CBT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Is the most widely-used therapy for anxiety disorders. Continuing research is showing it to be effective in the treatment of panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, and general anxiety disorder, in addition to numerous other conditions.

CBT addresses harmful patterns and distortions in the way we look at the world and ourselves. As the name suggests, this involves two main components:

Cognitive therapy examines how negative thoughts, or cognitions, contribute to anxiety.

Behavior therapy examines how you behave and react in situations which trigger anxiety.

The basic premise of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is that our thoughts - not external events -affect the way we feel. In other words, it’s not the situation you’re in that determines how you feel, but your perception of that situation. For example; imagine that you’ve just been invited to a big party. Consider three different ways of thinking about the invitation, and how those thoughts would affect your emotions.

Facing a fear of flying

Step 1: Look at photos of planes.

Step 2: Watch a video of a plane in flight.

Step 3: Watch real planes take off.

Step 4: Book a plane ticket.

Step 5: Pack for your flight.

Step 6: Drive to the airport.

Step 7: Check in for your flight.

Step 8: Wait for boarding.

Step 9: Get on the plane.

Step 10: Take the flight.