Is Your Life Being Negatively Impacted By Anxiety?
● Do intrusive thoughts and worries often hijack your mind, pulling you out of the present moment?
● In social situations, do you freeze up or avoid them altogether due to fear of being judged or criticized?
● Are you a high-achiever who, in your quest for perfection, constantly worries and frets over every detail?
If you’ve suffered from anxiety for a long time, perhaps you can’t remember the last time you felt completely at ease. Racing thoughts might preoccupy your mind, causing persistent fear and self-doubt that disrupt your sleep and concentration. Or maybe the physical sensations you experience—such as shortness of breath, breaking into a sweat, accelerated heart rate, and sense of impending doom—sometimes result in debilitating panic attacks.
Avoidance May Cause You To Miss Out On Good Things
Your anxiety might lead to avoiding the people, hobbies, and activities you once enjoyed. In particular, you may become so uncomfortable in social settings that you would rather stay home than risk feeling judged or embarrassed. And if you struggle with phobias, like a fear of driving, flying, or being in large groups, you might be gradually withdrawing from life and spending more time alone.
The anxious mind can be a springboard for fixating on worst case scenarios, panic attacks, phobias, social anxiety, and people-pleasing behavior. Although the symptoms differ, one side effect each form of anxiety shares is how your world has become smaller and less enjoyable. If anxiety is preventing you from fully engaging in life, there is hope. Anxiety therapy offers evidence-based solutions to address your symptoms so you can stop living in fear and start enjoying yourself again.
Anxiety Affects Americans Both Young And Old
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States. Over 40 million adults in the U.S.—19.1 percent—have an anxiety disorder. Meanwhile, approximately 7 percent of children aged 3-17 experience issues with anxiety each year. Most people develop symptoms before age 21.” 
Anxiety is our built-in protection system designed to alert us to potential danger. Although our survival instincts serve us well in life-threatening situations, experiencing anxiety too frequently can cause undue stress and agitation. Sadly, today, we are exposed to numerous existential threats—such as climate change, political unrest, gun violence, and the COVID-19 pandemic—that often create a backdrop for free-floating anxiety. When coupled with our own day-to-day stressors, we may experience more severe anxiety in the form of panic attacks, phobias, or crippling social anxiety.
Avoiding What’s Uncomfortable Keeps Us Stuck In Anxiety
For many, our natural response to something uncomfortable or unpleasant is to avoid it. And because we assume that addressing anxiety head-on will be uncomfortable, we may convince ourselves it’s insurmountable. Instead, we resort to short-term fixes and accommodations—such as self-medicating or avoiding situations and conditions we think will trigger our anxiety—which has the unintended consequence of making our symptoms worse.
The good news is that overcoming anxiety isn’t as difficult as you may think. Working with a therapist who will support you on your journey means you don’t have to face your fears alone. They will help you develop an anxiety treatment plan with tangible strategies and skills you can practice and perfect independently so that, eventually, you will no longer need to attend therapy.
Therapy Can Help You Break The Anxiety Cycle
Therapy should always be a safe place for you to explore and verbalize thoughts and feelings. However, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for anxiety encompasses more than just talking. At CBT SoCal, we aim to help you understand why your anxiety flourishes and, by developing the appropriate skills to break the cycle, help you return to living life fully. Throughout your treatment for anxiety, we will offer skills and applications for you to practice in between sessions, allowing the healing process to continue outside of therapy as well.
We are therapists and anxiety disorder specialists who listen and support, as well as coaches who educate and encourage. Depending on your needs, we may challenge you to slow down and reflect, or become more active and structured with your time. Utilizing CBT models, worksheets, visual aids, and strategies will help you understand why you get stuck in anxiety and how to get untangled.
What To Expect In Sessions
No matter the type of anxiety you may be struggling with—for example, panic attacks, social anxiety, health/illness anxiety, phobias (including emetophobia or fear of vomit), or generalized anxiety disorders—our treatment will initially focus on developing an accurate understanding of what is causing your distress. Once identified, we can determine which approaches and tools will be most helpful to break old patterns, habits, and cycles. By providing you with a roadmap to reduce or eliminate the distress caused by anxiety, our long-term therapy goal is to work ourselves out of a job and help you discontinue medication if desired.
Treating anxiety can sometimes benefit from exploring one’s past and early childhood experiences. However, we often find that this is not necessary and that determining what thoughts and habits are currently maintaining anxiety is enough to identify effective hands-on solutions In that vein, we may discuss your day-to-day life—including your family history, current relationship dynamics, work stressors, substance use, and your diet and exercise habits—to ensure we have a complete understanding of the potential contributors to your anxiety.
Our Comprehensive Approach For Alleviating Anxiety
To ensure the best results, we ensure that anxiety therapy is well-rounded and evidence-based. Treatment will include:
● Providing psychoeducation that explains how anxiety starts, persists, and worsens, as well as how that cycle can be broken;
● Examining how your subconscious thoughts and beliefs can fuel anxiety;
● Developing awareness about how certain habits and decisions can perpetuate anxiety, while others—such as mindfulness, assertive communication, confronting fears, time management, and problem-solving—can help reduce it.
You may have suffered with anxiety for so long that you’ve become resigned to the idea that you can’t function without it. Or maybe you’ve tried general talk therapy before, but without the concrete skills or direction CBT offers, it didn’t guide you toward positive change. As long as you are motivated and have an open mind, there is no reason why you have to continue suffering from anxiety. Incorporating CBT into treatment can be a crucial component of your recovery.
But Maybe You’re Not Sure If Anxiety Therapy Is Right For You…
I’ve already tried talk therapy for anxiety without much success—how will treatment with CBT SoCal be different?
Our approach is similar to traditional talk therapy in that we actively listen to best understand how anxiety impacts you, but counseling with us won’t end there. Integrating Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) provides you with education, tools, and skills to work on in between sessions. CBT isn’t just about what we discuss in therapy—transformation happens when you put the tools you learn into practice in your real life.
Isn’t Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for anxiety only about changing your thoughts and being more positive?
If anxiety disorder treatment was that simple, most people would do it on their own. And although CBT is a more directive approach to therapy, it is by no means simplistic. Utilizing CBT, your counselor will help you become more aware of how your thoughts—and corresponding habits—can contribute to anxiety. However, they will also help highlight the process, such as how your thoughts work to create or reduce anxiety and what kind of thoughts exacerbate physical symptoms. This part is tougher to do on your own.
I’m scared that counseling will challenge me to face my anxiety and be too much for me to handle.
No therapist can “force” anyone to confront what they can’t tolerate. Rather, we hope to collaborate with you to brainstorm small steps in that direction. Beating anxiety means stretching your comfort zone, but only in ways you can handle at any given time. Once a new situation or step is mastered, we then consider moving on to something more challenging. We provide education, support, and encouragement—you get to determine the pace at which we progress.
Don’t Allow Anxiety To Keep You From What You Love
You don’t have to face anxiety alone. Reach out to us today so we can work together and get you on your path to a calmer, happier, and more fulfilling life. To find out how Anxiety Therapy with CBT SoCal can help you regain control of your life, please call 818-547-2623 or visit our contact page. We provide our services in our Glendale and Torrance offices, as well as online to residents throughout the state of California.