How does CBT for anxiety work?

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Health Assured team

26 September 2023

We can all get anxious from time to time, but for many of us, the reality of anxiety is a daily struggle. Anxiety can leave you feeling tired, emotionally drained, and overloaded. This sense of helplessness can be overwhelming and something that many of us can relate to. Dealing with anxiety can be hard and many turn to CBT because of its effectiveness and structured process.

What is CBT?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for anxiety is an effective way to break down specific problems in a controlled and structured way, helping to make sense of anxiety and the problems that come along with it. The focus of CBT is to guide through current issues and state of mind in an organised way through communication that is specific and useful to the person.

How does CBT work?

The key benefit of CBT is being able to break down the anxiety into smaller chunks. This allows a better understanding of specific and important issues that may have been overlooked previously.

The five main areas are:

  • Situations
  • Thoughts
  • Emotions
  • Physical feelings
  • Actions

CBT investigates each of the five main points using discussion-based therapy. This allows us to understand the state of mind more clearly and to break down the negative cycle of thoughts into easily digestible points, ideas, and conversations. This is especially important for people with anxiety who can feel easily inundated.

When splitting up issues into smaller portions, CBT is an extremely helpful way of making mental health issues more approachable and less daunting to those who feel overwhelmed when confronting these problems.

Why is CBT good for anxiety?

CBT offers a discussion-style therapy with a counsellor that can teach an anxious mind how to stop the negative cycles of thoughts and make anxiety more manageable through conversation and understanding.

People who experience anxiety can often feel overwhelmed. Breaking issues down into small parts, such as emotions and physical feelings can be a breath of fresh air for someone who suffers from a chaotic mind. Breaking down ideas and isolating the problem areas that once felt like a mountain allows the mind to communicate and understand anxiety.

CBT focuses predominantly on the now rather than the past. Counsellors will concentrate on ways to improve current issues and mindsets through controlled discussion. A common issue with anxiety is

thinking too far into the past or future, allowing for worry to set in about the unknown and creating a bigger problem. CBT guides and teaches how to focus on the now and how to deal with current problems.

Why is this good for the workplace?

With the growing number of people facing issues with anxiety in the workplace, it is no surprise that more companies are looking for support to help their employees with mental health problems.

Good mental health is always beneficial in any workplace and can lead to advantages such as:

  • Stronger relationships between work colleagues
  • Less mental-health based absences
  • Increases productivity
  • Improves overall work atmosphere
  • Increased staff retention

With the increasing number of people affected by work-related stress, anxiety, or depression, it isn’t surprising that more workplaces are thinking about or have already implemented mental health support for their employees.

Support your employees with anxiety?

Our Employee Assistance Programme provides guidance and supports your employees with their mental health and anxiety in the workplace and in life. We can help y

We support employees mental wellbeing with any problems they might be facing in their professional or personal lives with our 24-hour counselling helpline.

Find out more about EAP’s


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