Anxiety, Fears & Phobias

Anxiety, Fears and Phobias

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most popular therapy for anxiety disorders. In clinical studies it has been shown to be effective in the treatment of panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, among many others.

CBT for anxiety addresses the negative patterns and thinking errors in the way we look at the world and ourselves. 

Cognitive therapy examines how negative thoughts contribute to anxiety.
Behaviour therapy looks at how you behave and react in situations that trigger anxiety.

Social Phobia/Anxiety is an anxiety disorder where the person thinks that others will judge them negatively ("they'll think I'm stupid" etc), and it is therefore at its worse when with other people.

The attention is mainly self-focussed and the person indulges in mind-reading, in that they think they know what others are thinking of them and they try to interpret every glance and expression to give a clue as to what the other person is thinking about them.

Avoidance of social situations is a direct result because they don't want to feel the uncomfortable physical sensations of anxiety.  They deny themselves the opportunity to learn that maybe the situation could have been OK and they could have handled it.

Safety behaviours are developed to help them cope with situations that can't be axvoided, such as having someone with them, avoiding eye contact, holding or fiddling with something, trying to hide or having an escape plan (e.g. sit by door or in aisle, make an excuse to leave early).  This all increases the self-focus.

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CBT for Social Phobia

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy looks at the cycle of Social Phobia and teaches them to challenge the unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, learn to control the focus of attention, and change the behaviour to something more constructive.

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder which is characterised by a fear of and often avoidance of places or situations that might cause you to panic, make you feel trapped or embarrassed.

It often starts after having one or more panic attacks which leads to fearing another attack and avoidance of the place where it happened.  This can then generalise to avoiding public transport, being in open or enclosed spaces, standing in line or being in a crowd. 

Safety behaviours then develop such as needing someone to accompany you when you go out.  The fear can be so overwhelming that you may feel unable to leave your home.

With CBT you can escape the trap of agoraphobia and live a more enjoyable life.

CBT for Agoraphobia

CBT addresses the unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviours that are associated with agoraphobia.  It offers the client new ways of dealing with difficult situations and the anxieties they cause.

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TRAUMATIC STRESS (PTSD): "Since our last session and the unbelievable thing you did with the EMDR I cannot believe how different I feel, it's truly amazing, for a few days after I questioned HOW it can work, in terms of the power of the mind etc, but then just started to relax about it and see I had achieved what I wanted to achieve which was to feel like ME again, relaxed, peaceful, happy yet strong enough to deal with life and its tests!! I feel like me again…THANK YOU."

Rachael Beeton, New Zealand Earthquake