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Therapies & treatments
We've collected traditional and alternative therapies for phobias and anxiety all into one place for you...
We would love to hear your feedback on any therapies you have tried yourself. How effective were they? Which do you feel offer excellent value? With such a variety of treatments available, from self-help exercises to regular CBT therapy, your experiences can help others form a plan of recovery and save them time and money. If you have found a therapy particularly helpful and it's one we haven't mentioned, please let us know! Tell us your thoughts on our forum...
Counselling allows you to talk about your problems and emotions in a safe, confidential and supportive environment. It generally involves shorter term therapy than psychotherapy (see below) with clients needing emotional support on specific issues.
Psychotherapy works with clients on a deeper level than counselling, dealing with the foundation of emotional problems and difficulties that may require longer and more complex treatment.
• Cognative Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT challenges negative thought patterns and ingrained habits by helping you look at things in a more positive and practical way. It focuses on your current problems and looks at ways to break the vicious cycle of negative thoughts, in a supportive environment where you can work at your own pace.
• Emotional Freedom technique (EFT)
EFT is also referred to as 'psychological acupressure' and is a relatively new treatment that works by tapping specific pressure points on the body, releasing energy blockages within our system which are the source of emotional discomfort and negativity. Energy meridians are situated just beneath the surface of the skin and the treatment uses fingertips to gently tap these pressure points. Results of EFT can be instant and are totally pain-free and non-invasive. You can purchase books which teach you the technique to use yourself, or you can visit an EFT practitioner.
Hypnotherapy uses the power of positive suggestion to the subconscious mind when you are in a state of deep relaxation, in order to bring about positive changes to thoughts and behaviours.
Acupuncture was born from ancient Chinese medicine and uses fine needles inserted into the skin along the meridian (energy) channels of the body, in order to encourage positive changes and rid the mind of negative emotional thoughts.
• Lifestyle changes
Making simple changes to your lifestyle and daily routine are a fast, effective and free way to combat your anxiety. Exercising regulary, eating the right food, getting enough sleep and avoiding too much caffeine and alcohol mean that your body (and mind) are better prepared to deal with any daily anxiety.
• Exposure therapy
Exposure therapy is something you may feel able to approach without the support of a counsellor. It involves taking regular small steps towards facing your phobia, by establishing a plan of gradual exposure to the very thing you are avoiding. By facing our fear in bite size pieces, we only face anxiety on a manageable level and begin to teach ourselves that we can cope and our confidence builds.
Taking time out to relax the body and mind can only ever have positive effects on anxiety. You can choose from meditation, relaxation DVDs, Yoga (which has the added benefit of teaching you very effective relaxation breathing techniques) and massage therapy (including the use of specially chosen essential oils designed to de-stress the mind).
Homeopathy is an alternative therapy based on the use of highly diluted natural substances, which practitioners believe have a positive effect on both physical and mental symptoms. "Like cures like" is a key principle of the treatment, meaning that a substance which can cause certain symptoms can also be used to remove those symptoms. You can visit a Homeopathy Practioner or you can buy over the counter products for the more common ailments in many chemists.
• Bach flower remedies
These natural remedies are built on flower essence extracts, diluted in liquid and administered by a few drops onto your tongue each day. The Bach system is widely used across the world and offers 38 remedies in total, each one relating to a specific emotional state of mind. You can buy premixed remedies for the most common emotions - including a 'Rescue Remedy' that you can take during the onset of a panic attack or get a bespoke mixture through a Bach Remedy Practitioner.
The future of therapy?
With science and technology forever moving forwards, we could see very different therapies available to us in the near future. Are these developments a massive step forward or are we simply not ready for such a giant leap from traditional therapy?
• Virtual therapy
The field of therapy is starting to catch up with the latest developments in computer technology, meaning anxiety and phobia sufferers can receive therapy without extensive waiting times and often at a reduced cost thanks to the use of computers. Two of these recent changes include online CBT courses (giving you everything you need to work your way through a professionally written program at your own pace) and virtual exposure therapy (which uses 3D online realities to gradually expose you to the situation that frightens you, such as virtually flying on a plane). These high-tech therapies offer an exciting insight into the help that will be available for generations to come, but we wonder how effective they will be for more complex phobias and anxiety, without the face to face support of a real-life therapist. Let us know your thoughts on the forum!
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