You can cure fear

Treatment options for generalized anxiety disorder

CBT is not only beneficial for anxiety. It can also relieve other conditions, such as depression, that can be associated with an anxiety disorder. Since this requires a direct confrontation with one's own fears, the treatment itself can sometimes be stressful. In general, adverse effects of psychotherapy have not yet been well investigated in studies.

One is offered by behavior therapists in Germany and covered by statutory health insurance companies. It usually consists of weekly sessions over several weeks or months. It consists of two parts: a “cognitive” part that deals with thoughts and feelings and one that deals with behavior.

The goal of the cognitive approach is to change fear-inducing thought patterns by learning

  • to recognize and question unrealistic fears and worries,
  • assess the actual probabilities and consequences of fear triggers and
  • dealing with uncertainty.

An example of frightening thought patterns are "catastrophic" thoughts, such as immediately drawing extreme, exaggerated conclusions about the extent of the supposedly impending disaster as soon as something disturbing happens. If such thoughts are recognized with the help of the therapist, one works to reduce them or to deal with them better. In this way, CBT ultimately helps you think more clearly and better control your own thoughts.

The second part of the is about gradually reducing fear in certain situations and changing behavior. In doing so, you face fear in order to gradually overcome it. For example, a working mother who keeps calling kindergarten to make sure her child is safe could gradually reduce the number of calls she made. In order to facilitate such behavioral changes, the also teaches what can help to keep calm - for example breathing exercises or relaxation techniques.