THERAPY FOR ANXIETY
I utilize very similar cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques for anxiety as I use for treating depression. The main difference between people with depression and people with anxiety is that the latter often get caught up in “what if….” thoughts which are a form of catastrophic thinking. They are not focusing on optimistic thoughts like “What if… I win the lottery?” or “What if I find the love of my life?” These two thoughts typically don’t generate anxiety as much as, perhaps, excitement. Both excitement and anxiety can look very similar from a physiological standpoint, but often the experience of it is very different in terms of outlook.
The outlook of a person who is experiencing anxiety is often pessimistic or fearful. What I do is I try to help them create a new mindset and induce different types of thought patterns that may interrupt their catastrophic thinking. I think of it as helping them get back on the path to rationality.
The idea of cognitive behavioral therapy is for us to be able to make a firm and quick correction, get our thinking back on the firm pavement and not roll over in the ditch. I’ll use that example often to explain that I am trying to equip my clients with skills to help them get back on the road.