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6 Ways CBT Helps with Anxiety


It can be hard when anxiety shows up regularly in our lives, especially if you witness a loved one struggling with anxiety and lowered self-esteem. Modern lifestyles are busier and more globally connected than ever, which can have negative consequences on our kids. If you are looking for help finding mental health therapy for children or teens, CBT may be your answer.

What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a gentle psychological approach built on the assumption that the way people think and interpret events affects how they behave and feel.

Negative thoughts pop up to safeguard us from harm, but when those negative thoughts become habits, they can pop up automatically and stop us in our tracks, even for activities and experiences that are beneficial and rewarding. Every time this occurs it strengthens our mind’s negative reaction to our environment, depletes self-esteem and increases anxiety.

How does CBT work

CBT is a talking therapy that works to help people understand their thoughts and how thoughts influence emotions and behaviour. A therapist teaches clients to recognise the difference between helpful and unhelpful thoughts, as well as techniques to find calm and let go of negative or harmful ideas.

A solution-focused type of therapy can be easily adjusted to work effectively for children, adolescents as well as adults. Sessions are suitable for individuals, families and couples.

What can CBT help with

CBT is one of the most effective forms of therapy for anxiety. It has been proven to treat a wide range of anxiety issues including:

  • Generalised anxiety disorder

  • Panic disorder

  • Social anxiety disorder

  • Health anxiety

  • Phobias

  • O.C.D

  • P.T.S.D

  • Depression

  • Eating disorders

  • Anger and violent outbursts

  • Substance abuse

6 Ways CBT Helps With Anxiety

If you are looking for relief from general anxiety here are six ways CBT can help:

  1. Offers control and direction: One of the most crippling things about anxiety is being helpless when it strikes. CBT puts you back in the driver's seat of your emotions and reactions. You can learn how to change and manage your thoughts which will allow you to choose your emotional response and regain your self-confidence.

  1. Disrupts negative patterns: Negative patterns create negative outcomes and impact self-esteem, making you even more hesitant to try again next time. CBT kick starts small, positive patterns that initiate an upward path to believing in your ability and seeing results.

  1. Disengages emotions from events: It can often seem like situations are causing overwhelming emotions. The situation is actually neutral and safe. There is a silent partner in the mix - Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTS). When you identify your ants you can see a future where you can be in situations, even challenging situations, and be okay. Controlling a situation is impossible- but managing your ANTS is easy. Learning this step is a power booster for anxiety sufferers.

  1. Enables rational thoughts: It’s hard to see logic and make a good decision when you are flooded with anxiety. CBT therapy will teach techniques to quiet your mind and ask questions that show up the irrational thoughts and help you seek better outcomes.

  1. Starts self-affirming beliefs: Unwanted negative thoughts can become a personal attack; ‘I can't cope. I can’t do this, it’s too much’. CBT can teach you strategies to stop damaging thoughts and replace them with evidence of how loved and capable you are.

  1. Encourages better outcomes: When we expect different outcomes, we open ourselves to positive and rewarding possibilities, solutions and strategies that allow different outcomes to occur.

While you need the guidance and experience of a professional, trained CBT therapist to lead the way, once you have the tools for identifying and changing your ANTs you can use and apply these techniques to any situation you come up against at any time in life.

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