Anxiety comes in many forms and has several symptoms that can affect people differently. Managing and dealing with anxiety and those symptoms isn’t always an easy ride; it can take a long time and possibly several techniques for the sufferer to manage it.
Because there are so many types of anxiety disorder, there are also many ways to treat it. The training that goes into helping people with anxiety is designed to help people cope with the feelings and deal with them.
Here is a brief guide to anxiety training and what it requires and entails.
How does anxiety affect people?
Anxiety is a type of fear, which could arise from the unknown, or a future event. The fear for many sufferers of anxiety is that something will go wrong or happen that will embarrass or frighten them. Actual fear is usually a response to an immediate danger, but anxiety can become an ongoing problem with no specific cause or direction.
When dealing with how anxiety affects people, it is important to identify what type of anxiety a person has. This is where anxiety training for therapists can help identify and deal with the feelings.
There are several categories to try and diagnose the type of anxiety. These include:
This type of anxiety usually affects people between 18 to 35 years old. It manifests itself as an intense anxiety that triggers a panic response that is associated with open spaces. The severity and symptoms can vary from person to person.
● Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD is one of the most common types of anxiety and usually affects young adults. However, GAD itself can last for many years, especially if left untreated. While everyone will have feelings of anxiety from time to time, those with GAD will have difficulty controlling these fears to the point where it affects their lives.
The body has a normal response to fear, stress, or excitement. However, someone with a phobia will find that these feelings will manifest themselves at certain objects or in situations that are not the usual triggers. These feelings will often lead to people avoiding certain things that they know will trigger their panic feelings.
● Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Also known as a syndrome, PTSD is often developed after a traumatic event. The event itself will often be part of flashbacks, nightmares, and fear. People with PTSD will often avoid certain areas or situations that can trigger a panic attack.
● Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD will often involve the person getting repetitive feelings of panic or fear unless they do a particular thing. OCD is often used to describe tidy or organised people, but this isn’t the case.
What are some of the treatments in which you might seek training?
If you are a prospective or developing mental health professional who is interested in working with anxiety patients, there are various video courses, webinars, seminars, or events – as we can make available here at nscience – that you may wish to investigate in order to help boost your effectiveness in your work.
Such programmes of training could touch upon and explore areas of anxiety treatment like the below:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is often used to help with anxiety and is widely used by therapists. It has been shown to be effective for panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder and GAD.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is designed to help deal with the negative thought patterns and the distorted ways people with anxiety often view the world.
There are two main elements to CBT:
● Cognitive therapy looks at cognitions or negative thoughts and how they can trigger anxiety.
● Behaviour therapy looks at the situations that trigger anxiety and considers if this behaviour can be addressed.
In essence, CBT looks at how people with anxiety view situations and tries to show it is thoughts that lead to anxiety, and not the situations themselves.
When someone with anxiety is given a situation they find troubling, such as going to a crowded place, they will likely start to imagine how bad it will be, because those are the emotions that will be fuelling the thoughts.
Depending on how the mind views the situation, will dictate how someone feels about it.
Also known as thought challenging, this is a technique whereby the person with anxiety tries to change their negative thoughts to positive ones. There are three main components to this process:
● Identifying the negative thoughts that are making the situation seem more dangerous than it is in reality. It is important for the person to identify the negative thoughts they are having, and to try to see why they are feeling that way. Trying to rationalise these thoughts won’t always have the desired effect, but challenging them can be effective.
● Challenging negative thoughts consists of finding evidence that contradicts the fear the person has. This can include weighing up the pros and cons of a situation.
● Once the negative thoughts have been identified and challenged, the person can try to replace those with positive thoughts to change their perception.
This technique, together with exposure therapy, can be an effective way to break the negative cycle and replace it with a positive one.
Anxiety is a complex issue, and it can take several sessions to try and find the negativity in a patient and deal with it effectively.
However, with the latest advances in psychotherapy and new techniques, more people will be able to get the help they need. All the while, mental health practitioners who are trained in these up-to-the-minute methods will be particularly well-equipped to help make the most positive outcomes possible with their patients.