VIDEO: Treating Anxiety
David Burns on the Paradox of Resistance
According to renowned anxiety expert David Burns, the biggest barrier to treating anxiety successfully—sometimes even in a single session—is recognizing how clients covertly hold onto their symptoms, even when it restricts their lives and seems to cause them enormous distress.
In fact, many clients believe that their anxiety protects them more than it disrupts their lives. And since so much anxiety treatment involves some form of exposure to the very thing that causes them so much discomfort, clients have compelling reasons to resist. That’s why the drop-out rates for anxiety treatment are so high.
In this video, David explains how he addresses outcome and process resistance in a way that quickly leads to meaningful and lasting change with clients.
This approach—directly addressing the perceived perils of change in the very first session of therapy—allows David to forge an entirely different kind of collaborative alliance with his client from the get-go. Using this approach to treating anxiety, he began to see results beyond anything he'd previously achieved in his long and distinguished career. The key is not starting the process of treatment until the client is truly ready to begin.