Psychotherapy for Anxiety

Psychotherapy may be used to treat anxiety in some cases. Several types of psychotherapy are available.

The goal of dynamic psychotherapy is to identify and explore the causes of anxiety and what they mean to the patient. A therapist may work with the patient on a number of exercises, including stress evaluation and techniques to be practiced while the patient is on his or her own.

The goal of behavior therapy is to establish coping strategies for anxiety. Behavior and cognitive therapy overlap, because new behavior is only possible after a person is able to replace irrational, anxious thoughts with healthy ones. Methods include the following:

  • Biofeedback
  • Controlled exposure to anxiety-causing situations
  • Meditation
  • Planning relaxed events and relaxation training

Publication Review By: Debra Emmite, M.D.

Published: 03 May 2001

Last Modified: 07 Oct 2014