We all have days where it’s tough to get past those worries in the back of our minds or focus on the tasks at hand because we’re stressed about another part of our lives. Sometimes this looks like worrying that the “other shoe is going to drop” or constantly worrying that you are going to make a mistake.
Unfortunately, many people experience chronic, elevated levels of anxiety that are very disruptive, and unless they learn to process this anxiety, it can be detrimental to their health, their careers, and even their relationships.
At The Center for CBT in New York City, we understand how easy it is to let feeling a little worried sometimes snowball into being extremely worried every day, and we are never here to judge our clients.
Instead, we want to help you understand your anxiety and develop strategies to overcome the ways it impacts you.
When you visit us to receive therapy for anxiety, we’ll partner with you to alleviate the effects of stress and worry, understand underlying causes and triggers, and develop tools to reduce anxiety in the future.
Why Should I Consider Therapy for Anxiety?
Anxiety is an intrinsic part of human biology. People adapted anxiety and the behaviors it triggers to protect themselves from potential dangers. When the threats we’re presented with are obvious and temporary, our minds and bodies process them easily. For example, if you start to cross the street at a busy intersection and a car runs the light almost hitting you, you may experience an immediate rush of fear and anxiety followed by an immediate sense of relief.
Unfortunately, most of life’s stressors are not as easily resolved. For instance, if you’re worried about losing your job, this situation may not resolve itself for days, weeks, months, or even years. Worries like these may go on without resolution indefinitely, and people are usually dealing with more than one source of stress at a time. Therapy can help you manage these unresolved sources of anxiety, so you can experience greater levels of peace and calm in your days. In addition to general anxiety, there are also different types of anxiety that your therapist can help you deal with, including obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and specific phobias.
How can CBT help you manage anxiety?
Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you gain tools for:
DEALING WITH PERFECTIONISM
Do you often hyper-respond to small “failures?” Do you set extremely high standards for yourself that you recognize as obviously unrealistic for your peers? Many of us struggle with perfectionism, the drive to be the very best at everything – all the time. We all want to challenge ourselves to excel, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the best version of yourself. Unfortunately, many perfectionists define their “best” in relation to other people. Any time they don’t do better than everyone else, it’s a failure. While many perfectionists keep trying and trying to become better, others have a tendency to quit anything they can’t be the best at, even if it’s something they enjoy. This all or nothing thinking doesn’t take into account successes like making progress and improving over time, and it certainly doesn’t take into account things like stability and joy as part of general life success. Therapy can help you recognize perfectionist thinking and start changing the way you define perfect.
IMPROVING COMMUNICATION & SOCIAL SKILLS
Relationships are an important part of life. The ability to maintain healthy, functional relationships isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. Instead, we need to make an effort to improve our communication abilities, interpersonal skills, and comfort in social situations. This may include partnering with your therapist to develop strategies for setting boundaries in relationships, practicing difficult conversations in advance, and/or having a plan for social interactions before you leave home. The communication and skills developed during therapy can help you lead a more satisfying and less stressful life both now and in the future.
OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by repeatedly experiencing unwanted and intrusive thoughts, feelings, sensations, or a compulsion to perform certain behaviors. This condition is misunderstood in popular culture. OCD is more than just being overly organized, it causes people to lose time with friends, loved ones, and with their ambitions. OCD is often progressive which means you may have mild symptoms for many years that become more pronounced over time or during times of stress. If you’re experiencing OCD symptoms, working with a therapist can help you develop the skills to manage this condition and live a more fulfilling life. Exposure and Response Prevention, also known as ERP is the treatment of choice for OCD. This approach has been supported in numerous research studies and leads to a drastic decrease in intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. ERP involves the gradual and methodical exposure to feared consequences. Treatment plans using ERP are made collaboratively with the client and always progress at the client’s preferred pace.
SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER
Social Anxiety is most commonly associated with fear of social situations. These situations can be participating in class, talking on the phone, giving a formal presentation, going to a party with people you do not know, or going on a first date. If you struggle to feel safe and at ease in social situations, we can help you develop strategies to cope, increase comfort when interacting with others, and take steps to overcome social anxiety, so you can say yes to any social situation.
Anyone can feel panicked or experience a panic attack, which is a brief period of extremely elevated physical, emotional, and cognitive response to fear or anxiety. These are natural responses from our body intended to keep us safe in dangerous situations. When people begin to worry that they will have a panic attack in a place where it might be difficult to escape or get help they are considered to have a panic disorder. If you suffer from frequent panic attacks or avoid situations where you might have a panic attack let’s work together to overcome the adverse effects of panic disorder.
Are you dying to travel internationally, but are fearful of flying? Do you create alternate driving routes to avoid going over that tall bridge? If you find a spider in your apartment, do you seriously consider just moving and letting the spider keep the place? Are you tired of the ways your phobia limits your ability to experience great parts of life? Let’s talk about it. Our therapists can help you reduce the effects of your phobias, and most importantly, we promise no one’s going to judge you or minimize the way your phobia makes you feel.
How can CBT help you manage anxiety?
Who offers therapy for anxiety?
What Should I Do Next?
When you’re ready to begin therapy, we hope you’ll consider contacting The Center for CBT in New York City. We offer a safe space where you are free to be who you really are and express yourself and your values authentically. We embrace, value, and welcome people of all sexual orientations, genders, and racial identities. The Center for CBT in New York City makes beginning your therapy journey simple. You can get started any time by completing our online consultation request form. One of our team members will be in touch within 24 business hours to answer your questions.