What is My Anxiety Plan (MAP)?
My Anxiety Plan (MAP) is an anxiety management program based on cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT is an evidence-based psychological treatment that was developed through decades of scientific research and has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for anxiety problems. MAP is designed to provide adults struggling with anxiety with practical strategies and tools to manage anxiety. MAP includes 6 easy to navigate units with 45 lessons.
- Unit 1: Starting the Journey: Understanding Anxiety. The lessons in this unit highlight key information and facts about anxiety, so that you can become an anxiety expert. The lessons will also help you take some initial steps to getting ready to tackle anxiety.
- Unit 2: Calming Strategies: Learning to Chill. In Unit 2, lessons focus on learning relaxation and mindfulness strategies to help you tolerate and “ride out” the physical sensations of anxiety.
- Unit 3: Helpful Thinking: Talking Back to Anxiety. Learning to be a balanced thinker is a core strategy for coping with anxiety. In this unit, you will learn how to catch, evaluate, and change anxious thinking.
- Unit 4: Facing Fears: Exposure. Unit 4 outlines one of the most powerful tools for managing anxiety. You will learn how to overcome your fears by gradually facing them one step at a time.
- Unit 5: Continuing the Journey: Staying on Track. Help prepare yourself for the future with strategies aimed at supporting your gains and keeping anxiety in check. Unit 5 highlights the importance of maintaining your foundational skills by developing a plan to prevent anxiety from making a come back.
- Unit 6: Special Topics. You may have some specific fears or be faced with situations that are challenging in unique ways that require specialized tools. In this final unit, get additional information and strategies to tackle other problem areas that you may need help with.
Who is this Program for?
The MAP program was created for adults with mild to moderate anxiety problems. It was designed as a self-help program that an individual could work through on their own. However, it can also be used while working with a mental health provider who can guide you through it. Working with a therapist can be particularly helpful if you are experiencing more severe symptoms or have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. If you are unsure if this program is right for you, or whether you need some additional support, talk to your family doctor and consider a referral to a mental health provider for an assessment and to learn what treatment is best for you.
How Should I Work Through this Program?
As this is a journey and not a race, we encourage you to work at your own pace through the units and lessons. You may choose to go through all 6 units, lesson by lesson, over the course of weeks or months. Alternatively, you may prefer to skip around the various units, focusing only on relevant lessons, knowing you can return at a later date and work through the rest. This content can be reviewed and learned via computer screen, and worksheets and forms can be filled out and printed. Finally, you can decide whether you wish to set aside specific time on a weekly basis to review the lessons, or whether you prefer to do this work when the timing feels right even if this is at less regular times or intervals. The point is there is no “right” way to use this material. While we do recommend proceeding through the units and lessons in the specified order, do what works best for you in terms of learning.
When Should I Seek Professional Help?
Working through this material can be challenging, especially if you are struggling with more moderate to severe anxiety issues. If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder the material in this program may not be sufficient to manage your symptoms. If you’re struggling to use the strategies or your symptoms persist or worsen despite working through the program, seek professional help. Talk to your family doctor and find a therapist who specializes in CBT.
Now that you know what to expect and whether the MAP program is right for you, it’s time to get started!