpersonal therapy, supportive psychotherapy, attention intervention, and psychoanalysis.
Treatment needs to be tailored to the needs of the patient and to the type of disorder, or disorders, from which the individual suffers. The psychotherapist and patient should work together to assess whether a treatment plan seems to be on track. Anxiety disorders are chronic and recurrence is common, even after successful short-term therapy. Some patients with anxiety disorders may require long-term or intensive therapy of at least a year or 50 sessions.