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What does therapy for generalized anxiety disorder involve?

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Psychotherapy, with or without medication, is often considered a fundamental aspect of treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Several specific forms of psychotherapy have been described in research studies as helpful for alleviating the symptoms of GAD. Two -- psychodynamic psychotherapy and supportive-expressive therapy -- focus on anxiety as an outgrowth of feelings about important relationships. Another form of psychotherapy, called cognitive-behavioral therapy, involves learning behavioral relaxation techniques as well as restructuring patterns of thinking that foster anxiety.

Biofeedback is another helpful tool. In a series of sessions with a therapist, you watch your own brain-wave patterns on an electroencephalograph and gradually learns to control the waves. This teaches you to achieve a more relaxed state at will. Practitioners estimate that after about a dozen sessions, you will be able to exert control over mental activity without the help of the therapist or monitoring instrument.

SOURCES: 

Starcevic, V. , Oxford University Press, 2005.  Anxiety Disorders in Adults: A Clinical Guide

American Psychiatric Association: , 2000.  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders4th Edition

Journal of Clinical PsychiatryNew Perspectives for Treating GAD , , 2004.

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on February 11, 2017

SOURCES: 

Starcevic, V. , Oxford University Press, 2005.  Anxiety Disorders in Adults: A Clinical Guide

American Psychiatric Association: , 2000.  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders4th Edition

Journal of Clinical PsychiatryNew Perspectives for Treating GAD , , 2004.

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on February 11, 2017

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Can exercise help with generalized anxiety disorder?

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