How Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Be Protective Against Anxiety Disorder During the COVID-19 Era?

Bilişsel Davranışçı Terapi COVID-19 Döneminde Anksiyete Bozukluğuna Karşı Nasıl Korur?

The COVID-19 outbreak has had an enormous impact on the health conditions of people.  As shown by some pieces of research, COVID-19-induced restrictions and measures have had critical impacts on the mental health of individuals. The setbacks in psychopharmacological or other treatments administered specifically in psychiatric disorders caused issues in terms of the continuity of the treatment.

Nonetheless, it was reported by psychotherapists that patients undergoing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) were able to cope with pandemic conditions in different ways, and that they did not show any symptoms of anxiety.

The following are the explanations regarding the effectiveness of CBT in preventing recurrences in patients with anxiety disorders.

  1. CBT improved the patients’ tolerance for uncertainty.
  2. Perceived self-efficacy is another protective factor. The patients who previously underwent a CBT treatment tended to have the “If I managed to overcome my anxiety before, then I can handle this situation as well” approach.
  3. Therapeutic relationship and collaborative experience play a significant part in CBT. Using what they had learned during the therapy, some patients were supportive of their circles; for instance, they helped their families during the isolation period.
  4. CBT is effective even when administered online. The continuation of the treatment during quarantine functioned in a supportive fashion during the pandemic.
  5. CBT improves cognitive reappraisal.
  6. That being said, culture plays an important role in coping with anxiety. Some patients reported that it was beneficial for them to review a similar trauma history.

These observations demonstrate that CBT can be a protective factor against probable cases of stress in the future.

– Mohammadi A, Cummings J. How CBT Can Be Protective Against Anxiety Disorders During COVID-19 Era, Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. DOI: 10.5812/ijpbs.106601.