Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders in Toronto
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Therapy
Anxiety is characterized by excessive worry about a lot of things. It is the tendency to anticipate the worst case scenario is likely to happen and underestimating one’s own ability to cope with the anticipated problems. The primary goal of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is to decrease excessive worry and modify one’s beliefs about worry. Toronto clients will work on changing their tendency to overestimate threat and learn new strategies.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has been shown to be highly effective in treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder compared to other therapeutic interventions. People treated with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in Toronto have a higher likelihood of maintaining their gains after treatment is completed than those being treated with medication alone.
Social Anxiety Therapy
Social connection is important however for many people it triggers worry and fear. This may be caused by fear of being judged, criticised or rejected by others and perhaps include feelings of embarrassing oneself. Social anxiety affects many people at some point in their lives. Often people respond by experiencing a lot of distress or by avoiding important situations.
Many outcome studies have demonstrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to be one of the most effective approaches to overcoming social anxiety. Specific goals are collaboratively chosen to work on both during sessions and in tasks between sessions. For example goals could include socializing more comfortably, dating, delivering presentations, performing, networking and interviewing, improving self-confidence amongst others.
Someone from Toronto with Social Anxiety will experience certain social situations to be so anxiety provoking that they will either avoid them or endure them with significant distress. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for this type of anxiety involves reducing the number of situations that are avoided as well as changing the anxious thoughts that typically occur in these situations.
Therapy for ILLNESS ANXIETY DISORDER
Illness Anxiety Disorder is also known as Health Anxiety. In Ontario, many people live in fear of being seriously ill when no symptoms of the serious illness exist. Considerable time may be spent on internet research about health conditions. Reassurance from online research and visits with medical professionals may provide temporary relief but the fear returns. People in Toronto may make unnecessary visits to health professionals for many medical opinions and have unnecessary tests and procedures performed on themselves. Others with Illness Anxiety Disorder may avoid health care professionals and health-related information. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is the most effective treatment for people with health anxiety to learn to tolerate uncertainty about their health status and their physical sensations.
Panic Disorder Therapy
People with Panic Disorder experience recurring panic attacks which are a sudden surge of intense fear that triggers physical reactions when there is no danger or apparent cause. The physical sensations can include rapid heart rate, chest pain, sweating, shaking, dizziness, shortness of breath, a sense of doom, fear of losing control. The sensations can come on suddenly and at any time. People can make unnecessary visits to their doctor. Test results are typically negative.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can help reduce the intensity and frequency of panic attacks. It can help you understand that panic attacks and panic disorder are not dangerous. Treatment will demonstrate how to cope with panic attacks. Once the sensations of panic no longer feel threatening the panic attacks often resolve. Treatment can help you overcome your fears of situations you may be avoiding. Medications may help control symptoms associated with panic.
Commonly Asked Questions about Anxiety
What causes Anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are among the most debilitating psychological conditions experienced today by millions of people worldwide. There are no clear boundaries between normal and abnormal anxiety. A clinical anxiety disorder tends to be more exaggerated, unrealistic, intense, persistent and interfering with daily living than nonclinical anxiety states. The thought of imminent danger and fear is at the heart of all anxiety. Anxiety declines naturally if left alone. However, the way you think determines whether anxiety continues or declines. People with anxiety disorders tend to catastrophize or overestimate the likelihood and the intensity of threat and danger. Therefore catching and correcting your catastrophic thinking is an important strategy for reducing fear and anxiety.
How can Cognitive Behavior Therapy help with anxiety?
Cognitive Behevaior Therapy is an organized psychological treatment that teaches people how to change the thoughts and beliefs that play an important role in anxiety. The way we think influences the way we feel. Therefore changing how we think can change how we feel. The therapy focuses on everyday experiences to teach how to change your emotional thinking and beliefs by evaluating them and implementing action plans to reduce anxiety. Changing one’s thinking about anxiety is important. It is equally important to change your behaviour and act differently in response to anxiety. Behaviour change is an important part of cognitive therapy. One can consider cognitive therapy like a mental fitness training program for fear and anxiety.
How effective is CBT for anxiety disorders?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has been shown in dozens of scientific clinical outcome studies to be an effective treatment for many forms of anxiety disorders. Sixty to eighty percent of people with anxiety who complete a course of cognitive therapy (10 to 20 sessions) will experience a significant reduction in their anxiety. This is equivalent to or better than the effectiveness of medication alone. In many studies, cognitive behaviour therapy showed longer lasting improvement than medication alone. It is substantially more effective for anxiety than doing nothing at all or getting basic supportive counselling.
What about medication for anxiety?
Many people with an anxiety disorder start taking medication before they begin psychotherapy. Even if your medication has been effective in reducing your anxiety you may want some cognitive therapy to help with the return of anxiety once you stop taking medication. Cognitive therapy is designed to help you tolerate anxiety rather than avoid it and many medications eliminate anxiety or are used to avoid anxious feelings. eliminate anxiety or are used to avoid anxious feelings.
What does anxiety feel like?
On a physiological level anxiety may include muscle tension, queasiness, dry mouth, sweating or rapid heartbeat
Anxiety can impede your ability to deal with every day situations. Anxiety can be described as a state of apprehension and uneasiness in which you believe you can’t control future events. It is driven by “what if?” thinking.
When does anxiety strike?
Few of us can say we have never felt anxiety at some time in our lives. Anxiety seems to be a response to a vague or unrecognized danger. It tends to be out of proportion or unrealistic. Anxiety can come out of nowhere merely by thinking about a situation. Anxiety ranges in severity from person to person and in the same person from episode to episode. Fear is at the root of anxiety. People who have anxiety tend to overestimate the likelihood and the intensity of threat and danger.
Can anxiety cause pain?
The physical symptoms of anxiety are often the most disturbing feature of anxiety. Common physical symptoms of anxiety include increased heart rate, changes in breathing, chest pain or pressure, dizziness or light-headedness, sweating, chills, stomach problems, trembling, shaking, tingling or numbness, weakness, faintness, tense muscles, general feelings of jumpiness, restlessness, feeling keyed-up or dry mouth. Anxiety is part of a larger system in the body designed to respond to threats and danger. Anxiety may be triggered any time you think you are in danger even though you may not actually be in danger. Symptoms can change over time and across situations. People differ in how they tolerate anxiety. Many people come to fear the physical sensations of anxiety and respond quickly to avoid it at all costs.
Will anxiety pass?
Anxiety will decline naturally unless an anxious mind-set is activated which can ensure its maintenance. Focus on accepting your anxious state and let it decline naturally.
Where does anxiety come from?
There is no one primary cause for any of the anxiety disorders. Anxiety can be brought about by a variety of causes including heredity, your family background and upbringing, biology, recent stressors, your own self-talk, your ability to express feelings and other factors.Back
Memberships & Accreditations
Certified Cognitive Behaviour Therapist by the Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies
Certificate of completion of the Behaviour Therapy Training Institute for OCD 2017 offered by the International OCD Foundation Training Institute