Can Therapy Actually Help Me Reduce My Anxiety?

YES! The very short answer to this question is yes, therapy absolutely will help to reduce anxiety symptoms. Experiencing heightened levels of anxiety is distressing and needs to be taken seriously. Put these concerns into the hands of a trained mental health professional. Therapy is that safe space for an individual to get the support they need. It’s a space where treatment is curated specifically to the individual, their symptoms, their goals, and what works best for their personality as well. In this blog post, we are going to explore why therapy is the most powerful tool in reducing anxiety symptoms and promoting mental well-being. So, yes, therapy can actually help you reduce anxiety and here is how:

Therapy is a Safe Space

One of the fundamental aspects of therapy that makes it so effective in treating anxiety is the safe and non-judgmental space it provides. A therapist provides a confidential and non-judgmental environment. This allows the client to explore their anxiety, the causes of it, how it presents for them, and identify patterns. The safety of the space allows for the client to be open and expressive. This in turn can facilitate a deeper understanding, validation, and compassion. These are three essential tools to have before the client can then work to reduce the intensity and frequency of their symptoms. 

Awareness

Therapy encourages people to identify external triggers that exacerbate their anxiety symptoms. Through introspection and guided discussions, therapists can help the client recognize internal thought patterns that might be perpetuating the symptoms of anxiety. With the gained awareness about how the outside world and the client’s internal world is impacting the anxiety symptoms, the therapist and client can then work toward change.

Interventions

A licensed therapist undergoes training to learn the most effective tools for treating anxiety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on identifying and challenging negative thought patterns and replacing them with more constructive ones. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy offers coping skills to help clients tolerate distress more effectively. It also discusses mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation. Exposure Response Prevention exposes the client to what they are fearful of. This helps to interrupt compulsions that might heighten anxious thoughts. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy provides tools to relate differently to thoughts. This allows the client to ground themselves in a life that they value. These are just a few of the treatment modalities that a therapist will pull from when creating a treatment plan that meets the needs of the client.

Tracking Progress

Therapy provides a place for the client to be aware of their mental health. This can serve as a reminder for how far they’ve come. The therapy time is all about the client. It is common for check-ins to occur to evaluate how the treatment is going. The therapist will reflect on the progress that has been made toward treatment goals. This tracking can be motivating for the client. It recognizes how hard the client has been working therapeutically and encourages them to continue.

Long-Term Benefit

The benefits of therapy for anxiety management extend beyond the short-term. People who engage in therapy often report improved overall well-being, enhanced relationships, and a greater connection to themselves and the life they’re living. Living a more content life will serve as a helpful backdrop if anxiety symptoms appear again in the future, and the client will already have tools in place and will have established care with a therapist to be able to address those symptoms quickly. 

On the journey to reduce anxiety, therapy stands as the most effective choice a client can make, offering a space for validation, compassion, self-exploration, identification of triggers, and the development of effective coping strategies. The transformative power of therapy lies in its ability to empower the client to make necessary changes for them to live a valued and fulfilling life. 

Article written by Nicole Bentley, LCSW

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