What Will Happen In Therapy Sessions For Anxiety?

If you struggle with anxiety, your doctor is likely to recommend that you see a therapist. Indeed, therapy is a helpful treatment for anxiety. However "therapy" is also a pretty broad term. Therapy can be used to treat all sorts of different conditions including PTSD to depression. As such, it may be helpful to review the specific types of therapy and therapeutic techniques a therapist might use for an anxiety patient, in particular.

Cognitive Therapy

Anxiety often starts with negative thoughts. For instance, you may know you have a speaking engagement coming up, and you grow anxious because you keep thinking about all of the things that could go wrong when you're speaking. Cognitive therapy is a type of therapy that teaches you to identify those negative thoughts and re-frame them, which thereby helps reduce your anxiety. Over time, you'll learn to notice the negative thoughts as soon as they creep in and put an end to them before you become anxious.

Mindfulness Techniques

Becoming more aware of your own thinking and thought processes can also help reduce anxiety. This is known as mindfulness. Your therapist may do some mindfulness exercises with you. For example, they may have you focus on your breathing when your thoughts start racing, or they may have you write about how your body is feeling when you start to panic. Becoming more aware of the body-mind connection helps you better control that connection. 

Self-Esteem Building Exercises

Sometimes anxiety stems from low self-esteem. Perhaps you don't have a lot of confidence in yourself or your ability to handle a potential situation, so you grow anxious about that situation. Working to improve your self-esteem can therefore help ease your anxiety. This is something that your therapist is likely to work with you on. They may have you write down things you're good at, positive affirmations, etc. Over time, you'll start believing in yourself even more, which will help manage your anxiety at its source.

Relaxation Techniques

Your therapist will likely also teach you some relaxation techniques you can rely on when anxiety creeps up in your daily life. These could be breathing exercises, or they may be specific mindfulness exercises. This way, while you're working on addressing the root of your anxiety via the methods above, you will also have a strategy for dealing with the overt symptoms. 

Now you have a better idea of what to expect during therapy for anxiety. Talk to a therapist or professional anxiety treatment service like BrainCore Therapy of Louisville if you have any further questions.