Therapy for Anxiety Disorders

Psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers at NYU Langone Psychiatry Associates and its Mood Disorders Consultation Service may offer therapy to manage anxiety disorders in adults. Therapy is designed to help change beliefs or behaviors that lead to negative emotions, with the goal of improving quality of life.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to treat people with anxiety disorders. There are two aspects to this type of therapy—the cognitive component, which helps to change how a person views a situation, and the behavioral component, which helps to change how a person reacts to the situation.

This short term, problem-focused therapy is typically given 1 hour per week for 12 to 16 weeks. Therapy may last longer for people with more persistent symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy may be given alone or in combination with medication.

During therapy sessions, a person works with an NYU Langone therapist to learn how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors influence one another.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is recommended for the management of many types of anxiety disorders. A particular type of therapy, known as exposure and response prevention, is especially helpful in treating adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder. It teaches a person how to recognize the thoughts, images, objects, and situations that lead to anxious obsessions and ways to avoid the compulsive rituals associated with these obsessions.


Psychotherapy, or “talk” therapy, involves meeting with a mental health professional to identify and work through the problems that may contribute to or result from an anxiety disorder. Psychotherapy usually takes place one-on-one with an NYU Langone psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed clinical social worker.

Our therapists use a variety of techniques to manage anxiety. These include relationship building between you and the therapist, discussing how the condition affects your daily life, and changing your behavior to improve your overall mental health.

Psychotherapy can be used alone or in combination with medication to treat people with anxiety. The length of treatment varies, but most people work with a therapist for 12 to 16 weeks.

Our Research and Education in Anxiety Disorders

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.