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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 re uptake 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.