Individuals with various anxiety disorders have the tendency to misinterpret events in the following manner: they fixate on perceived dangers and threats, they overestimate the severity of the perceived dangers or threats, and they utterly underestimate their ability to cope with the perceived dangers and threats.
These anxiety-provoking thoughts interfere with an individual’s optimal functioning and in turn generate a vicious cycle where they avoid adaptive behaviours that can minimize or diminish anxiety. For example, an individual who fears public speaking because they think that they are “such an incompetent public speaker” sabotages their presentation as a result of this type of cognitive distortion. They then decide to avoid public speaking all together.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy integrates behavioural approaches, such as exposure techniques, with cognitive restructuring techniques, such as positive coping-self statements. Exposure involves gradually facing fears by developing adaptive behaviours beginning with small, easy steps. Cognitive techniques assist the person reframe anxious thoughts in a more confident manner, which results in assertive and adaptive behaviours.
Learning and practicing these strategies with a therapist has been proven to effectively empower individuals across all ages with anxiety disorders to gain control of their fears, which essentially reduces the emotional impact that maladaptive thinking patterns can bring into being.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to Hanit at [email protected] for a free consultation on how you can best benefit from CBT.
Stop hurting start living
As a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) therapist, Hanit adheres to the main principal of the CBT modality.