It is common to worry sometimes, but people who worry too much often find it exhausting, and it may affect their health. Psychologists call this Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and they think that between 2 and 6 people out of every 100 experience GAD every year. The good news is that there are effective psychological treatments for GAD.
The Understanding Generalized Anxiety And Worry guide is designed to help clients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) to understand more about their condition. As well as a clear description of symptoms and treatments, the guide explores key maintenance factors for GAD including:
Our ‘Understanding…’ series is designed to support your clients:
- Scaffold knowledge. The guides are perfect during early stages of therapy to help your clients understand how their symptoms fit together and make sense.
- Reassure and encourage optimism. Many clients find it hugely reassuring to know there is a name for what they are experiencing, and that there are evidence-based psychological models and treatments specifically designed to help.
- De-mystify the therapy process. To increase your client’s knowledge of the therapy process and the ingredients that it is likely to involve. If you can help your clients to understand why an intervention is important (think exposure!) it can help encourage them to engage.
- Signposting. If you’re just seeing a client briefly for assessment, or you have a curious client who wants to know more, these resources can be a helpful part of guiding them to the right service.
- Waiting time not wasted time. When you’ve assessed someone but their treatment can’t begin right away, psychoeducation can help them learn about how therapy can help while they’re waiting.
Each guide includes:
- Case examples to help your clients relate to the condition, and to normalize their experiences.
- Jargon-free descriptions of symptoms, and descriptions of how they might affect your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
- A symptom questionnaire for screening assessment.
- An accessible cognitive-behavioral account of what keeps the problem going, or what stops it from getting better.
- A description of evidence-based treatments for that condition, including an overview of the ‘ingredients’ of a good cognitive behavioral approach.
- Borkovec, T. D., Robinson, E., Pruzinsky, T., & DePree, J. A. (1983). Preliminary exploration of worry: Some characteristics and processes. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 21(1), 9-16.
- Borkovec, T. D. (2002). Life in the future versus life in the present. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 9(1), 76-80.
- Freeston, M. H., Rhéaume, J., Letarte, H., Dugas, M. J., & Ladouceur, R. (1994). Why do people worry?. Personality and Individual Differences, 17(6), 791-802.
- Gosselin, P., Langlois, F., Freeston, M. H., Ladouceur, R., Laberge, M., & Lemay, D. (2007). Cognitive variables related to worry among adolescents: Avoidance strategies and faulty beliefs about worry. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45(2), 225-233.
- Kessler, R. C., Chiu, W. T., Demler, O., & Walters, E. E. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and co- morbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 617-627.
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE: 2011). Generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder in adults: management. Retrieved from https://www.nice.org.uk/ guidance/cg113/resources/generalised-anxiety-disorder-and-panic-disorder-in-adults-manage- ment-pdf-35109387756997
- Sibrava, N. J., & Borkovec, T. D. (2006). The cognitive avoidance theory of worry. Worry and its psychological disorders: Theory, assessment and treatment, 239-256.
- Stansfeld, S., Clark, C., Bebbington, P., King, M., Jenkins, R., & Hinchliffe, S. (2016). Chapter 2: Common mental disorders. In S. McManus, P. Bebbington, R. Jenkins, & T. Brugha (Eds.), Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. Leeds: NHS Digital.