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If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder or another related condition, we want you to know:

There is hope. 

Our whole-person, sustainable approach to recovery has helped adults aged 18+ suffering from a wide range of anxiety disorders experience ease, build self-esteem, and reclaim their lives.

We can help you or your loved one too.

Recovery is Possible

We treat adults aged 18+ with anxiety.

Our Approach to Healing Anxiety Disorders

A Focus on Wellness & Possibility

Anxiety disorders transform day-to-day tasks into battles against distress; they constrict people’s lives around dread. We recognize how exhausting and debilitating this can be, so we meet every individual who enters our residential rehab programs at both The Farm (our long-term anxiety treatment center) and CooperRiis at Asheville (our short-term anxiety treatment center) with profound compassion.

We also believe that those suffering from anxiety disorders are capable of living full, gratifying lives. That’s why we do more than temporarily mitigate symptoms: We provide residents the tailored, whole-person care they need to reclaim their lives from the grip of excessive worry.

Anxiety disorders occur when the body’s natural fight or flight mechanisms begin functioning improperly, resulting in excessive feelings of dread, nervousness, and stress, even when there is no real danger present. 30% of adults in the U.S. are affected by at least one type of anxiety disorder in their lifetimes. Of that percentage:

  • 7-9% experience a specific phobia
  • 2% experience agoraphobia
  • 7% experience social anxiety disorder
  • 2-3% experience a panic disorder
  • 2% experience generalized anxiety disorder
  • 1-2% experience separation anxiety disorder

In general, women are more likely to experience anxiety disorders than men are. The above data comes from the American Psychiatric Association.

While anxiety is a normal response to danger or stress, an anxiety disorder may be present if you experience one or more of the following symptoms persistently, disproportionately, and in such a way that it interferes with your day-to-day life

Common emotional signs of anxiety disorders include:

  • Excessive and irrational fear
  • Excessive and irrational worry
  • Always anticipating the worst
  • Feeling tense and jumpy
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • General uneasiness
  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Continually watching for signs of danger
  • Difficulty concentrating

Common physical signs of anxiety include:

  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Stomach upset/diarrhea/nausea
  • Frequent urination
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle tension or twitches
  • Trembling
  • Insomnia/issues with sleep
  • Inability to be still
  • Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet (paresthesia)

This list of symptoms commonly associated with anxiety disorders is by no means exhaustive. Anxiety can manifest in hundreds of ways, which is why these types of conditions are often misdiagnosed. If you suspect you have an anxiety disorder, it is important to seek counsel from a psychiatric/ psychological professional. Such an individual can help you better understand the nature of your condition and provide you with a diagnosis if necessary.

There are many different kinds of anxiety disorders, and people can experience more than one at the same time. Below are descriptions of some common types:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms include excessive, persistent worry that interferes with normal activities and can harm personal relationships. This condition makes everyday life feel overwhelming and even exhausting.

Panic Disorder

Those diagnosed with panic disorder experience recurrent panic attacks, or episodes during which anxiety disorder symptoms are intensified for a short period – usually 10 minutes or less. Sometimes, these experiences are so extreme that they’re mistaken for heart attacks or other life-threatening issues.

Common symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • Surges of overwhelming panic and or terror
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Difficulty breathing or hyperventilation
  • Choking sensation
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Feeling dizzy, faint, or lightheaded
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Feelings of unreality or being detached from oneself
  • Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
  • Fear of dying

Phobias, Specific Phobia, and Irrational Fear

A specific phobia is an intense and persistent fear of a situation or activity that is generally not harmful. People who have phobias will go to extreme lengths to avoid whatever frightens them. Even though they often know that their distress is disproportionate, they require professional help to overcome it. One common phobia is agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is the fear of being exposed or trapped within potentially dangerous, harmful, or embarrassing situations. It can cause people to avoid public spaces, seriously impeding their ability to carry out normal, day-to-day activities.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Those suffering from social anxiety disorder are preoccupied with the possibility of being embarrassed, ridiculed, judged, or rejected by others. As a result of this fear, they avoid social settings and often refrain from cultivating important connections with friends and family.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

People with separation anxiety disorder experience excessive fear of losing those with whom they’re closest. They may refuse to spend any length of time apart from the people who are the focus of their attachment, experiencing feelings of anxiety and fear beyond established norms.

Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder

Consumption — especially overconsumption — of alcohol, drugs, caffeine, or other substances can trigger anxiety disorders in some individuals. Symptoms can result directly from intoxication or may be triggered by withdrawal.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that develops after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. PTSD is most often associated with veterans and wartime involvement, but many types of experiences can trigger the onset of this condition. That’s why we take a highly personalized approach to the treatment of PTSD at CooperRiis.

Yes, it is possible to experience these two conditions simultaneously. In some cases, depression develops as a result of crippling anxiety, and in other cases anxiety is a symptom of major depression. The good news is that the personalized, holistic, recovery-focused care that we deliver at CooperRiis has helped people suffering from both depression and anxiety to better manage their conditions so they can live full, gratifying lives.

While there is no “cure” for anxiety disorders, dedicated, holistic treatment can dramatically reduce the severity of symptoms, teach individuals how to effectively manage their bodies’ responses to stress, and position people to achieve their highest levels of health and wellness.

Our Approach to Healing Anxiety Disorders

Dream Statements

We begin every resident’s recovery by helping them craft a Dream Statement. Dream Statements express life aspirations. They guide residents’ development of core goals (attainable in 3 months) and achievable goals (attainable in 1-2 weeks), enabling them to map clear paths towards personally fulfilling lives.

Taking Gradual Steps Towards Manageable Goals

It can be hard for residents with anxiety disorders to envision uplifting possibilities for their futures. That's why our expert staff offers the relationship-driven support residents need to gradually expand their horizons and take manageable steps towards achievable goals. By doing so, we empower residents to safely explore the root causes of excessive worry, confidently cope with stress, and skillfully navigate uncertainty.

Resident-Centered, Relationship-Driven Care

The success of our approach to anxiety disorder recovery hinges on the relationships we build with our residents. By taking the time to listen to their experiences, understand their values, and gain their trust, our staff creates a healing space where those suffering from excessive anxiety feel safe to make progress through every stage of recovery.

Structured Approach, Adaptive Support

The programs at CooperRiis' residential treatment programming offer structure and security while remaining flexible so staff can adapt to residents' changing needs in real time. If one of our residents experiences an unexpected panic/ anxiety attack, for example, we don't just usher them along to their next activity as if nothing happened. Instead, we place a pause on their schedule so we can provide them with the concerted care they need to fully recover from the episode.

We collaborate with residents to create individualized plans that offer opportunities to participate in our Healing Community through recreation, and enjoyable work. That way, individuals with anxiety disorders can apply what they learn within a variety of settings. In addition to reinforcing newly adopted coping skills, this enables our staff to offer the ongoing encouragement and feedback residents need to achieve their goals.

Building Self Esteem and Resilience In Phases

Over time, anxiety disorders can erode self-esteem and damage emotional resilience. We find it's often best to rebuild residents' confidence in phases, working first to reprogram their bodies' reactions to stress and triggers. Then, we help residents reframe their relationships with anxiety so they can begin to solidify positive self-images. By engaging in multiple treatments to target the physical, cognitive, and behavioral components of anxiety in sequence, our residents develop increasingly stable senses of self-confidence so they can operate the outside world successfully.1

Integrated, Whole-Person Treatment

Individuals with anxiety respond best to multimodal, multi-phase treatment plans. That’s why, rather than relying exclusively on medications or therapy, we combine a variety of evidence-based treatments to address all of the following seven domains of health for our residents:

The Seven Domains of Recovery

The seven domains recovery model infographic

Treatment Plans That Meet Residents Where They Are

No matter where they are on their recovery journey, every CooperRiis resident receives personalized care that allows them to make sustainable progress towards their goals. While this means every individual’s recovery plan is unique, the following types of anxiety disorder treatments have been especially beneficial for our residents:

Soothing, Stress-Free Environment

The environments at CooperRiis' residential treatment facilities are designed to be as soothing and stress-free as possible for our residents with anxiety. Housing features private bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and plenty of natural light, immediate access to walking trails, and on-campus arts and crafts studios. By removing the triggers of everyday life and offering plenty of outlets for self expression, both the Farm and CooperRiis at Asheville enable residents to focus all of their energy on recovery.
Exercise/Movement Practices
Research shows that regular exercise reduces stress, supports healthy emotional regulation, promotes confidence, and elevates people's overall moods.2 For these reasons, it's a key component of the recovery programs we develop for individuals with anxiety. After helping residents select movement practices that suit their interests and preferences, we support them in establishing sustainable habits around those practices. We're careful to position exercise as an empowering, uplifting, and enjoyable activity.
Nutrition and Supplements
Nutrition can play a large role in individuals' experiences of anxiety. Some substances, such as alcohol, sugar, and caffeine, can exacerbate symptoms if consumed in excess. That's why we collaborate with each of our residents to create balanced, personalized nutrition plans that provide them with all of the nourishment they need while mitigating their symptoms. For some individuals, we recommend the addition of supplements to enhance the benefits of a well rounded diet.

Medication

Like everything at CooperRiis, decisions about medication are collaborative: Our integrative psychiatrists work with residents to develop approaches to medication that align with their specific needs, goals, and preferences. We strive to prescribe the lowest dose that will support the highest quality of life for all our residents, and we maintain regular communications with them so necessary medication adjustments can be made in real time.
Breathwork and Mindfulness Practices
We teach residents breathwork and mindfulness techniques that they can use to regulate the physical components of their anxiety disorders. Whether they're experiencing generalized, chronic symptoms or more acute panic/anxiety attacks, residents can use these strategies to center their focus on the present, ground their awareness in their senses, and self soothe. By doing so, they create the space they need to engage in the cognitive coping strategies we teach them.
Cognitive Therapy
Our accredited, experienced psychotherapists offer a variety of therapeutic modalities in both individual and group settings so residents can select the treatments most comfortable for them. We find that residents with anxiety disorders often benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). All three of these approaches enable residents to create distance between themselves and their thoughts/feelings so they can establish a healthier relationship with anxiety.
Exposure Therapy
Exposure therapy can be an important dimension of treatment for residents with social anxiety, phobias such as agoraphobia, and other specific anxieties that inhibit day-to-day functioning. When administered by expert therapists, it can dramatically reduce individuals' sensitivity to stressors and promote their confidence in themselves. We are careful to integrate exposure therapy into our residents' recovery plans intentionally, gradually, and only when they are ready.

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective, evidence-based approach to healing the effects of trauma, adverse life experiences, and phobias. We integrate this modality into residents' recovery plans to help them process traumatic memories, develop new relationships with distressing stimuli, and dismantle negative core beliefs. During EMDR sessions, our trained clinicians guide residents in creating new, adaptive associations with emotionally-charged thoughts.

Dual Diagnosis Groups

Anxiety disorders and substance abuse often go hand in hand; it is not uncommon for those who feel chronic dread, worry, or distress to rely on drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms. Our dual diagnosis groups support residents in addressing substance abuse issues while they undergo treatment for the other components of their anxiety. This allows residents to gradually replace their maladaptive coping strategies with healthy ones and make sustainable progress towards their recovery goals.
Community
Supportive, compassionate, and affirming, the community at CooperRiis gives residents with anxiety disorders a sense of security that promotes their self-worth and enables them to take healthy risks. Residents engage with their community through activities, group therapy, work crews, and other outlets. This variety of structured social opportunities reinforces the skills they learn with us while helping them grow their support network.

Family Education

Familial support reduces the rate of re-hospitalization for those with mental illnesses, according to a recent study3. We not only keep family members updated on their loved one's progress with us, but we also provide them with an in-depth education on how they can become the support system individuals with anxiety disorders need in order to achieve their highest levels of health and wellness.

Our Recovery Model Works

Data collected over 10 years show that the residential treatment program for anxiety disorders at CooperRiis works. Individuals who benefit from our holistic, recovery-focused model of care make demonstrable progress in multiple domains of health.

An extensive body of research and clinical experience affirms these findings: Combining psychotherapy with a strong, supportive community, structured daily routines, physical wellness programs, and an integrative approach to medication can dramatically improve the lives of those suffering from anxiety disorders

After participating in our program, people with anxiety disorders:

  • Are able to carry out day-to-day functions successfully and with a greater ease.
  • Experience long-term improvements in emotional wellbeing.
  • Gain stable senses of self esteem and confidence.
  • Are empowered to become stewards of their own health.

2019 Alumni Survey Results

1 %

are engaged in either competitive employment, volunteering, or going to school.

1 %
are living independently with roommates or on their own.
1 %
report they have had no psychiatric hospitalizations.

Research Citations

We can help.

Contact us to get started with our healing community.

What to Expect 

We are waiting to assist you and answer your questions now. 

Call to speak with one of our friendly admissions team members. We will help you determine which program would be best for you or your loved one, and gather information about the potential resident. 

Or, email us any time at: Admissions@CooperRiis.org