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Self-help program

How is anxiety treated?

It is possible to treat anxiety and to learn to reduce it. Read more below about different ways of treating anxiety.

Anxiety can be alleviated when you practice identifying, naming and also accepting your uncomfortable feelings. Feelings of anxiety can even disappear, if one is willing to practice the emotional skills regularly.

In the video (2:38), leading psychologist Jan-Henry Stenberg tells more about good treatment of anxiety.

Self-help program for independent work

Sometimes the way we think or behave is harmful to our health. If this is the case, it is important to recognize these harmful thoughts and behaviors. Once you know what the problem is, you can address it.

Learning to change your thinking patterns and behaviors is central to this self-help program. You will also learn about mindfulness and a range of relaxation techniques.

 You can use this self-help program

  • independently
  • while you wait for a referral
  • alongside other therapies
  • to maintain the results of previous therapies

Support from others

Many people say they feel relieved when they have told their loved ones about their symptoms. Your loved ones may also have noticed your symptoms. By talking, you can get a surprising amount of support and understanding for your recovery.

If talking to loved ones is not possible, you can apply to talk with peers. Peer support is available in groups and one-on-one. You can discuss both face-to-face and online. There is also peer activity guided by social and healthcare professionals.

"Sadness is halved when you talk about it"

In the following video (2:50), people who have experienced anxiety report that they started to feel better after talking about their symptoms with loved ones or other people who have experienced anxiety.

Liisa, who appears in the video, says shared joy doubles, while sadness is halved when you talk about it.

Professional help

Professional help for anxiety mostly consists of psychosocial treatments and medication. These can be given either separately or simultaneously.

Psychosocial treatments are evidence-based and scientifically proven. Examples of interactive psychosocial treatments that are delivered by professionals include psychotherapy and other counselling therapies.

Psychotherapy and other counselling therapies

Treatments based on cognitive therapy, on which also this self-help program is based, have been found to be effective in the treatment of anxiety. Cognitive therapy focuses on dealing with recurring worries, fears and insecurities.

The therapy focuses on how thoughts, feelings and actions can be modified. At the same time, in terms of quality of life, more effective and usable means are found to ease everyday anxiety.

Therapy based on awareness skills and relaxation have also been found to be effective.

You can participate in the treatment alone, with your spouse or family, or in a group. Short-term counselling therapy is available from, for example, primary health care providers such as nurses and doctors.

You can also find your own psychotherapist if you are able to pay for the costs privately. If you have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder that significantly interferes with your work or studies, you may be entitled to rehabilitative psychotherapy sponsored by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (KELA). Some public health care providers also issue service vouchers for short-term counselling with a psychotherapist.


Pharmacotherapy can be used as a supplement to other treatment to relieve symptoms. Talk to your doctor about the need for medical treatment.