Anxiety can keep you from participating in life. Worry and fear may keep you in the house, or fill you with dread as you navigate everyday situations at school, work, or social events.
You may even suffer from severe panic attacks that seem like heart attacks. Does this sound like you? While having anxiety can be scary, there is hope.
At Bowman Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California, we treat patients with mild to severe anxiety. One of the most effective psychotherapy treatments we offer is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Learn more about this successful solution and how it can help you manage anxiety.
What is cognitive behavioral therapy?
CBT is a type of psychotherapy, or talk therapy, that helps improve quality of life for anxiety sufferers. It helps you think, behave, and react differently to triggering situations. If you have anxiety, it can help you recognize the feeling and teach you coping skills.
CBT is one of the most widely used methods of treating a variety of anxiety disorders. It’s effective for:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety
- Panic disorder
CBT has two parts:
- Cognitive therapy looks at the way negative thoughts contribute to your anxiety.
- Behavioral therapy explores how you react to situations or things that trigger your anxiety.
How does it work?
Basically, cognitive behavioral therapy teaches you coping skills so you can change your thoughts and behaviors.
For example, you may feel uncomfortable about going to a party because you think that you’re awkward or that everyone will be staring at you.
Through CBT, you can learn how to address these thoughts and change your reaction when you’re invited to a party the next time. You may even be able to attend a party, which is a positive change in behavior.
The skills you learn with CBT can be used in any situation, not just parties. CBT can help turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts so that you don’t feel worried, stressed, or anxious. We know this is easier said than done, which is why we’re here to help you.
Three steps to cognitive behavioral therapy
These are the three steps that you learn to carry out in cognitive behavioral therapy:
1. Identify your negative thoughts
In this step, our expert psychiatrists work with you to help identify your negative thoughts about something and understand why it’s causing you anxiety.
2. Challenge those negative thoughts
Now, we explore your feelings about the issue and look at the facts surrounding it.
Using the example of going to a party, we explore why you feel a certain way and try to assess whether it's true. For example, why do you feel awkward at parties? Did something happen to make you feel this way?
3. Replace the negative thoughts with positive, more realistic ones
We then help you turn your thoughts around so you have less anxiety. For example, instead of thinking you're awkward and want to avoid parties, perhaps you could think that people invite you to parties because they enjoy your company.
You don’t have to manage your anxiety alone
Everyone is different, so there’s no way to know how many sessions of CBT you’ll need to help with your anxiety. Sometimes, negative thoughts are deep-rooted and take a while to uncover and work through.
Either way, we’re committed to working with you and helping you manage your anxiety so you can have a better quality of life.
Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our trusted mental health specialists at Bowman Medical Group by calling 310-982-7003.