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CBT + Exposure Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Denver, CO and Beyond

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) combined with exposure techniques is a highly effective, evidence-based approach specifically tailored for treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). It's considered a cornerstone in GAD treatment due to its proven effectiveness in disrupting the persistent cycle of excessive worry and anxiety. This method works by altering the brain's perception and response to worry-inducing stimuli and the associated anxiety.

As you progress through treatment, you will notice a change in how you respond to these pervasive worries. The frequency and intensity of the anxious thoughts will begin to diminish, and the overwhelming urge to engage in mental or behavioral strategies to manage or avoid these worries will lessen. After several sessions, you will experience a significant transformation in your relationship with anxiety, leading to a profound sense of freedom and empowerment.

By systematically facing the sources of your anxiety and practicing new ways of thinking under the guidance of a therapist, you learn to reduce the hold that anxiety has over your life. The skills acquired through CBT and exposure—not only in recognizing and restructuring unhelpful thought patterns but also in confronting anxiety-provoking situations without resorting to avoidance—extend beyond the therapy sessions, enhancing your ability to handle daily stresses and challenges with greater ease and confidence. This comprehensive approach empowers you to live a more engaged and fulfilling life, free from the constraints of generalized anxiety.


In-person sessions available throughout the Denver, CO area. Online sessions offered throughout CO, NV, AZ, NJ, WA, UT, and IL


Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can often feel like being caught in a relentless storm of worry. It's a disorder that seizes on your deepest concerns, tricking you into believing that constant worrying is the only way to prevent bad outcomes. But here's the twist: the more you indulge in this excessive worry, the stronger the anxiety becomes. It's a cycle where persistent, pervasive worries cause significant anxiety, which leads to overthinking and mental rumination aimed at reducing that anxiety. Each time you over-prepare, seek reassurance, or avoid uncertain situations to manage these fears, it only reinforces the anxiety, making the worries seem more necessary and more pressing.

This cycle can start with small, seemingly manageable concerns, but it tends to grow over time, slowly taking over more aspects of your life. You might start avoiding new experiences, decisions, or even everyday activities because they trigger your anxiety. It's as if GAD is pushing you into a corner, forcing you to live in a way that is constrained by fears and hypotheticals rather than your true values and desires. You might find yourself consumed with worry over things that seem trivial to others but feel overwhelmingly important to you.

These behaviors and the mental energy they consume can begin to interfere with your daily life. You might struggle to concentrate at work because you're preoccupied with a cascade of "what-ifs," or avoid social events because you're anxious about possible scenarios that could unfold. It's important to recognize these patterns as symptoms of GAD, not as personal failures or quirks. They are signs of a disorder that's treatable, not a reflection of who you are as a person. Understanding this is the first step toward reclaiming the life that generalized anxiety has been gradually eroding.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) works by helping individuals identify, challenge, and change the unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviors that contribute to their anxiety. Through CBT, you learn to recognize the exaggerated, often irrational thoughts that lead to excessive worrying. The therapy then guides you in developing more balanced and realistic thoughts, which can reduce the intensity of anxiety. CBT also involves practicing new skills for handling anxiety-provoking situations, such as problem-solving and relaxation techniques. Over time, this helps you manage your worries more effectively, leading to decreased anxiety and improved daily functioning.


Exposure therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) involves gradually and systematically confronting the worries and fears that fuel the disorder. Instead of avoiding anxiety-inducing thoughts or situations, you face them in a controlled and planned way. The process begins by identifying the specific worries that dominate your thoughts, such as fears about health, finances, or relationships. Under the guidance of a therapist, you then begin to expose yourself to these fears either through imagining the scenarios or interacting with real-life situations related to these worries.

The key to exposure therapy is repeated confrontation with the worry topics without engaging in usual avoidance behaviors. Over time, this repeated exposure helps to reduce the emotional impact of the worries. It teaches you that the outcomes you fear are either unlikely to occur or are something you can handle, rather than something to avoid at all costs. This therapy not only lessens the anxiety associated with these thoughts but also builds confidence and resilience, providing you with practical skills to manage anxiety in everyday life.

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What can I expect from CBT and Exposure Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

After completing a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with exposure techniques for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), you're likely to experience a substantial decrease in how often and intensely you feel overwhelmed by worry. For some people, these pervasive worries might significantly lessen or even become manageable. For others, the constant background noise of anxiety becomes less frequent and much less intrusive. You'll also notice that the urge to avoid uncertain situations or to over-prepare begins to fade, which means more free time and less preoccupation with potential future problems.

Many people emerge from therapy feeling a greater sense of control over their thoughts and emotions, learning that they can handle life's uncertainties without defaulting to worry and avoidance. This boost in confidence and autonomy often enhances overall functioning in daily life. Plus, the skills you develop during therapy—such as confronting fears, managing anxiety proactively, and staying present despite discomfort—are not only useful for handling anxiety; they're beneficial in various aspects of life. You might find improvements in your relationships, work performance, and social engagements because you're no longer constrained by the relentless demands of anxiety.


Overall, engaging in CBT with exposure therapy for GAD can provide a profound sense of relief and empowerment, equipping you with the tools to maintain your gains and face future challenges with greater resilience and effectiveness.

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