Anxiety psychotherapy usually involves a combination of techniques to deal with anxiety and helpful medications. People who are prone to anxiety rarely get over anxiety in general, but many people develop more appropriate responses to anxiety that help minimize the negative physical effects of panic attacks and anxiety reactions. It is also possible to learn how to think through situations that cause anxiety in such a way that anxiety is reduced. Medications can be used in combination with these techniques to make life with anxiety bearable. In most cases, anxiety psychotherapy will involve a therapist monitoring one's progress in using these techniques as well as providing instruction.
There are many different types of anxiety disorders, each of which may require a slightly different form of anxiety psychotherapy. For instance, anxiety psychotherapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder might include addressing compulsions, while therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder might involve reordering the traumatic experience in the mind of the patient. What all these techniques have in common is the need to change the way the patient thinks about a particular subject or problem.
It is also important to reduce the impact of the physical effects of anxiety disorders. Anxiety psychotherapy often involves instruction in techniques and exercises that may perform this function. Techniques like learning to take deep breaths when one feels a panic attack coming on can reduce the length and severity of the attack. Other techniques can be used to physically distract a person from a negative thought pattern. These coping techniques are an essential fail-safe for when techniques used to reduce anxiety are not sufficient in a situation.
For some people, anxiety psychotherapy sometimes involves the use of medications to help maintain control. Commonly, anti-depressants are prescribed for this purpose. The exact medication used will often depend on one's situation and the therapist's preference. It is often possible to demand therapy that does not rely on medications, as these are thought by many people to be detrimental to the healing process in the long term.
The exact course that anxiety psychotherapy will take depends on the therapist and the patient. Certainly, the patient's state of mind and personal neuroses will have an impact on what the therapy involves, but the therapist's philosophy on anxiety will also have a large effect. In general, the best way to find out what will be involved in one's anxiety psychotherapy is to talk to the therapist before attending therapy. He or she will almost always be happy to discuss any concerns or explain what to expect. If that is not the case, he or she is probably not a good therapist for anxiety problems.