Other approaches, such as gestalt therapy, can work to redefine trigger situations and anxiety symptoms themselves, bringing greater awareness of the present moment and eliminating the feeling of threat that permeates anxiety.
How is anxiety and stress therapy?
Therapy for anxiety and stress is focused on identifying and managing situations that trigger anxiety symptoms and stressors.
Therefore, in the first consultation, the therapist will ask for data on the patient’s complaint, as well as his life history to try to identify which moments were relevant to the development of the current problem.
Then, the therapist will work on techniques to deal with anxiety and stress at the time they manifest. Relaxation techniques , coping with trigger situations, among others, are taught .
A widely used technique, especially in behavior analysis therapy, is systematic desensitization.
It boils down to a gradual approximation of the phobic stimulus (from the situation that causes anxiety) in combination with techniques that relax, which promotes an association between the phobic stimulus and the feeling of relaxation, avoiding an anxious response.
Other approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, can access the cognitive aspects of anxiety and stress, helping the patient to face situations in a more adaptive way, avoiding the triggering of anxiety symptoms and stress.
Although there is no custom of using techniques to deal with anxiety, psychoanalysis can also help the patient to understand its origins, which in some cases can be effective in alleviating the symptoms.
In general, cognitive-behavioral therapy has the most scientific evidence of its effectiveness for anxiety, along with behavior analysis. These two therapies can be of short duration, depending on the patient’s evolution, and therefore are the most sought after in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Each patient is discharged from therapy when he learns to control his anxiety in the face of trigger situations. This is important so that the patient does not get used to dodging.
Often, people with anxiety know what their triggers are and start avoiding them at all costs. This is called avoidance behavior. In some cases, such behavior is not a problem, but in others it can be significantly harmful.
People with elevator phobia, for example, may have problems with accessibility in buildings with many floors, which can impact professional, academic and even domestic life. In this sense, the avoidance behavior must be extinguished, and the person must overcome his phobia.
How to control anxiety?
In addition to therapy, the patient can also do other things to control anxiety.
One of the techniques that can be used at any time is diaphragmatic breathing, which involves breathing deeply and slowly. This technique helps to calm down, being useful both for the beginning of an anxious crisis and for dealing with stress and anger .
Integrative practices, also known as alternative therapies, can help as long as they are associated with conventional therapy. Among the best-known integrative practices are yoga, acupuncture and meditation.
The performance of physical exercises often helps in controlling anxiety, as there is the release of hormones that improve the general well-being of the individual. Avoiding anxiogenic foods, such as coffee and sugar, can also help keep anxiety controlled.
Read more: Which natural tranquilizers are indicated for anxiety?
Can a psychologist give medication for anxiety?
No, the psychologist or psychologist cannot prescribe medication for anxiety, as they are not doctors. Only doctors and dental surgeons have the authority to prescribe medication.
However, the psychologist can make an assessment of the patient’s condition and refer to a psychiatrist if deemed necessary. The psychiatrist is the doctor responsible for prescribing medications to treat mental disorders.
Although the psychologist can make the referral, it is up to the patient to accept the recommendations. However, the patient should keep in mind that, if the psychologist makes the referral, it is because he / she believes that therapy together with pharmacological treatment would be more effective than just psychological therapy.
It is worth remembering that not all cases of anxiety need joint treatment, that is, not all need psychotherapy and medication. There are cases that can be treated only with psychotherapy.
The contrary, however, is not highly recommended. Doing only pharmacological treatment can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, but only as long as the medication takes effect.
With psychotherapy, the patient learns to deal with anxiety, so that, at the end of the treatment, it is likely that he will no longer need medication. Psychotherapy helps to deal with crisis triggers, while medication only mitigates the symptoms of anxiety.
When the patient learns to deal with the triggers, it is likely that he will no longer need the medication, as such situations no longer cause him so much anxiety.
Therefore, the treatment for anxiety with psychotherapy alone is effective, but the opposite – pharmacological treatment only – is only palliative and the patient tends to return to square one when interrupting the medication.
Anxiety therapy has numerous benefits for well-being and mental health . There are different approaches, but they all help in restoring tranquility and maintaining a healthy routine!