Effective anxiety counselling techniques (your psychologist will know which focused psychological strategies achieve the best outcomes for a particular type of anxiety disorder) include evidence-based techniques such as:

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)
An advanced psychotherapy model that combines psychology with physiology in a way that allows a person to identify and process past traumatic events. These events can be as seemingly insignificant as a negative comment from a parent during childhood, or as catastrophic as a life-threatening event. Often buried at a sub-conscious level, individuals are often unaware that the memories of these events are having a negative effect on their daily lives.

How does EMDR work? Each of us has two different memory networks: adaptive and non-adaptive. Adaptive memories are needed to react to current circumstances; for example, you see a car speeding toward you and your body automatically reacts to the fear of being hit. When the accident is over, these memories should get stored away into your nonadaptive memory. A problem occurs when a memory gets stuck, or frozen, in our adaptive memory, causing us to have responses that are no longer appropriate to the situation.

EMDR takes those experiences lodged in our adaptive memory, and moves them into our non-adaptive memory, where they belong. It has been proven to be highly successful in the treatment of many anxiety disorders including performance anxiety, stress management, social anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, and PTSD.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behaviour therapy is a focused approach based on the idea that cognitions influence feelings and behaviours, and that subsequent behaviours and emotions can influence cognitions. The therapist helps individuals to identify unhelpful thoughts, emotions and behaviours. CBT has two aspects: behavioural therapy and cognitive therapy. Behavioural therapy is based on the theory that behaviour is learned and therefore can be changed. Examples of behavioural techniques include exposure therapy, activity scheduling, relaxation training, and behaviour modification. Cognitive therapy is based on the theory that distressing emotions and maladaptive behaviours are the result of faulty patterns of thinking. Therefore, therapeutic interventions, such as cognitive restructuring and self-instructional training are aimed at replacing unhelpful thoughts with more helpful cognitions. This leads to relief from problematic thoughts, emotions and behaviours. Skills training (for example, stress management, social skills training, parent training, and anger management), is another important component of CBT.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT is based on a contextual theory of language and cognition known as relational frame theory and makes use of a number of therapeutic strategies, many of which are borrowed from other approaches. ACT helps individuals increase their acceptance of the full range of their subjective experiences, including distressing thoughts, beliefs, sensations, and feelings, in an effort to promote desired behavioural change that will lead to an improved quality of life. A key principle of ACT is that it attempts to accept unwanted subjective experiences (for example, anxiety) which are often not only ineffective but are actually counter-productive, in that they can result in an increase in distress, resulting in an increase of symptoms. Individuals are encouraged to acknowledge their experiences fully and without judgement while moving towards their desired goals. ACT also helps individuals to identify their values and translate them into specific behavioural goals.
Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MCBT)
Mindfulness based cognitive therapy adopts the principles of cognitive therapy and builds on the technique by teaching clients to consciously pay attention to their thoughts and feelings without judging them. It provides clarity of thought and gives the person the tools needed to release their negative thoughts instead of allowing these thoughts to feed their anxiety.  This technique is also used in ACT.

An increasing number of studies are emerging which prove that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is an effective strategy for the treatment of anxiety.

Relaxation Training and Meditation
Many people who experience high levels of anxiety report that they find it difficult to relax. Research conclusively shows that relaxation techniques and meditation can dramatically improve a person’s overall level of stress and anxiety.
Schema-Focused Therapy
Schema-focused therapy focuses on identifying and changing unhelpful schemas and their associated ineffective coping strategies. Schemas are psychological constructs which include beliefs that we have about ourselves, the world and other people. These are the product of how our basic childhood needs were dealt with. Schema change requires both cognitive and experiential work. Cognitive schema-change work employs basic cognitive-behavioural techniques to identify and change automatic thoughts, identify faulty thinking, and conduct tests of an individual’s unhelpful rules about how to survive in the world.

Want to learn more about anxiety?

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If you think that you or someone you know is seeking anxiety treatment in Brisbane and could benefit from seeing one of our psychologists, please give us a call on 07 3831 4452 or enquire online. Our receptionists (Suellen, Marilyn, Jo, Nicole, Renee and Sabrina) are very kind and friendly and are always keen to assist you with any questions you may have. We look forward to being of help!

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