“All of us at anxietycentre.com have experienced debilitating anxiety. But we’ve also overcome it and returned to normal and lasting health. Because we know the hardship anxiety unwellness can cause, we are committed to helping others, with over 30 years of service.” - Jim Folk, President, anxietycentre.com

CBT Is The ‘Gold Standard’ Treatment For Anxiety Disorder, Multiple Studies Find

Marilyn Folk BScN medical reviewer
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated: April 3, 2019

What’s the most effective way to address anxiety disorder? CBT, according to multiple studies.

Extensive studies conducted over the last 10 years have found that CBT is the most effective treatment for anxiety disorders. As such, it is considered the ‘Gold Standard’ in the treatment of anxiety disorder.

The studies were extensive and conclusive…and all agree.

For example, the 2011 study entitled, Cognitive behavior Therapy in anxiety disorders: current state of evidence[1] states, “Overall, CBT demonstrates both efficacy in randomized controlled trials and effectiveness in naturalistic settings in the treatment of adult anxiety disorders.”

This study also includes this statement in its conclusions, “Despite some weaknesses of the original studies, the quantitative literature review of randomized placebo-controlled trials and of trials in naturalistic treatment settings provides strong support for both the efficacy and effectiveness of CBT as an acute intervention for adult anxiety disorders.

“…the meta-analyses confirm that CBT is by far the most consistently empirically supported psychotherapeutic option in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Thus, CBT can be recommended as a gold standard in the psychotherapeutic treatment of patients with anxiety disorders,” the study concludes.

An earlier 2008 study entitled, Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials[2] states, “Our review of randomized placebo-controlled trials indicates that CBT is efficacious for adult anxiety disorders.”

An AIPC Article Library article that reviewed these studies states, “CBT is considered the gold standard in the psychotherapeutic treatment of anxiety disorders and several meta-analyses (i.e., studies reviewing the results of multiple studies) have been published in recent years regarding the efficacy and effectiveness of CBT for anxiety (Stewart & Chambless, 2009; Hoffman & Smits, 2008; Norton & Price, 2007).”[3]

It further states, “Having scrutinised the evidence in three major meta-analyses concerning use of CBT treatments with the various anxiety disorders in randomised controlled and uncontrolled trials and in real-life settings, we see that both the efficacy and effectiveness of CBT for anxiety in adults appears to be solidly grounded.”[3]

After many years of study and carefully evaluating the evidence, the conclusion is clear: CBT is the Gold Standard for anxiety disorder resolution.

And this makes sense. Since anxiety disorder is caused by behavior (the ways we think and act), identifying and successfully addressing those unhealthy behaviors solves the anxiety disorder problem. When a person learns to cope with adversity, uncertainty, risk in healthy ways rather than anxious ways, problematic anxiety disappears.

This finding agrees with our personal and professional experiences with anxiety disorder. All of us at anxietycentre.com experienced and personally overcame a struggle with anxiety disorder. The work we did involved dealing with our overly apprehensive behaviors: identifying and successfully addressing the unhealthy ways we coped with adversity, uncertainty, and risk that caused issues with anxiety.

When we changed the way we behaved, we achieved a healthy outcome.

If you are struggling with anxiety disorder, you can overcome it. The road to recovery is clear, well traveled, and well studied.

Based on the research, and our personal and professional experiences with anxiety disorder, the most effective way to overcome anxiety disorder is with the help of an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, and one who has personally experienced and overcome anxiety disorder in his or her own life.

There’s a vast difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. We’ve been there and we’ve overcome anxiety disorder ourselves. Not only do we know the nuances and subtleties of recovery, we lived them. Because we know the hardship anxiety disorder can cause, we’re passionate about helping others achieve the same level of success.[4]

So don’t suffer needlessly. If you’ve had enough with anxiety disorder, we’re here to help you in your quest to overcome anxiety disorder.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.

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Additional Resources:

[1]Otte, Christian. "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Anxiety Disorders: Current State of the Evidence." Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. Les Laboratoires Servier, Dec. 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

[2]Hofmann, Stefan G., and Jasper Smits A. J. "COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY FOR ADULT ANXIETY DISORDERS: A meta-ANALYSIS OF RANDOMIZED PLACEBO-CONTROLLED TRIALS." The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2008. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

[3]"Treating Anxiety with CBT: The Evidence." AIPC Article Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

[4]DISCLAIMER: Because each body is somewhat chemically unique, and because each person will have a unique mix of symptoms and underlying factors, recovery results may vary. Variances can occur for many reasons, including due to the severity of the condition, the ability of the person to apply the recovery concepts, and the commitment to making behavioral change.

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