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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders

Michael W. Otto, PhD; Jasper A. J. Smits, MA; and Hannah E. Reese, BA

Published: March 1, 2004

Article Abstract

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

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