How Does CBT Work for Treating Anxiety?

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Anxiety disorders cause anguish and hopelessness in the lives of millions of people. They often don’t know where to turn for help or may have tried to get help before, but it didn’t provide them with lasting results. Renewal Oasis understands that tackling a challenging mental illness like an anxiety disorder requires multiple approaches. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) equips people to overcome their anxiety and enjoy a calmer daily existence. Our program provides CBT for anxiety as part of our overall residential treatment plan. We can also treat people with anxiety disorders on an outpatient basis and include options for prescription medications that ease symptoms.

How is CBT Used to Treat Anxiety?

Anyone new to the idea of using CBT for anxiety may wonder how it works. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps people identify their negative thoughts patterns, emotions, and behaviors so that they can begin to learn to change them. Someone who has an anxiety disorder often assumes the worst about how they will act or react to a situation, location, or person. Putting lessons learned from CBT into action helps them stop using negativity as their default setting. Instead, the individual learns to replace negative thoughts and assumptions with new patterns that allow for positivity to take center stage. 

CBT teaches people to take time after an initial negative thought or feeling emerges and consider it from a neutral space. They ask themselves if their perception or assumption is rooted in reality or if it is fear-based. Taking a beat to look at things rationally helps the person adopt a more positive approach. In turn, this helps alleviate anxiety and allows the person to make a habit of recognizing their strength instead of dissolving into anxiety-based reactions. Changing how a person thinks about a situation helps them change their emotional reaction. With practice, symptoms of anxiety begin to become less common. 

Different CBT Techniques for Treating Anxiety

Over 40 million people aged 18 and over in the United States have an anxiety disorder. The fact that this illness is so prevalent makes it important to know the different ways CBT for anxiety can work. Therapists who use CBT can apply different approaches to help provide the best results possible. They will tailor their choices to the specific needs of the person they treat. Common techniques include: 

Cognitive Restructuring: This helps people who tend to assume the worst possible outcome to any situation or who become obsessed over small details. They often end up engaging in negative self-fulfilled prophecies because they convinced themselves no other outcome could happen. The person learns to recognize that good outcomes prove possible and they control the results.

Thought challenging: The person learns to hold up a proverbial stop sign when they think a negative thought. From there, they consider the situation from several angles that include evidence rather than pure emotion. This allows them to act in a rational manner rather than caving to anxiety.

Behavioral experiments: A person can bring up an event that triggers their anxiety and then discuss all of the possible outcomes, rather than just the worst one. This allows the person to understand different ways situations may play out. They can then anticipate their feelings and have a plan for how to handle the situation. 

Behavioral activation: This technique allows a person to plan an activity they believe will be anxiety-provoking. For example, going to a large store may be upsetting. The individual will decide on a specific date they will go to the store and work on how they will handle this activity during the CBT sessions leading up to it. 

Relaxation techniques: Anxiety often includes reactions like shallow breathing, tense muscles, and racing thoughts. Learning to practice relaxation techniques can help a person reduce the anxiety they feel or prevent some episodes from developing. Common relaxation techniques include breathing exercises, meditation, muscle relaxation, and grounding.

How Does Renewal Oasis Treat Anxiety With CBT? 

Renewal Oasis is a residential treatment center located in scenic Palm Springs, California. We also offer outpatient treatment in nearby Los Angeles, California, to meet the needs of everyone who can benefit from our programs. Both of our facilities showcase our desire to provide a homelike atmosphere that allows people to feel comfortable while they work on improving their mental health. 

We employ a staff of dedicated and experienced mental health professionals who understand how to communicate with people. They provide judgment-free, friendly services designed to help people overcome their anxiety. We offer CBT for anxiety for people who struggle with many different types of anxiety disorders. This includes:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Specific phobias


We offer a wide roster of types of therapies that help people with anxiety. We believe that exposure to more than one type of therapy gives people the best chance to improve their symptoms and regain control of their lives. For example, someone who comes to us for help with anxiety may attend individual therapy and CBT. They may also find it helpful to attend group therapy, family therapy, and other options. Along with CBT for anxiety, we provide options for prescription medications that ease the symptoms of anxiety.

Contact Renewal Oasis about CBT for Anxiety

Have you tried to overcome your anxiety disorder but don’t feel you have the right tools to make a lasting difference? Renewal Oasis Behavioral Health employs a skilled staff of therapists who understand how to use CBT for anxiety. We teach people to reframe their emotions and assumptions and begin to get ahead of the anxiety that controls their lives. In fact, CBT often proves to be the missing component in helping someone minimize their symptoms of anxiety. 

Contact us today to find out more about how we can provide you with effective treatment to reduce anxiety in your life. You deserve to feel better and our expert staff can show you how.