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Can ABA Therapy Help With Anxiety?

Recent studies have suggested that ABA therapy may indeed help those who struggle with anxiety.

steven zauderer
Steven Zauderer
September 15, 2023
min read

Can ABA Therapy Help Improve Anxiety?

Anxiety can be debilitating and can impact every aspect of life. It can make it difficult to manage daily tasks and responsibilities, maintain relationships, or even leave the house.

ABA therapy (Applied Behavior Analysis) has been used for decades to help children with autism spectrum disorders improve their lives, but is there evidence that it might also help people manage anxiety?

Recent studies have suggested that ABA therapy may indeed help those who struggle with anxiety.

A major component of this type of therapy is teaching individuals how to recognize triggers for anxiety and then techniques for dealing with them in a therapeutic setting. This includes identifying behaviors associated with increased anxiety, developing coping strategies, learning how to set appropriate boundaries, and trying to promote positive thinking patterns.

ABA therapy can also help those who struggle with anxiety in other ways. For example, it can help individuals develop better social skills which may reduce the feelings of being overwhelmed when interacting with others.

It can also help to reframe negative thoughts and patterns of behavior that can lead to increased anxiety. Finally, it can also provide an environment in which individuals are supported and encouraged to take risks, explore their emotions, and practice self-care on a regular basis.

Do People With Autism Have Anxiety More Than Other People?

Research suggests that people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are more likely to experience anxiety than those without ASD.

This is due in part to the fact that individuals with ASD often have difficulty communicating their needs, understanding social cues, and may be overwhelmed by sensory input or change in routine. In addition, they may feel a sense of isolation from the world around them which can lead to feelings of frustration and fear.

In light of these findings, ABA therapy can play an important role in helping individuals with ASD manage their anxiety levels. It can provide an environment where individuals learn coping skills and strategies for dealing with triggers which might otherwise cause increased levels of stress or fear.

Furthermore, it also provides a safe space where individuals can explore their emotions and learn to self-regulate in order to better manage their anxiety.

There is evidence that ABA therapy can be beneficial for those who struggle with anxiety, both those with and without ASD. ABA therapy provides structured support from professionals trained in behavior analysis which can help individuals recognize triggers and learn coping strategies that they can use on their own.

Furthermore, it can provide a safe place to explore feelings, practice social skills, and gain insight into the underlying causes of anxiety. Ultimately, ABA therapy may be an effective tool for helping individuals manage their anxiety levels over time.

Overall, ABA therapy has been shown to be beneficial for addressing a range of issues associated with anxiety.

While this type of therapy is not a cure-all for all forms of anxiety, it is certainly worth exploring if you are struggling with symptoms related to anxiety or any other mental health issues. A qualified professional can help you decide if ABA therapy is right for you and provide the guidance and support needed to make positive changes in your life.

The bottom line is, ABA therapy may be an effective tool for those who struggle with anxiety. It can help individuals better identify triggers, reframe negative thoughts and behaviors, develop social skills, practice self-care techniques, and learn how to confront difficult situations in a healthy manner.

While it is certainly not a one-size-fits-all solution to anxiety, it has been proven to be beneficial for many people who are struggling with this condition. If you are considering trying ABA therapy as part of your treatment plan, speak with a qualified therapist to learn more about how it could help you.

There are many options for addressing anxiety, but ABA therapy may be a beneficial tool to add to your list of strategies.

Don't hesitate to talk with a qualified therapist if you believe this type of therapy is right for you. With the right support and guidance, there is hope that ABA therapy can help improve your symptoms associated with anxiety.


  1. https://www.appliedbehavioranalysisprograms.com/specialties/aba-anxiety-disorders/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3035599/
  3. https://www.appliedbehavioranalysisedu.org/anxiety-disorders/
  4. https://iacc.hhs.gov/meetings/iacc-meetings/2016/full-committee-meeting/july19/slides_denis_sukhodolsky_071916.pdf
steven zauderer

CEO of CrossRiverTherapy - a national ABA therapy company based in the USA.

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