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Anxiety

Question:

I have been having to CBT therapy and it helped me to reduce my anxiety and stop taking medication. However, the CBT therapy was not complete because the therapist left the clinic. Now, my anxiety is back and I am off the meds, my techniqs to decrease my anxiety seems not to work. I am back to sqare one. Can the talk therapy help me to overcome my anxiety or I should find the clinic to try relearn the technics.

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
Answer:

It is always true that one of the draw backs to clinics is that therapist leave to move on to the next step in their career. This is not to suggest that clinics are in anyway bad or at fault. Quite the opposite, clinics serve a vitally important function in the community and without them we would be lost.

Therapists leave clinics for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the therapists are students who are completing their training. It is common practice to let patients know when the therapist they are seeing is a student. By the way, in my experience, some of the best therapists we have are students. Sometimes therapist leave a clinic because they get a promotions with more money somewhere else, or they move to a different part of the country or they go into private practice.  

I want to suggest that you return to the clinic that served you so very well. You really will not be starting all over again because you know a lot about CBT. However, there is more to learn and you may need to resume medication for now.  

In returning to the clinic one of the things you and the new therapist should discuss is how you felt about the old therapist leaving. Psychotherapy is more than any one technique because the relationship between patient and therapist is always important. You may need to spend some time processing how you really felt about the old therapist that he left the clinic before the work was done. 

It is true that you will be starting with a new person and that it will take some time to trust and become accustomed to him. However, it is in your best interests to do this and complete the work. In terms of CBT stop telling yourself that you are "back to square one." That is one of those automatic thoughts that will not stand up to your thought record. No one can take away what you have learned and the progress you have made. Returning to the clinic means continuing onward and continuing to make progress. 

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