A group of researchers headed by Giovanni A. Fava (University of Bologna) reports on a new method for treating anxiety, well-being therapy, a psychotherapeutic strategy for increasing psychological well-being.
There is increasing awareness that the goal of treatment in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) should not simply be a response, but restoration of normal function. The aim of this study was to apply a novel psychotherapeutic approach for increasing the level of remission in GAD. Twenty patients with DSM-IV GAD devoid of comorbid conditions were randomly assigned to 8 sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or the sequential administration of 4 sessions of CBT followed by other 4 sessions of well-being therapy (WBT). Assessment methods included the Anxiety and Depression Scales of Paykels Clinical Interview for Depression, Ryffs Psychological Well-being Scales and Kellners Symptom Questionnaire. A one-year follow-up was undertaken. Significant advantages of the CBT-WBT sequential combination over CBT only were observed with both observer and self-rated methods after treatment. Such gains were maintained at follow-up. These preliminary results suggest the feasibility and clinical advantages of adding WBT to the treatment of GAD. They lend support to a sequential use of treatment components for achieving a more sustained recovery.
“Instead of trying to suppress negative thoughts – Prof. Fava comments- we may overcome anxiety by increasing our sense of autonomy, environmental mastery, goal in life and self-acceptance”.
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