Anxiety Counseling and Psychotherapy
In the course or any type of anxiety treatment, psychotherapy is a critical component. An anxiety therapist uses anxiety therapy to help with anxiety by discovering the root of the problem and developing tools to deal with its symptoms.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be particularly useful in anxiety counseling and is probably the most used by an anxiety therapist.
The cognitive part helps people change the thinking patterns that support their fears, and the behavioral part helps people change the way they react to anxiety-provoking situations.
For example, CBT can help people with panic disorder learn that their panic attacks are not really heart attacks and help people with social phobia learn how to overcome the belief that others are always watching and judging them.
There are many other types of psychotherapy that are effective in treating anxiety disorders, including interpersonal therapy, supportive-expressive therapy, narrative therapy, and psychodynamic therapy.
Additionally, there are some other lesser known therapies. such as dance therapy, EMDR, and body-oriented approaches.
Anxiety Treatment and Body-oriented Psychotherapies
An approach to psychotherapy that has been beneficial in anxiety counseling is one of a number of body-oriented psychotherapies.
Body-oriented psychotherapies incorporate a range of massage, bodywork and movement techniques into the psychotherapeutic process. Body-oriented psychotherapy has also been used successfully to treat PTSD in war veterans and women recovering from sexual abuse.
In one study, 31 women were divided into two groups, one of which had regular psychotherapy sessions while the second group had individual body-oriented therapy sessions with a type of therapy called “Mindful Awareness in Body-oriented Therapy” (MABT). MABT is a mind-body approach that incorporates massage, mindfulness, and the emotional processing of psychotherapy. Those who participated in the MABT experienced pain relief, relaxation, and increased feelings of trust and safety.
Anxiety Counseling and Dance Therapy
Dance therapy, sometimes called “movement therapy,” is a holistic approach to psychiatric disorders, incorporating an array of medical, psychological, social, and spiritual concerns.
Dance therapy, with its unique emphasis on nonverbal communication in assessment and treatment, is an innovative therapeutic approach to address the needs of people with anxiety disorders in anxiety counseling.
Dance therapy has reduced anxiety in a variety of settings, including breast cancer patients, substance abusers, and torture survivors. In a study using dance therapy with breast cancer survivors who had mastectomies, the use of dance and movement in a therapy setting significantly reduced anxiety and produced a feeling of well-being. In addition, dance therapy helped the women in the study address their fear of death and grief over multiple losses, including anxiety over bodily disfigurement, and worry about alienation from others.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of therapy intended to treat anxiety, stress, and trauma utilized by an anxiety therapist. It is based on principles originated in Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Research has found that EMDR is effective for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although some clinicians may use EMDR for other psychiatric problems, most of the research has been done in the area of traumatic life experiences.
As mentioned above, CBT has been shown to be a very effective anxiety counseling treatment. CBTs premise is that our thoughts and deeply held assumptions and beliefs influence our emotions and perceptions. However, CBT does not address the deeper questions of consciousness and the self that are found in psychological approaches that are transpersonal, When is is used with transpersonal psychotherapy, CBT can be much more effective.