Individuals suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder need not be ashamed. Frequently, anxiety is caused a preexisting biological condition that has been made worse by drugs and/or alcohol. For example, popping a Xanax every time you feel uncomfortable is a recipe for developing severe anxiety. Some other disorders that are actually branches of the anxiety tree are:
- obsessive compulsive disorder
- panic disorder
Whatever the cause, social anxiety disorders are very common. But still, there are many people who never receive good treatment for their individual circumstances. Many struggle with the disorder and the treatment, if any, they do receive is not effective. At Northbound our message is that those suffering from anxiety can live vastly more engaged and fulfilling lives. Therapy and medication are the two important components of an effective treatment program. Taking medication for anxiety, under the direction of a psychiatrist, is like taking cholesterol meds that prevent heart attack; diet and exercise habits also need to change. Medication simply compensates for chemical malfunctions in the brain; the real “cure” comes through therapy. Medication is usually just a stabilization tool to make therapy more effective, because if someone is too anxious to talk, he or she can’t benefit from psychotherapy or counseling. At Northbound Treatment Services, treatment for anxiety is very comprehensive, with proper psychiatrist-directed medication monitoring combined with intensive individual therapy, proper nutrition and physical exercise.
12-Steps and CBT
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a traditional method of treatment for mental illness that is proven to be effective. The 12 step program is also proven to be effective. [This fact is backed by experience and research.] The 12-steps work. Moreover, Northbound therapists perform assessments which indicate which type of therapy would be most beneficial. Clients at Northbound benefit from the experience and education of our diverse clinical team which consists of licensed marriage and family therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. Every person arrives at our treatment program with a different set of circumstances and unique characteristics. After the completion of an individualized treatment plan, each client processes issues in individual and group therapy. Many opportunities to learn and grow exist in these sessions. The clinical team also constantly re-assesses progress and makes the appropriate changes to the treatment plan. There are a variety of factors leading to each and every client’s presenting situation. Only a treatment facility as progressive as Northbound is capable of addressing our participants.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a type of therapy in which the participant becomes aware of internal thought patterns and sequences. After obtaining this awareness, the participant learns to retrain their own thoughts and in turn impact their mood. Thoughts ultimately shape our external experience and perception. Through the process of retraining the participant’s thoughts, their world and life experience is actually changed in a positive manner. Prior to this type of therapy, often persons are not cognizant as to why they behaved in a certain manner and overreacted to certain scenarios.
REBT helps clients learn and practice new ways of thinking, feeling, and acting.
Here’s how REBT works:
- Describe the situation that is upsetting you. Include only facts.
- Describe your opinion, judgment, and interpretation of the event. What are you thinking when you are upset?
- Describe your feelings. Pinpointing your feelings and exploring them increase your self-awareness.
- Dispute your thinking. Develop positive thoughts.
- Set reasonable, reachable goals. Take action.
Other types of therapies used include Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). This therapy is typically useful as a hyper-focused method that zeros in on a particular issue. In doing so, goals and specific time frames are set that a client can work to achieve. Especially with young adult participants, short-term goals are effective and set benchmarks to work towards. Most persons struggling with mental illnesses also struggle to relate to peer and significant others at times. Treatment and therapy at Northbound teaches individuals how to re-engage in relationships and relate interpersonally.
The treatment experience at Northbound is filled with opportunities to develop and maintain relationships with important persons in one’s life. A true part of recovery is repairing damaged relationships and making amends. There are many people entering treatment, who desire to immediately clean up the wreckage of their past. The clinical team at Northbound will develop an anxiety disorder treatment plan specific to familial relations. Also, employment relations are addressed and our clients are coached through difficult situations at home. Developing the proper communication skills and ability to relate to employers and co-workers is important for lasting recovery and functioning. It is not uncommon for anxiety surrounding the workplace and re-entry into the workforce to be exacerbated when substances are removed from the picture.