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Does Behavioral Therapy Treat Anxiety?

How Behavioral Therapy Reduces Unwanted Anxiety

We’ve all had those days where you just sit there and worry about something that happened months ago. You replay it over and over in your mind to the point where you might not even be able to sleep. This anxious feeling that keeps you up at night is frustrating to say the least. However, the good news is that anxiety is completely normal and a part of being human.

In fact, anxiety can save lives. It tells you to hold on to something when you’re looking over the edge of a cliff, and it warns you to be cautious when you hear a loud, unexpected knock at the door. Occasional anxiety like this is expected and necessary. But, when anxiety starts interfering with your everyday life, this is when it becomes a problem. If it’s keeping you from going to the store because being around people causes you to be anxious or it keeps you from getting a good night’s rest because your mind runs a million miles a minute from worrying too much, you may have an issue with anxiety.

No matter the case, one thing’s for certain–we just want the anxiety to go away. After years of research and practice, mental health professionals have been looking for the best ways to help their clients manage anxiety. One of the most effective types of treatments is called Behavioral Therapy.

What is Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral Therapy is an umbrella term for therapies that aim at identifying unhealthy behaviors and working to change them. When it comes to anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)  has proven to be very effective.

CBT is focused on the idea that your thoughts affect your actions (behaviors) and feelings. For example, let’s say your son gets in trouble at school for getting caught with illicit drugs. After an event like this happens, some parents may have the intrusive thought, “I am a bad parent.” If you tell yourself that you are a bad parent frequently, you’ll start behaving differently toward your children and you’ll start to have less confidence and will feel negative about yourself. CBT aims to challenge negative thoughts like, “I am a bad parent.” Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will ask you to look at the negative statement and analyze whether or not it’s really true. What is true about that statement? What isn’t true about that statement? Now, how can you rephrase that statement to be the truth? Instead of saying “I am a bad parent,” you can tell yourself, “I am not a bad parent. I do my best for my children and I can’t control everything they do.”

Because of challenging and changing the negative thought into a realistic thought, the outcome of your behaviors and feelings will be much different. This is why CBT tends to be very effective for anxiety. Anxiety is engulfed in a lot of negative thoughts. CBT will not only challenge and change those negative thoughts, but it also teaches you how to manage them independently.

How Ozarks Teen Challenge Can Help Troubled Teens with Anxiety

If your son is a troubled teen and suffering from anxiety, Ozarks Teen Challenge may be the best option for you. Through building relationships with the Lord and our 5-phase youth program, we identify negative behaviors and work to not only change behaviors, but prepare your son for the future with Christ Our Lord by his side. Contact us today for more information about our program or about Behavioral Therapy.

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