For those struggling with an anxiety disorder, finding effective and personalized mental health treatment may seem overwhelming. At True Life Center in San Diego, California, we offer comprehensive treatment for anxiety, as well as depression, trauma disorders, substance abuse, and more. One of the techniques our team may recommend a patient explore as part of their healing path is systematic desensitization, which integrates relaxation techniques with repeat exposures.
Start with Relaxation Skills
Before beginning a new treatment modality like evidence-based systematic desensitization, it’s important to have a toolbox of relaxation skills you can use to center yourself and return to calm. A licensed professional will work with you to develop a hierarchy of your fears so that you can practice applying your relaxation techniques on lesser fears while working up to larger fears. Under the guidance of a licensed practitioner, individuals are able to push past barriers, identify your anxieties, and learn to relax when necessary.
What Are Relaxation Skills?
Relaxation skills are positive mental health practices designed to help you reach a state of calm even when experiencing fear or panic. This is a precursor to any systematic desensitization exercises. You can work on these exercises alone, with your therapist, or combine them as a way to deal with and reduce your anxiety level.
Relaxation techniques for anxiety treatment include the following:
- Diaphragmatic Breathing – During this technique, you regulate your breathing with slow, deep breaths through the nose. After holding a breath for two seconds, you slowly breathe out through your mouth.
- Visualization – This technique includes guided imagery, during which someone describes the scene as you concentrate. You may try holding a relaxing location in your mind and focusing on sensory details, such as sights, sounds, and smells associated with the scene.
- Muscle relaxation – The purposeful tensing and relaxing of muscles, can increase body awareness and release stress in the body.
- Meditation and mindfulness – Meditation and mindfulness help you become aware of thoughts and feelings that run through your mind during a stressful situation. By cultivating mindfulness, you can reduce your anxiety and maintain better control of your thoughts and feelings.
How Systematic Desensitization Works
Once you feel confident in your ability to maintain or return to calm, and work with a professional to build your hierarchy of fears, you may be ready to begin systematic desensitization. At first, a licensed practitioner may encourage you to simply image yourself facing your fears.
For example, perhaps you experience anxiety when you attend crowded events. You can start by imagining yourself at the door of a crowded store. You walk through the door, notice the people around you, and use relaxation techniques to stay calm. By using relaxation techniques, you can address different situations that put you in contact with other people, such as standing at the checkout. You can slowly become desensitized through visualization and relaxation techniques, meaning that you begin to overcome your fear of crowds.
Overcoming anxiety and panic disorders can lead to improved mental health, and lead to healthy coping techniques, boundaries, and lifestyle changes. As part of our comprehensive mental health treatment at the True Life Center in San Diego, California, we may combine systematic desensitization with other anxiety treatment techniques so that you can overcome your fears.
Chronic anxiety is stored on a cellular level, which can put your nervous system into a constant state of overstimulation. Operating from a place of fight or flight response can have long-lasting physical, physiological, and emotional effects including irritability, insomnia, heart palpitations, and substance use disorders.
Discover More About True Life Center’s Approach to Healing Anxiety Disorders
At True Life Center in San Diego, California, our intensive outpatient treatment program includes mental health therapies such as anxiety treatment. Find out more about systematic desensitization and other modalities that help you maintain wellness. Anxiety disorders can impact every aspect of life. You deserve treatment that is individualized and restorative for mind, body, and soul. Contact us today by calling 866.420.1792 or completing our secure online form to begin the recovery process with a knowledgeable admissions counselor.
TLC’s Neurobiological Integration Approach
Our team understands the complexities of mental health, and we can help you or your loved one explore a customized healing path. At True Life Center, our dedicated professionals are committed to working with patients on discovering their true selves and living their best lives.
Our unique Neurobiological Integration Approach aims to identify the root cause of illness and gets results by using the synergistic combination of:
- Individual psychotherapy with DBT, CBT, EMDR and/or psychodynamic approach
- Expert psychiatric treatment
- Mindfulness and self-compassion practices
- Yoga therapy
- Body healing with Qi Gong
Reaping the Benefits Of Finding Mental Health Treatment In San Diego California
True Life Center is committed to helping individuals find and express their authentic self. When suffering is deep and enduring, recognizing a path forward brings comfort and hope. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive map for long-term recovery and optimal health. We listen carefully to you and your loved ones to understand and co-collaborate in the creation of your True Life recovery plan. Finding the right treatment for your mental health may seem challenging right now, but we are here to help.
Find the Support You Need and Deserve at True Life Center
True Life Center in San Diego, California, is dedicated to helping you. Our comprehensive mental health treatment program provides anxiety treatment, along with treatment for depression, trauma, addiction and more. No matter what you’re facing, our team is here to help. To learn more, call 866.420.1792 or reach out to us online.