Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders

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In this article, we consider the evidence supporting the range of applications of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders, and we examine some of the complex issues encountered for the combination of pharmacologic and cognitive-behavioral treatment strategies. The available evidence supports CBT as an effective first-line treatment for anxiety disorders offering longer-term maintenance of treatment gains. There is also evidence that CBT is an effective strategy for pharmacotherapy nonresponders, a replacement strategy for patients who wish to discontinue their medications, and a standard strategy for pharmacotherapy patients who need to boost their treatment response. Relative to combination therapy, we review some of the conditions that may influence the longevity of treatment gains from CBT.

J Clin Psychiatry 2004;65(suppl 5):34-41