Cognitive Therapy of Anxiety

  • Arthur Freeman
  • Karen M. Simon

Abstract

Anxiety is among the most common of human responses. When experienced in moderate quantity, it can serve to motivate, energize, and mobilize the individual (Izard & Blumberg, 1985; Lindsley, 1952, 1957, 1960). Many people maintain that they “work best under pressure,” that is, when their anxiety level is high enough, they are motivated to do their best, or only, work. On the other hand, the anxiety level may be so high that it can debilitate the individual and cause both emotional and physical discomfort and pain (Lindsley, 1952, 1957, 1960). Although the particular permutations of cognitive and behavioral anxiety symptoms differ from person to person, the basic physiological concomittants of the experience are common to all people. We experience the emotion of anxiety because of the physiological correlates (Gray, 1985; Schacter, 1964, 1967; Spielberger 1966, 1972; Stokes, 1985; Weiner, 1985). These physiological sequalae can affect every system of the body causing dermal, respiratory, circulatory, gastrointestinal, or muscular systems. In some cases, the problems can be severe enough to cause health problems, that is, ulcers, hypertension (Agras, 1985; Dimsdale, 1985). Given the potentially life-threatening impact of anxiety, it has persisted as a human response throughout human existence. Some authors have speculated that anxiety as a response mechanism has had survival value for the race (Plutchik, 1980), or a “significant evolutionary advantage” that “must have contributed in significant ways to adaptation to a dangerous environment” (Beck, 1985, p. 185).

Keywords

Anxiety Disorder Anxiety Level Cognitive Therapy Activity Schedule Autonomous Individual 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Freeman
    • 1
  • Karen M. Simon
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Cognitive Therapy, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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