Are Stress And Anxiety Interfering With Your Life?
Do you often experience a racing heart, paralyzing fear, difficulty breathing, or a cold numbness in your extremities? Are you hounded by negative, intrusive thoughts about not being “good enough” or well-liked by others? Perhaps you have a young child who is worried or scared all the time. And despite your best efforts to help, persistent “tummy aches,” nausea, or fatigue keeps them home from school or makes them uncomfortable when you are not around. Or maybe you are the parent of a teenager and you want to ensure that they are well-equipped to navigate the stress of academics, relationships, bullying, and the eventual transition into an adult.
Anxiety is a very common yet often misunderstood condition that manifests in different ways, depending on your unique situation, history, and goals. If you’re still in college, you may be overwhelmed by the tasks of maintaining exceptional grades, finding a partner, or choosing the right career path. Or maybe you’re expecting a child, and regardless of how happy you are, you can’t stop fixating on all of the things that could go wrong with the pregnancy. Alternately, you might worry that your young child or teenager is dealing with anxiety, but you don’t know what you can do to best protect their safety, health, and emotional development.
If you or your child struggle with anxiety, it can feel like a constant, uphill battle trying to understand the unrelenting fear, doubt, and apprehension. Fortunately, with the help of a compassionate and experienced therapist, you and/or your child can learn to regulate your emotions, improve communication, and enjoy a more peaceful, grounded life.
Anxiety Can Affect Anyone
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the US. They affect over 40 million Americans, or 18.1 percent of the US population. Unfortunately, nearly 50 percent of those affected also suffer from co-occurring depression, which can make it harder to reach out for support in times of need. And although anxiety is a very treatable condition, only 36.9 percent of those who experience it ever seek help.
One of the reasons why anxiety is so prevalent is because our culture asks so much of everyone. Unrealistic expectations for career success, beauty, or popularity all have the power to make us feel as though we are not fulfilling the ideal image of ourselves. For women who are dissatisfied with their bodies, weight and physical appearance can cause a tremendous amount of anxiety and insecurity. It can be hard finding a balance between living a healthy lifestyle and being happy and comfortable in your own skin. This becomes even more challenging when you’re balancing multiple roles as a caregiver, employee, mother, and unique individual with your own personal ambitions. All of the resulting stress and pressure to always be on top of things can eventually lead to parental burnout, exhaustion, and even anger issues.
However, working with a therapist can help you get to the core of your anxiety and reveal the real reasons behind your experiences. With a little work and commitment, you can learn how to regulate your emotions and set realistic goals and expectations for achieving greater happiness, peace, and calm.
Anxiety Therapy Can Offer You Answers and Relief
Working with a therapist gives you a safe, nonjudgmental space where you can let your guard down, express concerns without fear, and develop healthy ways for coping with anxiety. I use a research-driven and empirically-proven method of treatment called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). DBT can be especially effective for helping parents and children increase their tolerance to distress, improve interpersonal effectiveness, and strengthen their ability to self-regulate emotions.
During our first meeting, I will collect information about your background and how anxiety is presenting in your life. Because everyone experiences anxiety in a different way (and for different reasons), we may look for insight by discussing your medical history, occupation, education, and relationships. We’ll also identify and attempt to build upon your strengths and aspects of your life that are serving you well.
When you learn to recognize the situations, emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations that occur when stress arises, you can better understand and mitigate your response to anxiety. Using the information from our sessions and the insights from your own observations, we can begin setting goals and practicing new skills that you can use outside of the office.
In addition to DBT, I may incorporate Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to help diffuse anxiety and give you greater psychological flexibility when it occurs. Skills-building is a huge part of the healing process. You can learn to not only recognize triggers and stressors, but to approach them mindfully so you can challenge negative self-beliefs. If we discover that recent or past trauma is an underlying factor for your anxiety, I will incorporate trauma work to promote deeper, lasting healing.
Anxiety makes us want to run away from what’s going inside ourselves. However, by learning to be fully present, attentive, and curious about what is going on internally, you can take the power away from anxiety. I know first-hand what it’s like to be in your shoes. When I was a child, I lost my little brother—an experience that made me fear having children of my own. The fear of loss and uncertainty seemed too great to face, but DBT changed my life. Now I control my emotions rather than letting them control me. With a little time and effort, I am confident that I can help you live with greater peace, confidence, and happiness.
Perhaps you are considering anxiety therapy but still have some questions or concerns…
I’m too anxious to attend counseling.
I understand that it can be difficult to take the initial step, so I offer online sessions as well as in-person visits. I use HIPPA-compliant encrypted software to protect your confidentiality so you can engage in the healing process from the comfort of your own home. However, it’s important to trust yourself. If you feel like you are not comfortable enough to get started, don’t force yourself. I’ll be here to help you build a better life whenever you are ready.
I’m worried that anxiety treatment will make me even more nervous.
In the words of American Tibetan Buddhist Pema Chodron, “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” I understand that challenging yourself to grow can be a little scary, especially if you’ve tried in the past without seeing the results you expected. However, most of my clients report that they felt a sense of relief after their first visit. Just having someone to confide in and lean on without fear or judgment is incredibly comforting. You’ve already come this far. Why not explore the opportunity to be more at peace with yourself and the world around you?
I tried anxiety counseling before, but nothing changed.
One of the biggest determining factors in successfully treating anxiety (or any other mental health concern)is the therapeutic relationship between client and counselor. My experience with anxiety as both an individual and a parent provide me with a unique insight that other therapists may not have. And my extensive professional training has allowed me to identify concrete skills, strategies, and techniques that can empower you to physically and emotionally overcome the symptoms of anxiety.
Don’t Let Anxiety Limit You
If you would like to gain a greater awareness of yourself and learn valuable skills for overcoming anxiety, I would be honored to offer you support. Please click here to schedule your free consultation to begin your journey toward healing.