Cognitive behavioral psychotherapy for generalized anxiety disorder: a primer

Expert Rev Neurother. 2005 Mar;5(2):247-57. doi: 10.1586/14737175.5.2.247.


Generalized anxiety disorder is a highly debilitating psychologic disorder associated with cognitive, affective, behavioral and physiologic forms of rigidity and dysfunction. Chronic and uncontrollable worry, a future-oriented and highly negative form of verbal thought, is its hallmark symptom. Cognitive behavioral therapy, the most well-established psychologic treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, entails techniques designed to target and reduce dysfunction in each of these mutually interrelating domains. This review serves as an introduction to cognitive behavioral therapy for generalized anxiety disorder, including conceptualization, treatment methods and evidence for efficacy. Future directions for augmenting treatment efficacy are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy* / classification
  • Expert Testimony
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy
  • Relaxation Therapy