To improve the quality of health care and mental health care, workers work with concrete guidelines. The National Steering Committee on Multidisciplinary Guideline Development in mental health care. The guidelines contain up-to-date, scientifically based recommendations for the treatment of various psychological problems.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The preferred treatment for anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). More than 70% of people treated with CBT for anxiety respond positively to the treatment.

If this treatment does not have the desired effect, then treatment with medication or combination treatment of CBT and medication is the next step. The GP or psychiatrist can prescribe medication, preferably one of the modern antidepressants that are also effective against anxiety.

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Works

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic method. CBT is based on scientific findings and focuses on problems in the present; the past is discussed insofar as earlier experiences influence the current complaints. Treatments are complaint- or problem-oriented and short-term, although in practice it sometimes appears that longer-lasting therapy is needed.

The relationship between therapist and patient is as open and as equal as possible. Cognitive behavioral therapists are fairly active in the treatment. They search with the patient for bottlenecks and new ways to solve the problem. The emphasis can be on critical research of thoughts or on changing behavior. Cognitive behavioral therapists give advice and guidelines and make homework agreements with the patient. The ‘practice time’ between the therapy sessions is at least as important as the sessions themselves.

Cognition is another word for thoughts, ideas and images. In all kinds of anxiety, ideas and opinions seem to play an important role – ideas about yourself, the future and the world around you. People with anxiety disorders have frightening cognitions, and avoidance of fear maintains that fear: whenever you think you can escape from danger, you actually confirm the idea that there is danger.

With cognitive therapy, keeping a structured thought log is central. The goal is that you learn to distinguish between events, thoughts, feelings, behavior and consequences. You learn to formulate alternative, functional thoughts.

The question you ask yourself to CBT is whether the interpretations – your thoughts about the situation – are functional or realistic and whether they help you to achieve your goal or not.

It is difficult to let go of old and safe thought patterns and it is therefore important to know why you are making that effort. It helps if you have a clear picture of the goal you want to achieve. The clearer and more attractive that image is, the greater the stimulus that emanates from it.

No related content found.