Anxiety is a widespread problem in the modern world. And it's growing. Why this occurs isn't entirely clear. But between parents, friends, and coworkers demanding your attention on social networking sites, constant work just to keep your bills paid, and a million errands to run and household chores that need doing, there is a good chance that modern day lifestyles are contributing to high anxiety. For this reason, anxiety rehabilitation centers have sprung up all over the country in the United States, offering a variety of treatments and services.
How do you find an anxiety rehab center that is right for you? This article will provide information about the types of treatments and services that you may want to look for in an anxiety rehab center near you.
Looking for an Anxiety Treatment?
Anxiety rehab centers are an interesting place to start, but you can also find ways to treat your anxiety at home for much cheaper. Find out more about getting relief from your anxiety by completing my free 7 minute anxiety test now.
Types of Treatment Offered
Rehab centers are often chosen because the person can take themselves out of their current environment and into a more relaxing one. But that doesn't mean that it's necessarily better or worse than other options. Make sure you've taken my free 7 minute anxiety test to learn more about anxiety treatments.
Rehab centers are rarely regulated so that they can have any treatment imaginable. Three types of therapy commonly used by anxiety rehab centers include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy This type of therapy is the most commonly used by therapists with clients experiencing anxiety or depression. It is based on the idea that the experience of anxiety has less to do with rational thought than with underlying beliefs and unhealthy thought patterns, and has the goal of encouraging the client to develop healthier beliefs and thought patterns to help them handle the stresses they confront in everyday life.
- Exposure Therapy Exposure therapy is another treatment that may be offered. This type of therapy is based on how the brain processes anxiety. When confronted with an anxiety-causing stimulus, a small part of the brain called the amygdala triggers the fight or flight response that causes all the symptoms of anxiety. The amygdala is thought to respond to memory (specifically memories associated with strong emotions). If a certain event, object or setting is causing you anxiety, the theory is that repeated encounters with the stimulus will slowly teach your amygdala that there is nothing to fear from it and stop it from causing unnecessary panic attacks.
- Relaxation Therapy Experiencing true mental relaxation and being taught how to recreate the state in oneself can be very beneficial in reducing the frequency of anxiety attacks and achieving a more positive and healthy state of mind. This type of therapy is often performed by way of hypnosis. Relaxation therapy is widespread and rarely studied. They may also be run by those without a background in psychology.
Anxiety rehab centers may also teach a variety of coping, social and everyday stress management skills. Specific types of techniques taught include but are not limited to:
- Anxiety and Stress Management Techniques Stress management techniques may include the forming of positive habits such as organization, meditation, breathing or counting exercises, stress-relieving pressure points, and other calming mental and physical exercises.
- Relapse Prevention Techniques These techniques help to ensure that you will be able to maintain the healthy state of mind and coping/management techniques learned at a given center even when life becomes stressful.
- Social Skills Training Social skills training programs teach you the kinds of behaviors that will help you avoid anxiety in social situations, and correcting behaviors that you exhibit that may be causing social anxiety and tension.
- Assertiveness Training Assertiveness training, sometimes combined with social skills training, generally involves learning how to build confidence within yourself and to project it around others to avoid being taken advantage of due to anxiety-based hesitance to interact with or contradict others.
Physical therapy treatments may also be offered. While techniques such as Reiki and acupuncture may also be included, these two methods are reliably helpful in relieving the types of bodily tension and discomfort that add stress to the lives of people who are already anxious:
- Massage Therapy Massage therapy is an element of some anxiety rehab programs. It entails relaxing muscle tissue to heal and prevent tension aches, which can also promote a more relaxed state of mind.
- Yoga Like massage therapy, yoga treats anxiety by teaching the body to relax. It also teaches anti-anxiety mental discipline by way of breathing techniques and mental exercises that reduce the heart rate and clear the mind of worry and chaos.
Once again, it should be noted that rehab centers are allowed to offer anything they want – especially if the pay is out of pocket and not through insurance. Make sure that you always do your research. Some utilize unproven strategies and may be costly without necessarily providing you with the benefit you're looking for. Others are simply nothing more than calming vacations – these can be very valuable but are not necessarily an anxiety treatment.
Services to Look For
Additional services that may be offered vary widely. Below are some of the more useful services that may be offered. Knowing that these different options exist may help you to find the rehab center that is the most closely suited to your personal needs.
- Psychological Testing Some clinics will offer testing, usually for a fee, to ascertain what type of treatment program will be most beneficial for a given person (if they do not feel certain).
- Individual Therapy Individual therapy is preferable to group therapy for some people (particularly those who don’t yet feel capable of interacting comfortably in group settings). They ensure that your case receives undivided attention. Making sure that a rehab center offers both options can be a good way of encouraging yourself to reach a place where you feel comfortable talking in front of a group.
- Small Group Therapy Sessions Small group therapy sessions allow for an intimate atmosphere and provide you with an understanding audience that is sympathetic to your problems. Many people not usually comfortable talking in front of others feel more comfortable in small group setting s with people they can relate to. A good way to begin to overcome your social anxiety is to take this small step towards facing your fears.
- Trained Professionals It is, of course, very important to ascertain that the individuals who run and work for the rehab center are trained and certified professionals. While there are many excellent rehab clinics, some are run by individuals who are looking to make money rather than to help people. Doing some online research on the background of the individuals in charge can help you ensure that you are spending your money wisely.
- Motivational Speakers Some treatment centers offer motivational speakers as part of their program. These may be writers of books on meditation, experts on self-help or recovered individuals. Motivational speakers can be very inspiring as well as educational, helping you to better understand your anxiety as well as to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Men/Women Only There are anxiety clinics limited to only men or only women. This can be useful for survivors of traumatic experiences and helps to provide a community of people who can empathize strongly with one another.
- Retreats Anxiety clinics may offer day or week-long retreats that take their patients away from their everyday worlds entirely for a period devoted specifically to relaxation and therapy. Getting away from the world can be a necessary first step in separating yourself from the concerns that seem to be overwhelming you, and getting a better sense of the bigger picture of life outside of your anxieties.
- Outpatient Treatment Follow-up check ins can be valuable in maintaining a sense of accountability for thinking and behaving in healthy ways in your everyday life, rather than allowing yourself to simply lapse back into old, unhealthy habits.
- Aftercare Groups Similarly, aftercare groups can provide a supportive community for post-rehab anxiety sufferers trying to integrate their new skills and beliefs into the outside world.
Finding a rehab center with the treatments and services that will be the most conducive to your recovery is something you can do at any time. A few minutes of internet research can show you the treatment center nearest to you with the specifications you are looking for. It is always a good time to start working through your anxiety problems and living life as a more relaxed and confident you.
Be advised that research is always important, and the cost of many of these rehab centers is incredible. These are for-profit organizations, and some can cost anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 or more for what amounts to a week of treatment. Rehab centers are not an ideal choice for anyone on a budget, and many of them are scams.
If you're looking for a way to control your anxiety, make sure you've taken my free 7-minute anxiety test. The test provides you with information on your anxiety and a low-cost alternative to rehab centers.
Author: Micah Abraham, BSc Psychology, last updated Mar 24, 2018.