I want to thank Dan Dolesh, STD for asking me to come talk about the Treatment of Anxiety to his Joy and Happiness class through the ENCORE program @ Tri-C East. It was a fantastic group who were actively engaged and asked great questions.
The talk followed a class on meditation and we were able to make some connections between the way a Cognitive Behavior therapist approaches anxiety and how it would be seen in a meditative practice. In CBT, we teach the skill of externalizing your anxiety so that you can start separating from your thoughts and emotions. In a meditative practice, we learn not to attach to thoughts or emotions, to become an observer of both. In CBT, we need to separate from our thoughts so we may change the self-talk and, ultimately, lean into the anxiety and do the opposite of what it’s telling us to do (likely avoid the situation).