“If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.”
– E. Joseph Cossman
Moving toward (not away) from what you fear, worry about, or avoid — this is the cornerstone of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) treatment for panic (and panic with agoraphobia or avoidance), social anxiety, worries, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This well-proven, highly effective treatment feels like the opposite of what almost everyone is inclined to do, which is why people are often wrong when following their gut instincts about how to end anxiety.
We often hear, “First, I want to feel better and then I can do these things I fear doing or worry about.” When the client is a child, we hear from parents how they’ve tried to focus on helping their child feel better first, often unwittingly making the anxiety disorder worse. It’s logical to focus on feeling better first, but this is completely out of sync with the state of the science about what works in treating the anxiety disorders discussed on this page.
The science says that recovery from panic, social anxiety, worry, and PTSD requires moving toward the fear, which should occur following a thorough diagnostic process and be based on a well-crafted treatment plan. It’s important to have a rationale, a hierarchy of anxiety triggers, and actions to follow. It’s also important to work with an expert you trust.
Collaborating with our clients and developing specific plans for exposure, we use in-office, in vivo (real-life settings), imaginal, and prolonged exposure techniques to address the anxiety disorders listed here. CBT universally expects effort from participants, which is why practice must extend beyond what occurs with a treatment provider. Effort outside of sessions is essential to recovery.
Facing fears, moving toward worries, and allowing fear-based thoughts while focusing on actions that are in keeping with treatment goals are all included in treatment. This self-paced, effortful, and effective treatment will reduce, and possibly eliminate, anxiety symptoms.
OUR SERVICES FOR ANXIETY DISORDERS INCLUDE
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (including in vivo, imaginal, and prolonged exposure techniques), Individual and group therapy, Mindfulness-based approaches, Parent and family training.