Treatment of anxiety
Roughly 20% of people will be affected by an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Anxiety disorders are often associated with considerable dysfunction and suffering, but they are highly treatable. Of all the available mental-health programmes, the treatments for anxiety disorders have the highest success rates.
To improve the quality of (mental) healthcare services, guidelines are increasingly being formulated - either at the direct or indirect initiative of the national government – and they generally receive wide support from the various professions often in consultation with patient/client associations and interest groups. Such guidelines have also been developed for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
These multidisciplinary, evidence-based guidelines (see the Trimbos Institute website www.ggzrichtlijnen.nl) specify for each anxiety disorder which treatment(s) a patient should be offered. Evidence-based practices help clinicians in their clinical decision-making process and contribute to the improvement of the quality (effectiveness) and efficiency (cost-effectiveness) of treatment. In the guidelines for each of the anxiety-specific treatments, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is indicated as the treatment of first or second choice.
CBT is often protocol-based in that the formats and content of treatment sessions are carefully described (see“Protocollaire behandeling voor volwassenen met psychische klachten”Manualised treatment of adults with mental-health problems, Boom publishers). Such manualised treatments, whose efficacy and effectiveness have been demonstrated in empirical and clinical studies, have been developed for all anxiety disorders. NijCa²re contributes to the development, drafting and empirical testing of new treatment protocols.
For more information about CBT, watch the clip on the website of the Netherlands Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (de Vereniging voor Gedragstherapie en Cognitieve Therapie).