Print This Page This page is part of the "" section

Problems it can help

Overcome Health Anxiety in London

Efficacy’s Cognitive Behavioural therapists, based in centres across London & Sevenoaks, are experts and highly training in delivering CBT treatments to help you overcome health anxiety.

Health anxiety used to be commonly known as hypochondriasis. It involves fearful beliefs relating to the individual misinterpreting bodily symptoms and concluding that there is something seriously wrong for example they have a life threatening illness.

These difficulties may also be reinforced through social cues eg reading about illness on the internet and visiting GP’s regularly.

These scenarios are understandably anxiety provoking and this emotion can exaggerate perception of fear and further reinforce beliefs. Individuals may become preoccupied with beliefs and engage in a number of coping behaviours such as avoidance of stressful life events, cues such as hospitals or reading about disorders. They may even seek reassurance from health care professionals such as GP’s and hospital specialists.

Treatment Options

Treatment will involve monitoring and understanding patterns and triggers to anxiety and its effects. You will then be socialised to a CBT modle of anxiety which demonstrates a joint understanding of how your difficulty developed and is maintained.

Treatment may involve reducing checking and reassurance behaviour as well as making sense of and balancing anxiety provoking beliefs and thoughts. This may involve looking for alternative perspectives or being more balanced and compassionate in our evaluations.

Evidence Base

There is now a strong evidence base supporting that CBT is an effective treatment for long term and persistent health anxiety.

Clark, D. M., Salkovskis, P. M., Hackmann, A., Wells, A., Fennell, M., Ludgate, J., Ahmad, S.,

Richards, H. C. and Gelder, M. (1998). Two psychological treatments for hypochondriasis. A randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 173, 218-225.

If you would like to find out more or book an assessment in London then call on the number below or complete the online contact form.

Telephone: 020 7929 7911