Anxiety (Panic)/DepressionCochrane LibraryCognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Using behavioral therapy to treat generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by chronic anxiety and exaggerated worry and tension even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.

Based on the results of clinical studies, psychological therapy based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles is effective treatment for (GAD) — at least short-term.

The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed 25 short-term studies and concluded that CBT was always better for reducing anxiety, worry, and depression symptoms than “treatment as usual” or being placed on a waiting list.

There were too few studies of psychodynamic therapy to determine its comparative effectiveness to CBT.

The bottom line?

According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, if you are interested in getting psychological treatment for GAD, ask if the therapist has training in cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or behavioral therapy and is open to using medication if it’s needed.

1/28/07 11:39 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.