This page was clinically reviewed by Dr Oluwagbenga Odeyemi (MBBS, MPH, MRCPsych) in August 2021, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in August 2023.
Everyone can feel worried and anxious from time-to-time, and in response to stressful life events. These may include:
- Moving home
- Starting a new career
- Having a baby
- Being diagnosed with an illness
- Relationship breakdowns
- Financial troubles
However, if you struggle with anxiety, these emotions can be especially intense. They might prevent you from functioning effectively on a daily basis and can have a negative impact on your health and wellbeing.
It’s estimated that around 6% of all people in England struggle with anxiety. Also, statistics suggest that women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety than men. However, this might be because women are more likely to seek help for their anxiety.
The good news is that anxiety is treatable and the therapy available at Priory can help you recover, enabling you to live your life to the full once again.
What is anxiety and what causes it?
There are a number of common symptoms of anxiety. You may be experiencing fear, panic, worry or unease, but these are common emotions and completely natural. However, when these feelings occur on a more frequent basis, they can cause you to develop a severe anxiety disorder.
Typical causes of anxiety include:
- Stress at work, at home or in your relationships
- Emotional trauma
- Drug or alcohol use
- Childhood experiences
- Side effects of medication
- Being diagnosed with an illness
While some situations can cause anxiety, such as the loss of a loved one, divorce or overworking, some people have an anxious personality and can develop it for no obvious reason.
Anxiety is treatable and you can make a lasting recovery
Priory successfully helps thousands of people every year to address their anxiety. It’s important to understand that you don’t have to struggle alone and that anxiety is treatable. Our team of psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists can provide expert anxiety counselling and treatment at our specialist hospitals and wellbeing centres across the country.
We will work with you to understand what may be the cause of your anxiety, tackle your symptoms, and improve your quality of life. We are able to deliver a wide range of tried and tested therapeutic techniques, helping you to:
- Reduce your anxiety symptoms
- Get to the bottom of what is causing your anxiety issues
- Start your journey towards recovery and wellbeing
Our anxiety treatment specialists can also prescribe medication for anxiety, if this is appropriate for you.
While you’re with us, we will make sure you’re placed at the centre of your treatment journey, and are involved in all decisions that are made about your care. This means you’ll receive a personalised treatment experience, helping you to achieve the best possible outcomes. Our supportive, compassionate and therapeutic treatment environments provide the ideal setting for you to address your concerns, and take steps towards recovery.
Without professional help, your anxiety may become worse over time and can have a negative impact on lots of different areas of your life including:
- Your ability to function in your daily life
- Your performance at work or school
- Your relationships with others
- Your general health and wellbeing
We know that seeking help for your anxiety can be daunting. However, it’s the most crucial step you can take to overcome your anxiety and get back on track.
Don’t suffer in silence – Priory can help you overcome anxiety
For many people, anxiety can be debilitating. However, effective anxiety counselling, treatment and support, you can relieve your distress and make a strong recovery. At Priory, we are dedicated to providing personalised anxiety treatment. We can help you to:
- Develop effective coping strategies
- Increase your self-awareness
- Resolve the issues causing your anxiety
- Identify any triggers for your anxiety
We are able to provide outpatient, day care or inpatient (residential) treatment for anxiety at Priory. Our clinicians will work with you to decide upon the best treatment plan to get you better. You can read more about these different treatment options on our approach to mental health treatment page.
We have specialists across the UK who provide expert treatment and therapy for anxiety.
How do we treat anxiety at Priory?
We offer a variety of different treatment options for anxiety, including counselling and talking therapies. These are detailed below:
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety - CBT is a very effective therapeutic technique and it’s used all over the world to treat lots of mental health conditions, including anxiety. CBT is based on the idea that anxiety develops and is worsened by negative thought patterns. These can be deep-rooted and cause you to respond to and evaluate situations in unhealthy ways. Therefore, the aim of CBT is to address the unhealthy thought processes that underpin your anxiety, and look at why they have developed in the first place. Ultimately, this will help you to view situations much more positively.
CBT has been found to result in long-lasting benefits and it also provides you with effective coping mechanisms for the future. This means you’ll be able to recognise negative thoughts when they arise and respond to them in a more positive way, instead of getting anxious. This way, you can continue improving your levels of wellbeing long after treatment.
Exposure interventions for anxiety - exposure can also be used to treat anxiety. This is a therapeutic technique that aims to reintroduce you to objects, situations or events that make you anxious, in carefully controlled steps. This helps you to gradually confront your fears, and reduce the distress that you feel. Exposure therapy is especially useful when treating phobias, which are a specific form of anxiety.
1:1 therapy for anxiety - 1:1 therapy is an effective therapy technique, used worldwide to treat anxiety. This form of anxiety therapy takes place on an individual basis between yourself and an anxiety specialist. During 1:1 therapy, your anxiety therapist will be able to explore your unique concerns in a personalised way, helping you to achieve the best outcomes for you as an individual.
Group therapy for anxiety - as its name suggests, this type of therapy takes place in a group setting. Groups are usually made up of other patients who are going through similar issues to you or who have also been diagnosed with anxiety. The aim of group anxiety therapy is to provide you with the chance to:
- Share your experiences with other group members
- Offer mutual guidance and support
- Explore your anxiety in a safe, compassionate and non-judgemental setting
We understand that the thought of discussing your mental health problems with a group of strangers can seem daunting at first. However, research shows that group therapy is linked to positive outcomes and is an effective way of treating anxiety.
Family therapy for anxiety - family therapy takes place in a group with your family or loved ones. The aim of family therapy is to help you have an open and honest conversation about your anxiety, allowing everyone involved to:
- Understand what anxiety is
- Recognise the signs and symptoms of anxiety
- Explore the impact that anxiety is having on you and those who are closest to you
This form of therapy for anxiety is extremely effective and allows you and your loved ones to put steps in place to support each other better in the future.
Eye movement desensitisation and re-processing (EMDR) - Eye movement desensitisation and re-processing (EMDR) is a therapy method used to treat a variety of mental health conditions including trauma, addiction and anxiety as well as other emotional conditions.
EMDR allows a person to process an emotional experience that they have had difficulty talking about. Experience has shown that following EMDR treatment, the person can develop the ability to talk about their trauma more freely, and in a way that may have proved difficult in the past.
Medication can also be used to treat anxiety and you can take this alongside CBT and other types of anxiety therapy. This helps to complement the therapeutic parts of treatment and acts as an extra barrier against anxiety. Different types of anxiety medication include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - the most useful anxiety medications are SSRIs, which are a form of antidepressant. These aren’t addictive and their effects can be seen after just a few weeks. It’s important to take a full course of SSRI treatment, which is usually 9 months or more
- Beta-blockers - beta-blockers, such as Propranolol, can help to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety. Therefore, these can be useful in specific situations, like helping you to perform or speak in public if this is something that usually makes you anxious
- Anxiolytics - for the short-term relief of anxiety, anxiolytics such as Diazepam can be useful. However, these are addictive and shouldn’t be used long-term
Outpatient anxiety treatment
During outpatient treatment, you will attend one of our Priory sites to receive a set number of sessions for your anxiety with one of our therapists. Outpatient therapy:
- Can be flexible based on your work or other commitments
- Is useful if you need ongoing support for your anxiety, but don’t need more intensive care (such as day care or inpatient treatment)
- Can be used as a step-down from more intensive day care and inpatient treatment options, if required
We are also able to offer a tailored outpatient therapy package at our wellbeing centres. This is available to adults and young people and has been specifically designed to tackle anxiety disorders. For peace of mind, our therapy package offers:
- A set amount of 1:1 anxiety therapy sessions
- Certainty of price for initial treatment
- Discounted rates
- A personalised treatment plan
Priory’s anxiety therapy package includes eight one-to-one therapy sessions with our anxiety counsellors. This is the number of sessions that are recommended to help you tackle your anxiety and the sessions tend to last for one hour. You will also be able to get a further discount on any more therapy sessions you may need after your initial treatment.
Day care for anxiety
Day care consists of you attending one of our Priory hospitals for a certain number of days each week, and taking part in anxiety therapy. However, you won’t stay at the hospital overnight – instead, you’ll return home following a day of therapy. Depending on your needs, day care may be used as a:
- Step-up in intensity from an outpatient treatment programme
- Step-down in intensity from an inpatient (residential) treatment programme
Day care is useful if you don’t need intensive 24-hour support, but still need ongoing, structured care for your anxiety.
Inpatient treatment for anxiety
During inpatient treatment for anxiety, you will stay at one of our Priory hospitals on a residential basis for a certain length of time. While you’re with us, you will receive intensive treatment for your anxiety. Inpatient treatment is effective in treating more severe anxiety because:
- It gives you the chance to spend some time away from your day-to-day life and any negative influences that may be making your anxiety worse
- It provides you with structure, personalised and evidence-based therapies, and 24-hour support
We understand that residential treatment can be an overwhelming thought at first. However, it provides you with the time, care and attention you need to fully address your anxiety. We will help you to:
- Reduce your symptoms
- Tackle any emotional and physical issues
- Take steps towards a strong and lasting recovery
You can read more about the different treatment options that we offer at Priory, by accessing our approach to mental health treatment page.
Priory offers video access to online therapy and assessments. You will benefit from the same high regulatory standards received across all Priory services, and will be treated by highly trained therapists who are experts in their field.
For more information about the mental health services that Priory offer, download our brochure.Get our brochure