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Abstract

A private mental health clinic developed an initiative to aid patients with anxiety disorders to taper their use of benzodiazepines. Based on best practices, a treatment protocol was developed in which patients attended 4 sessions (1 per month) in which they combined instruction in non-pharmaceutical anti-anxiety techniques (guided imagery, mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, exercise, emotional freedom) with cognitive behavioral therapy and use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Participants experienced a reduction in benzodiazepine use. This small-scale initiative showed that the holistic approach to anxiety management was an effective plan to decrease the use of benzodiazepines in the treatment of anxiety disorder.