Psychotherapy for anxiety

If you struggle with anxiety, you are quite familiar with the suffering it causes you and the countless ways it has stopped you from saying yes to opportunities for happiness and fulfillment.

We, at Harbor Psychiatry & Mental Health, understand what you are going through.  And we would like to offer you effective treatments that will help you manage your anxiety to the point that it no longer stops you from living your life fully.

When you come to our clinic, the first thing we will do is conduct a comprehensive assessment.  This is important because anxiety can present in numerous ways.  In fact, the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) lists nearly a dozen types of anxiety disorders.

 In addition to many manifestations of anxiety, there are also many causes of anxiety.  For example, excessive anxiety could be related to caffeine intake, an overactive thyroid, work-related stress, childhood issues, and countless other causes.

Based on the results of your assessment, we will create a personalized treatment for your condition.  Depending on your needs and preferences, your treatment may include psychotherapy, medications, lifestyle changes, alternative medicine interventions….

Psychotherapy for anxiety: Medications

Some medications we may prescribe for your anxiety consist of the following:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: The SSRIs work by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors: The SNRIs work by altering the levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine.
  • Buspirone: Used for the treatment of anxiety-related mental health conditions, a particularly generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Benzodiazepines: Used for the short-term treatment of anxiety, such as when a patient is dealing with a crisis.
  • Beta-blockers: Prescribed for managing certain types of anxiety, particularly performance anxiety (e.g., going on a blind date, job interviews).

Psychotherapy for anxiety: Psychotherapy

Depending on the causes of your anxiety, a variety of psychological therapies may be considered—e.g., family therapy, psychodynamic therapy, marriage counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

To give you an idea of what therapy entails, two of the most commonly used psychotherapies are described below.

CBT uses various techniques to enable patients to challenge and replace distorted thoughts and problematic behaviors.  These techniques include observing one’s thoughts, behaviors, and emotions objectively; challenging mistaken beliefs that cause anxiety (e.g., black-and-white thinking, catastrophizing), and practicing new behaviors that are more functional (e.g., gradual exposure to, instead of avoidance of, going on dates).

DBT, which shares some similarities with CBT, is particularly useful for patients who need more support and who have a really hard time controlling their emotional responses (e.g., uncontrollable anger or anxiety).  DBT provides validation and emotional support while it teaches patients a variety of adaptive skills (e.g., mindfulness, assertiveness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation) that allow patients to function effectively in different situations.3

A holistic approach to anxiety

At Harbor Psychiatry & Mental Health, we use a holistic approach.  This means we do not focus only on mental health issues but on the whole person.  So, in addition to addressing your specific mental health issues (e.g., anxiety symptoms), we help you live a happier and more fulfilling life.

In keeping with this, and to support your ability to manage your anxiety in the long term, your therapist will help you develop the motivation and discipline to make certain lifestyle changes; for example, to exercise regularly, eat healthier, and make time for self-reflection.

Our goal is to empower you to control your anxiety and to give you the tools you need to create and live the kind of life you want to live.

About Harbor Psychiatry & Mental Health

We believe outstanding healthcare is delivered when we merge the science of medicine with the compassion of our hearts. We refer to this as “head and heart together,” inspiring constant improvement and lasting success.
Psychiatrists Orange County CA
Psychologists Orange County CA