Therapy for Auburn Students.


Mental disorders such as anxiety and depression are prevalent mental health concerns amongst 60% of college students in the US, including Auburn University students. The transition to college life, academic pressures, social challenges, and the uncertainty of the future can all contribute to increased stress and anxiety levels.

According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue affecting college students today. Addressing anxiety effectively is crucial not only for academic success but also for the overall well-being of Auburn students.

The therapeutic approach used by Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has gained recognition as an effective treatment for anxiety. This article explores the implementation of ACT treatment plans for anxiety among Auburn students, offering them a path to manage and overcome their anxiety-related struggles.

Importance of Addressing Anxiety Effectively for Academic Success and Overall Well-Being

Anxiety can severely impact students’ academic performance, leading to decreased concentration, impaired decision-making, and a decline in overall productivity. Furthermore, untreated anxiety typically affects students’ personal lives, relationships, and physical health.

By addressing anxiety proactively and providing effective treatment, students at Auburn University are more likely to achieve their academic and personal goals while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Understanding ACT for Anxiety Treatment Plan

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on cultivating psychological flexibility. Rather than attempting to eliminate anxiety or suppress unwanted thoughts and emotions, ACT encourages individuals to accept their feelings and thoughts while redirecting their focus towards actions aligned with their values.

The central idea is to create a willingness to experience all emotions, fear, doubt, or worry while pursuing a purposeful and fulfilling life.

Phase 1: Psychological Assessment and Understanding Anxiety: Getting started with therapy for Auburn students

Before initiating the ACT treatment plan, a comprehensive psychological assessment is essential. Qualified mental health professionals at Empower Counseling would evaluate the student’s anxiety levels, triggers, and underlying causes. This assessment helps create a tailored ACT treatment plan that addresses the unique needs of each student.

During this phase, students would also receive psychoeducation about anxiety, its physiological and psychological aspects, and the role of avoidance behaviors in perpetuating anxiety. Understanding anxiety and its mechanisms is vital for students to develop a sense of self-awareness and reduce self-judgment.

Phase 2: Cultivating Acceptance and Mindfulness

Through ACT our licensed therapists help individuals acknowledge their anxious thoughts and feelings without judgment. Instead of attempting to control or eliminate these emotions, individuals learn to coexist.

Students will learn to observe their thoughts and emotions without judgment, allowing anxiety to come and go without struggling to eliminate it. Mindfulness exercises, such as meditation and deep breathing techniques, would be incorporated into daily practices to build emotional resilience and create a buffer against anxiety triggers.

ACT employs mindfulness practices to help students stay present and aware of their experiences without becoming entangled in anxious thoughts. Psychological flexibility encourages adaptability in response to stressors, thereby reducing the impact of anxiety on daily life.


Phase 3: Identifying Values and Setting Meaningful Goals

College is often a time of self exploration and self discovery. However, it can be confusing and overwhelming sifting through who you have learned from others to be and determining who you want to be. Acceptance Commitment Therapy is especially useful for college students because it provides a framework for students to become clear about what they value in life, and that becomes their compass.

A crucial aspect of ACT for anxiety treatment plan involves helping Auburn students clarify their values and set meaningful life goals.

Students gain a sense of purpose by connecting with their inner aspirations and what truly matters to them. This process empowers them to move away from anxiety-driven behaviors and make choices that align with their values, enhancing life satisfaction and fulfillment.

Phase 4: Committed Action and Exposure

ACT emphasizes the importance of taking committed action in the face of anxiety. Students are encouraged to confront anxiety-inducing situations gradually through systematic exposure. This exposure therapy helps them develop resilience and confidence in coping with anxiety-provoking circumstances.

The mental health professionals at Empower Counseling provide ongoing support and guidance during this phase, fostering a safe environment for students to challenge themselves without feeling overwhelmed.

Phase 5: Defusion Techniques

Defusion techniques are fundamental in ACT treatment for anxiety. These methods involve detaching from unhelpful thoughts and beliefs contributing to anxiety and embracing them as mental events.

By recognizing that thoughts are not objective truths, students can distance themselves from the negative impact of anxiety-provoking thoughts, reducing their influence over their emotions and actions.

Phase 6: Review and Continuous Improvement: Effective Therapy for Auburn Students

The ACT treatment plan for anxiety is not a linear process but an ongoing journey of growth and self-discovery. Regular reviews and assessments are conducted to track progress, identify challenges, and adjust the treatment plan as needed.

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Phase 7: Commitment to Value-Driven Actions

ACT emphasizes setting goals and engaging in actions aligned with one’s values and aspirations, regardless of anxiety. This allows students to focus on what truly matters to them, even in discomfort.

Maintaining Progress and Relapse Prevention

As students progress in their ACT treatment journey, it becomes essential to maintain their progress and prevent relapse. The licensed counselors with Empower Counseling provide support and resources for students to continue practicing mindfulness and emotional regulation techniques.

The Science Behind ACT and Its Efficacy in Treating Anxiety Disorders

Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of ACT in treating anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.

Research suggests that ACT’s emphasis on acceptance, mindfulness, and value-driven action contributes to significant reductions in anxiety symptoms and improved quality of life for those undergoing treatment.

Distinction Between ACT and Traditional Cognitive-Behavioral Approaches to Anxiety Treatment

While both ACT and traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are evidence-based treatments for anxiety, they differ in their approach. CBT focuses on challenging and altering negative thought patterns and behaviors, aiming to replace them with more positive ones. In contrast, ACT does not attempt to change or eliminate anxious thoughts but rather encourages individuals to change their relationship with these thoughts and focus on living a meaningful life despite them.

Implementing ACT Treatment for Auburn Students

Addressing Academic and Social Pressures

Academic pressures, such as exams and deadlines, and social challenges like making new friends or adjusting to college, can significantly contribute to anxiety. Integrating these issues into the treatment plan ensures a comprehensive approach.

Collaborative Approach:

Involvement of Students in Their Treatment Planning

Empowering Auburn students to participate in their treatment planning actively fosters a sense of ownership and motivation.

By involving students in setting treatment goals and selecting therapeutic techniques, they are more likely to be committed to the process.

Integration of Mindfulness Exercises and Acceptance Practices Into Daily Routines

Incorporating mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing and body scans, into students’ daily routines can help cultivate present-moment awareness and reduce anxiety. Additionally, practicing acceptance and self-compassion techniques can further support their emotional well-being.

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The ACT Treatment Plan for Anxiety

Assessment and Goal-Setting Process

Initial Evaluations and Screening for Anxiety Disorders

Before commencing ACT treatment, thorough assessments and screenings can help identify the specific anxiety disorder(s) a student may be experiencing. This ensures that the treatment plan is tailored to each individual’s needs.

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Identifying Specific Treatment Goals

Collaboratively setting clear and measurable treatment goals with each student allows them to understand what they are working towards and helps track progress effectively.

Weekly or Bi-Weekly Therapy Sessions

Individual Counseling for Personalized Attention

Individual counseling sessions from a therpist in private practice at Empower Counseling allows for a more personalized approach. Students can explore their unique concerns, receive tailored guidance, and discuss any difficulties they may face during treatment.

Incorporating Exposure and Response Prevention Techniques

Exposure and response prevention techniques can be integrated into the ACT treatment plan to gradually help students confront anxiety-provoking situations. Students can build resilience and reduce anxiety symptoms over time by facing their fears and avoiding maladaptive coping behaviors.

Homework Assignments to Practice Mindfulness and Build Psychological Flexibility

Assigning homework exercises that promote mindfulness and psychological flexibility encourages students to apply the skills learned in therapy to real-life situations. These assignments can reinforce the concepts introduced during sessions and accelerate progress.

Measuring Success: Evaluating the Effectiveness of ACT Treatment for Auburn Students

At Empower Counseling we do not wait until the end of therapy to track progress and to make sure we are constantly working toward the achievement of our client’s treatment goals. The ACT treatment plan for anxiety that we personalize to your Auburn student’s needs is always front of mind.

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Anxiety can significantly impact Auburn University students, affecting their academic performance, relationships, and overall well-being. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) provides an innovative and effective approach to tackling anxiety by cultivating psychological flexibility and embracing one’s values.

Auburn students can develop the resilience and skills necessary to navigate life’s challenges with courage and purpose through the ACT treatment plan for anxiety. Through online therapy for Auburn Students, Empower Counseling can empower Auburn students to conquer anxiety and embrace a fulfilling, meaningful life by promoting a campus culture prioritizes mental health and well-being. At Empower Counseling, we want Auburn students to be able to enjoy all that the Auburn college experience has to offer…like lemonade at Toomer’s Drugs, game day at Jordan-Hare Stadium, sorority rush, and walks with friends down college street and South Donahue.

Here at Empower Counseling, our trained therapists treat Auburn students through online therapy for anxiety using Acceptance Commitment Therapy techniques to help them increase their overall well-being, which will, in turn, reduce and subsequently tune out the symptoms.

At Empower Counseling, our team of therapists, Savannah, Marti, and Kathryn is dedicated to empowering you. We will provide guidance and support as you navigate your journey toward a purposeful, joyful, and connected life, focusing on actions that align with your values.

Get started with online therapy for Auburn Students:

  1. Send us a confidential message here.
  2. We will reach back out to you.
  3. Start therapy.

It is that easy to begin therapy with Empower Counseling. Therapy for college students is not the only service we offer in our Birmingham office and online in Alabama. We offer therapy for teens, counseling for young adults and counseling for professionals. We specialise in ACT for anxiety counseling, ACT for depression counsling, and difficult life transitions. We also offer ACT for Trauma therapy and counseling for perfectionism. Reach out today.

Learn more about how we can help you.

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