Who to see and what type of therapy to have?

If you think, or know, you have an anxiety disorder, the best thing to do is see your GP. They can help you decide the best kind of treatment for you and who you should see. They may:

  • Refer you to a
    • Psychologist – a trained, registered mental health professional who can diagnose and treat mental illnesses such as anxiety. They offer talk therapy (counselling).
    • Psychiatrist – a medically trained doctor who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health and who can prescribe medication – some also offer talk therapy.
    • Counsellor, social worker – trained in helping people to understand themselves and make changes in their lives but they have perhaps not trained to the level of a psychologist or psychiatrist.
  • Treat you themselves (if they have an interest and experience in mental health and the impact of your illness)

There are many different types of therapy for anxiety and anxiety disorders including:

Talking therapies

These involve talking about thoughts and feelings with a health professional and coming up with solutions to problems. 

In Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) you talk about how your negative thoughts and feelings influence your actions and what you can do to challenge them.

In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) your therapist talks with you about your anxieties and helps you accept what is out of your control and gives you strategies to deal with your anxieties.

Other therapies may involve talking about your childhood and family influences, or they may involve you talking about your feelings, or you may talk about the way you deal with relationships such as those you have with friends.


There are many different kinds of medications that are effective in helping with anxiety, These are best discussed with your doctor as some can suit you and your type of anxiety better than others. Best results for medications are usually when they are used with talk therapy.

Created on 22/11/2013 | Updated on 01/12/2015
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