Psychotherapies for anxiety

There are a number of different therapies available

Therapy has a great track record in helping people manage their anxiety. Therapy is delivered by a qualified and registered psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist or counsellor. There are a number of different types of therapy available for you to consider and discuss with others. Seek out expert advice.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

  • Sometimes called talking therapy

  • The therapist and client work together collaboratively to understand the problem and develop a strategy

  • The focus is the present, with less emphasis placed on delving into the past

  • The goal is to explore unhelpful thinking styles/behaviours and make efforts to change them

  • You are encouraged to become your own therapist through self help applying a range of learned coping and problem-solving skills. The aim is to make you more resourceful and more effective in managing your life

  • Commonly used for anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, alcohol and drug addiction, family and marital issues

Cognitive Processing Therapy

  • CPT is a specific variation of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and is often used to address trauma and PTSD

  • Here you are encouraged to challenge and moderate unhelpful beliefs related to a trauma event, in order to gain a healthier perspective

  • You learn to process the trauma using new skills that will help you question and modify your thinking. and emotional response

  • CPT is usually run over a fixed course of 12 sessions

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

  • DBT is a further variation of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and is typically used when people are experiencing intense emotions

  • DBT helps clients to recognise and moderate their unhelpful thought processes while accepting who they are 

  • You learn to regulate your emotions and develop greater tolerance of distress

  • Typically offered for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), anxiety, eating disorders, alcohol and drug addiction

Exposure Therapy

  • Exposure therapy exposes the client to the situation or object of their fear

  • Through careful repeated exposure, the client gains greater control and confidence

  • In this way exposure therapy can break a pattern of avoidance and fear

  • You learn to attach new, more realistic beliefs about feared objects, activities or situations

  • Commonly used to treat Phobias, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • Exposure therapy is sometimes combined with CBT

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) adopts a mindfulness approach helping clients embrace their emotions and issues

  • The aim is to help the client recognise that their current pattern of thinking may be damaging to them

  • The therapist encourages the client to accept their feelings and experiences, and then shift their perspective to something they value more and are willing to strive for

  • The client develops a long term goal and vision for the future based on what is important to them

  • Beneficial for anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders and addiction

Interpersonal Therapy

  • Interpersonal therapy (IP) focuses on social relationships and interpersonal issues

  • The client with help from the therapist explores their relationships, examining identifiable conflicts and issues 

  • The goal is to better understand the issues, learn how to make adjustments and apply them

  • The client will learn how to recognise and manage their emotions  

  • Used to address depression and anxiety disorders related to people, for example Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

Psychoanalytical and Psychodynamic Therapy

  • These related therapies seek to bring about deep-rooted change

  • They explore how your unconscious thoughts formed in early life might affect your current behaviours and thinking

  • You are encouraged to increase your awareness of your inner self by examining your thoughts, fears, and desires 

  • Usually this form of therapy is a deeply intensive process

  • Has been found effective for anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders and addiction

Behavioural Modification Therapy

  • Behavioural modification therapy is closely related to CBT

  • It seeks to change someone's behaviour by applying a range of motivational techniques

  • The first step is to pinpoint the behaviours requiring change 

  • The therapy uses positive and negative reinforcement to shift these behaviours

  • Over time this therapy aims to replace undesirable behaviours with more desirable ones

  • Beneficial for anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD and addiction

Solution-Focused Therapy

  • Solution-focused therapy seeks to build a solution rather than solve a problem

  • This therapy is less interested in the past and more interested in the present and future

  • The therapist will draw on your own strengths, abilities and future hopes

  • You will be encouraged to build a vision of the future and forge realistic goals

  • A humanistic therapy that encourages self-development, personal growth and accountability

  • Beneficial for a range of anxiety disorders, eating disorders and addiction