Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Cognitive Model of Anxiety

Anxiety is maintained by the same five areas described above. People who are anxious will be faced with a situation, they will have negative thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical reactions.

Cognitive models of “Generalized Anxiety” claim that individuals experience this type of anxiety because they assume the world is a THREATENING place and that they are in DANGER. The assumptions about this vary, but they can be understood as falling into the following categories around the issues of:






Most anxiety is maintained by avoidant behaviour.


There are many books written on family and marriage counselling and relationship building. Most people agree that problems arise when there are communication difficulties in relationships. There are many ways to understand what goes on the dynamics of relationships.

CBT can also be a useful tool in family therapy. The aim of CBT is to help people to gain perspective on the way they see things irrationally. CBT can be used in couple counselling to help partners to see things in perspective and help to understand each other. All the techniques in this manual are helpful for this. But, simply explaining how distress can be understood in the 5 areas (Situation, thoughts, feelings, behaviours, physical reactions) can help couples to understand each other.

Families or couples can be like the blind men trying to make sense of the elephant. Only with discussion and openness in communication, can people gain perspective about how things really are.

A useful method for couples is to make “a marriage life line” together. Partners describe all their significant events in their marriage (positive and negative ones), the feelings they had at the time and the thoughts they had about these events. A simple exercise like this can help the couple see how the other sees things; whether there are misconceptions and it can help to clear up misunderstanding.