Science-Based Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Anxiety
A cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) approach that emphasises facing one’s fears, known as exposure therapy, is the most scientifically proven way to overcome most anxiety problems. This approach has been tested in hundreds of studies and is the recommended treatment for anxiety by professional organisations around the world, including the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. According to the Australian Psychological Society, this form of CBT has more evidence to support its effectiveness, by far, than any other psychological approach to anxiety. The Illawarra Anxiety Clinic specialises in this therapy.
What Exposure-Based CBT is NOT
1. Exposure therapy is NOT an approach where the therapist acts like a "blank slate" who shows no emotion, reads hidden meaning into the client's every action, and causes the client to wonder "what is my therapist really thinking about me?" That is not how two people of equal status should interact, nor what it looks like for therapists to be genuine with their clients.
2. Exposure therapy is NOT an approach where the practitioner has nothing to offer beyond being a good listener who nods when the client speaks and rephrases what the client just said. I didn't study psychology for 12 years to do nothing more than listen empathically and ask, "how does that make you feel?"! I am an expert in the science of human psychology, and sharing this expertise with my clients and helping them act on it, in the context of a strong collaborative relationship, is the essence of my practice.
3. Exposure-based CBT does NOT involve using lots of different "coping skills" (e.g., controlled breathing, muscle relaxation, mindfulness techniques, cognitive therapy techniques) to help clients "manage" their anxiety. Instead, it emphasises a single powerful approach with the goal of helping clients fully overcome their anxiety, live a rich, full, and meaningful life, and reach their full potential. Learn more about our approach to therapy here.
Issues We Address
We specialise in helping clients with anxiety-related problems, for which exposure therapy is the most effective therapy available. We also work with clients to manage stress, overcome depression, change unwanted behavioural habits, and live a more rich, full, and meaningful life. Learn more...
Values and Philosophy
The Illawarra Anxiety Clinic's core value is "the needs of the client come first." I emphasise a strong collaborative relationship and treat my clients with respect and compassion. My approach is active, focuses mostly on the present, and emphasises behaviour change. I have strong scientific values and in-depth knowledge of the research on psychological and drug approaches to anxiety and other psychological issues. I also reject the unscientific and disempowering notion that psychological problems are medical diseases caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Learn more...
Approach to Therapy: Just Do It!
Due to its strong scientific support, CBT is now so popular that nearly every therapist claims to provide it. However, there are many different approaches to CBT, and some are more science-based and effective than others. The most powerful and straightforward approach to overcoming anxiety emphasises exposure therapy, and I specialise in this approach. Learn more...