Anxiety Disorders in Couple and Family Therapy
Anxiety disorders encompass a diverse set of psychological disorders. The current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association 2013) recognizes seven distinct disorders within the category. These disorders are generally characterized by the presence of fears (defined as perceptions of imminent threat), anxiety (defined as worry regarding future threat), chronic tension, cautiousness, avoidance, and related behavioral disturbance. In addition to these symptoms, anxiety disorders also share mechanisms underlying their etiology and maintenance, although there is considerable heterogeneity in how these disorders present. One implication of these shared mechanisms is that there is relatively high comorbidity among anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders are also particularly common in the general population, with lifetime prevalence estimates nearing 30% in the United States (Kessler et al. 2005).
Due to their high prevalence,...
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