Below are the answers to some common questions we receive about the treatments we offer at The Anxiety Clinic. You can learn more about these from your therapist.
What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) ?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) generally refers to the use of cognitive (example: ways we think to help us cope with anxiety) and behavioural (example: learning to approach anxiety-provoking but non-harmful situations) techniques to help individuals with anxiety disorders. A hallmark of CBT is its emphasis on collaboration between a therapist and client, both of whom bring their own expertise and take an active role in the treatment process. Cognitive behavioural approaches for treating anxiety are diverse but usually involve exposure (see below). Aside from exposure, other common elements found in behaviour and cognitive behavioural therapies include: psychoeducation, relaxation, and cognitive strategies.
Psychoeducation involves learning about the components of anxiety and learning how to distinguish between problematic and non-problematic anxiety, how to monitor levels of anxiety across situations, and eventually overcome problematic anxiety.
Relaxation entails learning how to relax through breathing exercises or by progressive muscle relaxation.
Cognitive strategies involve learning how to identify negative thoughts and change one’s thinking in order to change how one feels about an anxiety-provoking situation.
CBT also involves discussion about how to maintain new gains and skills, so the individual can continue to benefit from these skills after treatment ends. CBT has been found to be effective in the treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with anxiety disorders.
What is Dialetical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) ?
The main goals of DBT are to teach people how to live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, and improve their relationships with others.
DBT can help people who have difficulty with emotional regulation or are exhibiting self-destructive behaviours. DBT is sometimes used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Mindfulness skills help you slow down and focus on using healthy coping skills when you are in the midst of emotional pain. The strategy can also help you stay calm and avoid engaging in automatic negative thought patterns and impulsive behaviour.
What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) ?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) encourages people to embrace their thoughts and feelings rather than fighting or feeling guilty for them. It is a type of therapy that aims to help patients accept what is out of their control, and commit instead to actions that enrichen their lives.
ACT develops psychological flexibility and is a form of behavioural therapy that combines mindfulness skills with the practice of self-acceptance. When aiming to be more accepting of your thoughts and feelings, commitment plays a key role. In the case of ACT, you commit to facing the problem head-on rather than avoiding your stresses. Imagine committing to actions that help you facilitate your experience and embrace any challenge.
What is Cognitive Hypnotherapy ?
Cognitive hypnotherapy (CH), rooted in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with the addition of hypnosis, focuses on the ways in which individuals think and act in specific circumstances, and how emotional and behavioural problems may be overcome.
CH is a psychodynamic therapy that focuses on the unconscious mind and targets implicit or automated processes (thoughts and feelings) no longer consciously perceived.
While in trance the therapist attempts to address the subject’s unconscious mind; selective thinking of positive thoughts is established, substituting former judgemental cognitions with helpful ones.
What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) ?
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a technique used to provide clients with the tools to overcome certain life obstacles. NLP is in short, a way of helping people help themselves to reach a state of excellence, happiness and peace of mind.
NLP is a learning model devised by two American academics (Dr Richard Bandler and John Grinder) in the early 70s, who were fascinated by the relationship between language behaviour and excellence. They believed that by analysing the unconscious linguistic techniques used by successful people, they could produce ‘a recipe for excellence’ in which other people could consciously learn to apply said ‘successful techniques’.
Neuro – All of our experience is gained from the neurological processes that govern our five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight and sound.
Linguistic – We make sense of these experiences through a set of filters, including language. The language we use can also affect the way we experience things.
Programming – This is a way of controlling the outcome of something. A person can use NLP to ‘predetermine excellence’ by adjusting the language we use.