Therapeutic Modalities for Anxiety in 2023

Therapeutic Modalities for Anxiety in 2023

In today's post, we will be going through the therapeutic modalities that can be used to treat Anxiety.

In this guide, you'll learn about the following modalities:

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
  • Exposure Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

So if you are ready to overcome anxiety,
this guide is for you.

Let's dive right in.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely used and is one of the most effective therapeutic modalities used to treat anxiety. This modality consists of two main components which are cognitive therapy and behavior therapy. The cognitive therapy component allows us to explore and address our negative patterns and distortions of our views and how these cognitions contribute to anxiety. Meanwhile, the behaviour therapy component allows us to examine the way we behave and react to situations that trigger our anxiety. The principle of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is that our thoughts are the reason that affects how we feel instead of the situation. We often determine our feeling according to our perception of a situation. Most times, similar events could lead us to feel completely different emotions depending on our expectations, perceptions, and beliefs. The ultimate goal of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is to help us identify the negative thoughts and beliefs that affect our life and help us transform the way we feel and think.

In the session, therapists will usually begin by trying to understand our irrational thoughts by exploring what goes into our minds when we start feeling anxious. The therapist will then proceed to evaluate the anxiety-provoking thoughts by examining the evidence of the frightening thoughts, analyzing the irrational beliefs, and testing the reality of negative predictions.

We know what you are thinking, "So what exactly happens in the session?"

One of the common activities that will be conducted in the session is role-playing some situations that challenge anxiety-provoking thoughts. We can expect a transformation of our thoughts which will help us effectively cope with anxiety. By attending therapy sessions, we can explore and discover statements that can empower us to effectively manage our anxiety triggers.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure Therapy is usually conducted as a part of CBT to treat anxiety-related issues. The ideology of this modality is to expose ourselves to situations and objects that we fear, Through repeated exposures, we will be able to experience an increased sense of control over situations that trigger our anxiety and slowly diminish the anxiety. With the guidance of our therapist, we will learn how to use different relaxation techniques when we are gradually exposed to situations that make us anxious. This will help us effectively manage our anxiety level rather than allowing our anxiety to take full control of ourselves.

Exposure Therapy usually begins with our therapist teaching us relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, guided imagery. and progressive muscle relaxation. This will help us to cope with and relieve our anxiety when facing anxiety-triggering situations. However, it is essential for us to regularly practice relaxation techniques taught by our therapists before confronting our anxiety-triggering situations. Upon getting familiar with the relaxation techniques, we must list out our triggers and rank them based on their intensity. The triggers we list out must be specific, clear, and measurable as this will provide us with a set of objectives to complete to reach our ultimate goal which is to conquer our anxiety.

Exposure Therapy then continues its treatment process by gradually exposing us to anxiety-triggering situations, where we will be required to manage our anxiety levels by utilizing the relaxation techniques taught by our therapists. In some scenarios where our anxiety levels may be at its peak, it is important for us to switch to other relaxation techniques to calm down. Once we feel calm, we can revert back our attention to the anxiety-triggering situation and work through the steps until we are able to complete every step without feeling distressed.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an action-oriented approach that originates from traditional behaviour therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). The core idea of this therapeutic modality is that we must accept that our deeper feelings are the response to the situation rather than avoiding or denying such deep feelings that arise within ourselves. Through this therapy approach, we should be able to accept the situation we are facing as it is, stop repeating negative thought patterns, and end our battles with our pasts and emotions. The modality also aims to aid us in transforming our behaviour while adhering to our personal values and goals to cope with a situation.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) aims to develop and expand our psychological flexibility. There are six core processes that help us improve our psychological flexibility.

    1. Acknowledge and embrace the full range of our thoughts and emotions instead of avoiding, altering or denying them.
    2. Cognitive Defusion. Observing our thoughts without judging or labelling them. This will change how we react to distressing thoughts or feelings.
    3. Being Present. Being mindful of the current moment and observing our feelings and thoughts without judgement.
    4. Self as Context. Expand the notion of self and identity, and believe that we are more than our thoughts, feelings and what we experience.
    5. Choosing personal values in diverse domains and endeavouring to live according to the principle.
    6. Committed Action. Taking concrete steps to incorporate changes that align with values and lead to positive change which include goal setting, exposure to thoughts or experiences and skill development.


We hope that you enjoyed this updated guide to therapeutic modalities for Anxiety in 2023.

Now, we would like to hear from you: Which therapeutic modalities would you choose?

Are you ready to do what it takes to conquer your anxiety?

Let us know by leaving a quick comment below right now.

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