Anxiety is a commonly occurring mental health problem that affects millions of people worldwide. While medication can be helpful in managing symptoms , the effectiveness of psychotherapy London has allowed it to emerge as a leading treatment option for anxiety. We will discuss how the psychotherapeutic treatment of anxiety has developed over time and the different approaches that are currently employed within the world of healthcare.
The psychotherapeutic treatment of anxiety has a long and varied history. Early approaches focused on treating anxiety through hypnosis and suggestion. Following this , as the field of psychology developed, new approaches emerged. The work of Sigmund Freud and the general development of psychoanalysis led to the understanding that anxiety is often caused by unconscious conflicts and repressed emotions.
In the mid-20th century, behavioral approaches towards treating anxiety emerged. These approaches emphasised the changing of a person’s behavior through exposure and response prevention. Exposure therapy involves gradually exposing a person to their feared object or situation in a controlled environment, while response prevention involves preventing the person from engaging in their typical response to the fear (safety behaviours). This type of therapy has been particularly effective for phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
In the 1960s and 1970s , cognitive approaches towards treating anxiety began to gain popularity. These approaches focused on changing a person’s thoughts and beliefs about their anxiety or other relevant aspects such as their environment or future. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most well-known cognitive approaches to treating anxiety. CBT is a general umbrella term for various cognitive and behavioural approaches. Beckian Cognitive Therapy involves identifying and changing negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute towards anxiety whilst subsequently replacing them with more positive and realistic ones. CBT has been shown to be effective for a wide range of anxiety disorders, including generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder.
In recent years, mindfulness-based approaches have become increasingly popular for the treatment of anxiety and have been included within the remit of CBT . Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental way in order to change the relationship with experiences such as thoughts (instead of challenging the thoughts themselves) and has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. Mindfulness – based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy ( MBCT ) are two examples of mindfulness-based approaches that have been shown to be effective for a range of problems including anxiety.
Today, many of the mental health interventions that are used by therapists in London, which are aimed towards treating anxiety are integrative, meaning they combine different approaches and techniques. For example, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an integrative approach that combines mindfulness with behavioral and cognitive techniques. ACT focuses on accepting anxiety as a natural part of life , and using mindfulness and other techniques to cope with it in a healthy way. It must be noted that ACT is commonly understood to be an extension of CBT. Some of the best therapists in London understand this and emphasise ACT in their psychotherapeutic practice.
All in all, while medicine may be beneficial, the psychotherapeutic treatment of anxiety has advanced greatly over time, and for individuals who would prefer not to take medication or who have not seen enough benefit from. medication alone, psychotherapy offers a less intrusive and effective alternative.