As anyone with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) will attest, even simple tasks, like going through a grocery checkout line, can be all but insurmountable. Fortunately, treatment centers for anxiety disorders provide multiple opportunities for someone suffering from GAD to get relief and their disorder under control. Here is a rundown of the most common form of treatment: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT.
The goal of CBT is to reduce anxiety via coping mechanisms. What is recommended or taught depends on the patient’s description of symptoms, their medical history, observations by friends and family and observation by the CBT therapist. The therapy targets various symptoms, including those that are physical, cognitive and behavioral.
Treatment Plan Development
Your therapist will work with you and provide input into a treatment plan. It will include observations they made on their own as well as observations included in your medical history and submitted by the various mental health professionals you have seen. Your input is included in the development of the plan.
Depending on the severity of your disorder, the plan will cover multiple contingencies. It will last about 15 sessions of 60 minutes. You will have to actively monitor the plan with your therapist and modify it if certain treatment tactics are not effective.
Other Contributing Factors
How your treatment plan is implemented largely depends on whether you are dealing with other mental or physical health challenges. Additionally, other medications you take are factored in as are other forms of therapy. In the event of a conflict, your therapist will work with other mental health professionals, including yours, to develop a plan that attains the goals you desire but also resolves the conflict.
Like many CBT approaches, you will have homework. These include trying different types of therapy and coping mechanisms so you can identify what will be the most successful. Your homework will function in two ways:
Self-Observation – You will be asked to observe your own behaviors and the environmental factors that are present when your disorder kicks in or is acute.
Self-Monitoring – This takes observation to another level. With observation, you are expected to take note of various components that affect your condition. Monitoring actually takes note of everything involved, including your feelings and reactions.
The treatment you will undergo includes, as mentioned, coping mechanisms. These will help reduce the physical symptoms of GAD. You will also role-play to learn tools you can use in various situations.
The hope at treatment centers for anxiety disorders is that CBT will work in coordination with your medication to relieve the symptoms of GAD and to allow you to function normally.