At Shift Cognitive Therapy we use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to teach anxiety sufferers to overcome the thoughts and behaviours that maintain anxiety symptoms and cause some panic attacks.
Two types of thinking errors are really at the heart of many anxiety disorders. People who are more prone to anxiousness tend to:
a) Overestimate the dangerousness of potential threats, like scary thoughts and unexpected bodily sensations, and
b) Underestimate their own ability to cope with those threats.
Together, these errors activate the body’s alarm and defence systems unnecessarily. Viewing the physical arousal that results as something ‘dangerous’, anxiety sufferers often try to reduce their contact with the people, places, thoughts or things that might reactivate those frightening feelings. Although intended to get rid of anxiety, that strategy of avoiding actually maintains symptoms by preventing anxious people from learning that their incorrect beliefs are untrue.
Therapy for Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) works by helping people to start reflecting on the thoughts that trigger anxiety reactions. This can slow the process down, kind of like giving a person a little extra time to process what is happening inside them and turn off their alarms when they realize a situation isn’t actually dangerous. CBT is a very effective treatment for anxiety. In fact, it is as or more effective than medication, especially because it teaches skills a person can use long after they finish treatment sessions. In comparison, medication stops working after it is out of your system.