Are You Experiencing Chronic Stress And Worry?
Is excessive fear interfering with your daily life? Do you find yourself dwelling over details that you know are ultimately irrational or inconsequential? Have you developed symptoms of panic or a heightened stress response due to chronic anxiety?
As an accomplished, high-powered individual, you’re probably used to juggling a lot of responsibility. However, the stress may have accumulated and led to daily symptoms of anxiety, including overthinking and ruminations. You may avoid the people, places, or things that intensify your worries, leading to strain on your work and relationships.
On top of interpersonal consequences, anxiety has plenty of physical, emotional, and cognitive manifestations. You may struggle with panic attacks, which are episodes of acute fear and worry that often lead to a racing heart, sweaty palms, and increased hypervigilance. It’s also possible that these symptoms impact your appetite and sleep pattern, causing you to feel irritable and tired throughout the day.
When symptoms of anxiety are left untreated, depression can develop and create even more problems. Unable to relax or feel at ease, you may wonder if you’ll ever be able to stop obsessing and just live in the moment.
Yet, overcoming anxiety is possible. With treatment, you can learn to build coping skills and let go of the anxious thinking patterns that no longer serve you.
Anxiety Disorders Are Becoming Increasingly Prevalent In Our Ever-Changing World
Anxiety and fear are normal human sensations that are often useful in helping us to identify and avoid danger. But when our worries become so chronic or obsessive that they begin to interfere with our daily functioning, it’s possible that we’ve developed an anxiety disorder.
As the most common mental health condition in the United States, anxiety disorders come in many forms and affect people from all walks of life. Some anxiety conditions include Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), panic disorder, separation anxiety, and specific phobias.
And though therapy is becoming increasingly accessible as we chip away at the stigma of mental health in this country, anxiety continues to rise. This is partly due to technological factors that are changing how we interact with each other and our environments. It’s no secret that social media has had a largely negative effect on our psyches, as comparison culture and “FOMO” keep us from feeling satisfied with our lives. Not to mention, the addictive, artificial nature of social media adversely impacts our dopamine levels and circadian rhythm.
Although such technological advances were designed to help us feel more connected, we as a culture are becoming lonelier, less engaged, and more self-critical.
Anxiety Is Not Our Enemy
Unfortunately, we are wired to view our fear as a threat, so we respond to anxiety with fight-or-flight responses that keep us stuck in counterproductive cycles. Instead of fighting or fleeing from our anxiety, we must learn to tap into our emotions, identify what they are telling us, and develop the coping skills necessary to maintain peace and comfort in moments of distress.
In therapy for anxiety, we can work together to help you re-establish a sense of trust and self-compassion.
You Can Learn To Manage Your Anxiety In Therapy
As a therapist, I will create a safe, nurturing environment where you can come and explore your fears and worries. Using evidence-based techniques, I can help you cultivate a toolbox of strategies for overcoming anxiety.
During our initial intake session, I will learn more about your history, current anxiety symptoms, and goals for treatment. As I understand more about your mental health background, I’ll be able to give you a sense of which approaches help target your anxiety and how long you can expect to be in therapy.
The Modalities I Use
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy—or CBT—is a demonstrated method for observing your thought patterns and identifying where ineffective behaviors negatively impact your functioning. Using CBT, I will coach you on accessing helpful strategies when distorted perceptions create fear and anxiety.
In addition, exposure therapy can help you break the cycle of avoidance caused by anxiety. By exposing you to a stimulus that generates fear in a safe environment, you can learn how to take control of your emotions and regulate your stress response.
Mindfulness practices are particularly helpful for noticing passing thoughts without being ruled by them. And by learning to stay present, focused, and relaxed in anxiety treatment, you can reduce distress and alleviate panic attacks.
By using these customized treatment methods, you’ll gain greater self-awareness in identifying the root cause of your anxiety, develop healthier habits, and learn how to cope with the stress of daily living. You will be empowered to listen to your inner voice and draw from your toolbox of strategies so that you can find lasting relief from anxiety—eventually without the help of a therapist.
Counseling can guide you in achieving self-fulfillment toward a happier, more purposeful existence. When anxiety is no longer controlling your thought process, your functioning and overall quality of life can drastically improve.
Working together, you can recognize your capacity to heal.
Perhaps You’re Considering Seeing A Therapist About Your Anxiety, But You Have Some Concerns…
Counseling is for severe mental health issues—not daily anxiety.
People come to therapy for all kinds of reasons. Some are looking to gain more self-awareness, while others are looking for specific solutions for improving their sense of satisfaction. Those who choose therapy are not weak or unhinged; rather, they see the value of working on themselves and are insightful enough to know when they need help.
Life is full of difficult decisions and transitions—both big and small. And therapy is becoming increasingly normalized as a means for treating anxiety disorders of all kinds.
If I start seeing a therapist, I’ll be stuck in counseling indefinitely.
There is a misconception that once you start therapy, you’ll have to stay in it. However, the reality is that the therapist-client relationship is one of few in which the main goal is to say goodbye. The amount of time spent in therapy depends on a wide variety of factors, including the severity of anxiety symptoms and how much the client is willing to prioritize therapy. Not to mention, some clients decide to stay in therapy even after core issues are resolved because they want to continue exploring other areas of their life with a clinician they know and trust.
As your therapist, I am invested in your healing and in helping you develop individualized coping skills to overcome your anxiety as quickly and effectively as possible. Because I don’t approach counseling with a “one-size-fits-all” mindset, the pace and time spent in anxiety treatment will ultimately be up to you.
I’m worried you’ll judge me.
Therapists are specifically trained to create a safe and nonjudgmental therapeutic environment. Besides being taught how to maintain unconditional positive regard, today’s therapists are expected to demonstrate cultural competence to avoid bias.
I approach counseling with a sense of warmth and empathy so that you may feel comfortable to explore your anxiety and empowered to find solutions.
You Can Learn To Take Control Of Your Thoughts And Behaviors
If anxiety interferes with your self-confidence and ability to make decisions, therapy can help you adjust your thinking patterns and develop self-compassion.