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There are several different types of anxiety disorders.
Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
It teaches a person different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to anxiety-producing and fearful situations.
CBT can also help people learn and practice social skills, which is vital for treating social anxiety disorder.
One study, called a meta-analysis because it pulls together all of the previous studies and calculates the statistical magnitude of the combined effects, found that cognitive therapy was superior to exposure therapy for treating social anxiety disorder.
CBT may be conducted individually or with a group of people who have similar problems.
Medications are sometimes used as the initial treatment of an anxiety disorder, or are used only if there is insufficient response to a course of psychotherapy.
A typical “side effect” of psychotherapy is temporary discomfort involved with thinking about confronting feared situations.