Center for Integrative Psychiatry

Therapy Goals for Anxiety – Set Effective Treatment Goals

Therapy goals for anxiety are essential for effective treatment. Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals helps individuals understand what they want to achieve through therapy. In this article, we will explore the importance of therapy goals for anxiety, how to set them, and the role of cognitive behavioral therapy in achieving these goals.

What are Therapy Goals for Anxiety?

Therapy goals for anxiety are specific objectives that individuals want to achieve through therapy. These goals help individuals focus on what they want to accomplish, and they provide a roadmap for the therapist to follow. Effective therapy goals for anxiety should be:

  • Specific: Clearly define what you want to achieve
  • Measurable: Quantifiable, so progress can be tracked
  • Achievable: Realistic and attainable
  • Relevant: Align with your values and needs
  • Time-bound: Have a specific deadline or timeframe

Importance of Goals and Objectives for Anxiety

Setting therapy goals for anxiety is crucial because it:

  • Provides direction and focus for therapy
  • Helps individuals prioritize their concerns
  • Enhances motivation and engagement
  • Allows for tracking progress and evaluating success
  • Encourages active participation and ownership

Objectives for Anxiety

Some common objectives for anxiety therapy include:

  • Reducing symptoms: Decrease the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks
  • Improving coping skills: Develop effective coping strategies to manage anxiety
  • Enhancing relationships: Improve communication and relationships with family and friends
  • Increasing self-esteem: Develop a more positive self-image and confidence
  • Improving daily functioning: Manage daily tasks and responsibilities with greater ease

Physical Therapy for Anxiety

While physical therapy may not be the first treatment that comes to mind for anxiety, it can be a valuable adjunct to traditional talk therapy. Physical therapy can help:

  • Reduce physical tension: Relaxation techniques and exercise can reduce physical symptoms of anxiety
  • Improve sleep: Regular exercise and relaxation can improve sleep quality
  • Boost mood: Exercise releases endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a highly effective treatment for anxiety disorders. CBT helps individuals:

  • Identify and challenge negative thoughts: Become aware of distorted or unhelpful thinking patterns and replace them with more balanced and constructive ones
  • Develop coping skills: Learn effective coping strategies to manage anxiety
  • Improve relationships: Develop more effective communication and relationship skills

Finding Anxiety Therapy Near Me

If you’re struggling with anxiety, finding a qualified therapist is crucial. You can:

  • Ask for referrals: Ask your primary care physician or mental health professional for recommendations
  • Check online directories: Search online directories like Psychology Today or GoodTherapy
  • Contact your insurance provider: Check with your insurance provider for a list of in-network therapists

Setting SMART Therapy Goals for Anxiety

Setting SMART goals for anxiety therapy helps individuals achieve their objectives. Here’s an example of how to set a SMART goal:

  • Specific: I want to reduce my anxiety symptoms
  • Measurable: I will decrease my anxiety attacks from 5 to 2 per week
  • Achievable: I will work with my therapist to develop coping skills and practice relaxation techniques
  • Relevant: Reducing anxiety symptoms aligns with my value of living a healthy and fulfilling life
  • Time-bound: I will achieve this goal within the next 3 months

Overcoming Obstacles in Anxiety Therapy

Anxiety therapy can be challenging, and obstacles may arise. Here are some common obstacles and how to overcome them:

  • Resistance to change: Be open-minded and willing to try new coping strategies
  • Fear of failure: Remember that setbacks are opportunities for growth and learning
  • Lack of motivation: Celebrate small successes and remind yourself of your goals

Common Anxiety Disorders

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Excessive worry about everyday things
  • Panic Disorder: Recurring panic attacks
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: Fear of social or performance situations
  • Specific Phobias: Irrational fears of specific objects or situations

Therapy Approaches for Anxiety

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Identifies and challenges negative thoughts and behaviors
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Develops coping skills and emotional regulation
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): Encourages acceptance and values-based action

Frequently Asked Questions

What is anxiety therapy?

Anxiety therapy is a type of talk therapy that helps individuals manage and overcome anxiety disorders.

What are the different types of anxiety therapy?

There are several types of anxiety therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy.

How long does anxiety therapy take?

The length of anxiety therapy varies depending on the individual’s needs and goals. It can range from a few weeks to several months.

What are the benefits of anxiety therapy?

Anxiety therapy can help individuals reduce symptoms of anxiety, improve relationships, and increase overall well-being.

How do I find an anxiety therapist?

You can find an anxiety therapist through your insurance provider, online directories, or referrals from your primary care physician or mental health professional.


  • Anxiety: A feeling of worry, nervousness, or fear that is persistent and overwhelming.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): A type of talk therapy that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): A type of talk therapy that helps individuals develop coping skills and emotional regulation.
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): A type of talk therapy that encourages acceptance and values-based action.
  • SMART goals: Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.


Therapy goals for anxiety are essential for effective treatment. By setting SMART goals, individuals can focus on what they want to achieve, and therapists can provide targeted support. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a highly effective treatment for anxiety disorders, and physical therapy can be a valuable adjunct. Remember, seeking help is the first step towards recovery.

Medical Disclaimer

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. If you are experiencing anxiety or other mental health concerns, please seek help from a qualified mental health professional.

Contact Us

If you’re ready to find relief from anxiety, contact the Center For Integrative Psychiatry at 1-877-283-5336 to learn more about our TMS therapy programs. Our experienced team is dedicated to helping you achieve optimal mental health.

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