The treatment of anxiety complaints focuses on decreasing avoidance and safety behaviour, and reducing tension, anxiety and anxiety-related complaints. Safety behaviour is behaviour you use to reduce the anxiety or tension you are experiencing at the time.

The treatment also involves looking at behaviour, learning to think realistically and to experience physical symptoms.

 

In vivo exposure

Exposure is a behavioural therapy technique that requires you to directly face a frightening or scary situation instead of avoiding it. By exposing yourself to anxiety-provoking situations and doing assignments during them, you will learn to overcome your fear. The assignments often involve remaining part of the anxious situation a little longer. You will begin to notice that the tension gradually decreases. You will start with a situation that you find only somewhat frightening or tense, and you will level up to situations that are more and more anxiety-provoking until you are no longer or barely anxious. The effectiveness of this form of treatment has been proven.

 

Source:

Keijsers, G. P. J., Van Minnen, A., Verbraak, M., Hoogduin, C. A. L. & Emmelkamp, P., (2017). Protocollaire behandelingen voor volwassenen met psychische klachten.

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