The best types of therapy for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

The best types of therapy for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

By: Hermita
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The best types of therapy for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

Because we have already shared many useful information related to GAD, which you can read more about here, in this blog post we will go straight to explaining the best and most effective types of therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. 

When it comes to diving types of therapies for GAD, it is good to know that the categories always fall into two - psychotherapy and pharmacological interventions. What type you need will depend on your symptoms.
Mostly, experienced therapists will think in these directions:

1. Psychodynamic therapy. This is a type of therapy that will focus on your subconsciousness and is based on Freudian psychology. If you like ‘’old-school’’ types of therapies, then this one may suit you. You will learn how to resolve various conflicts not only in your daily life, but also the ones you haven’t been aware of. 

2. Behavioral therapy. This type of therapy is based on the belief that anxiety is something that you have learned. According to behavioral therapy, anxiety has formed from your negative experiences, while you are keeping it alive and ‘’feeding’’ it by fear and escaping situations that may lead to relieving your fears. Therefore, the point of it would be to help you re-learn your patterns. 

3. Cognitive therapy. CT claims that your anxiety is coming from maladaptive ways of thinking. Once your therapist helps you to reassess your belief about certain things, anxiety should be gone. Of course, that is a process - there’s no magic wand that will erase anyone’s anxiety in a day. Yet, with every therapy, you will experience a lot of progress. 


4. Acceptance. Commitment type of therapy will help you to accept certain things and make you realize that those may not represent a threat to your life anymore. It is focused on helping you reduce various avoidance strategies and understanding the power of your thoughts. For example, your thoughts may sound like: ‘’I am going to die.’’ And that’s exactly when the panic attack would usually start. But the acceptance and commitment therapy will help you to learn new ways to not only fight such thoughts, but to take away their power. 

5. Intolerance. Uncertainty type of therapy for generalized anxiety disorder is based on helping you learn how to tolerate negative feelings, emotions, and even events. Thus, this type of therapy can help you to become ‘’stronger’’ and endure more, when or if needed. 

6. Emotion-focused therapy. This type of therapy can use various techniques and combine them with the purpose of providing short-term help. Therefore, this is a good choice when you need some help from time to time or have periods of anxiety and panic attacks. 

7. Sandplay. Based on non-verbal therapeutic practices, sand play can help you to overcome life traumas, especially those related to childhood memories and experiences. It is very similar to CT. 

8. Motivational interviewing. One of the newest types of therapies for GAD, it will help you to express empathy, encourage self-efficacy, as well as find new ways that will serve you in life and help you improve your everyday status. It is usually combined with a cognitive approach.

What do you think - which of these therapies would be the most effective for you?



Discover what are the best types of therapy for trauma as well. 

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1 Comment

  • Lari

    19 Feb 2024, 09:36

    I think that CT and intolerance therapy would work best for me