CBT is Effective for Trait Anxiety and Worry

According to a study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, both cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and short term psychodynamic psychotherapy (STPP), help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).  In the long-term however, CBT has demonstrated superiority in measures of trait anxiety and worry.

Participants (n=57) in the current study were treated with either CBT (n=29) or STPP (n=28) for up to 30 sessions. Both groups yielded large improvements concerning symptoms of depression and anxiety which remained stable at a 6 month follow-up.  At the 12 month follow-up, CBT treatment was shown to provide greater reductions in anxiety symptoms, as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ).  These results are consistent with several other previous trials demonstrating the long-term benefits of CBT for GAD.

Salzer, S., Winkelbach, C., Leibing, E., Leweke, F., & Leichsenring, F. (2011). Long-term effects of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy in generalized anxiety disorder: 12-Month follow-up. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 56, 8, 503-508.