Do you imagine all the bad things in the world happening and what you would do if they did? You might imagine natural disasters, nuclear wars, murders, terrorism and climate change and get yourself so worked up you find it impossible to concentrate or relax.
Do you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep? You lie there thinking about all the problems in your life and the world and you can't seem to turn your mind off.
Do you worry about your financial situation? Are you constantly concerned about finding a job or perhaps even losing it? Maybe you are scared to move to a new career but feeling desperate in the "security" where you are now.
Does the state of your health or your loved ones keep you in a state of constant tension?
Or, do you overly concern yourself with what people think about you: worried they might see you in a bad light after what you did or said?
Although, everyone thinks about these topics now and then, general anxiety disorder (GAD) is different than simple worry. Generalized anxiety significantly disrupts your work, relationships and home life and the worries it brings are uncontrollable. While normal worrying is unpleasant, generalized anxiety is extremely unsettling and stressful; and while normal worries are specific, anxiety worries are more general and pervasive. Finally, while regular worries come and go, anxiety worries last for months.
First of all, therapy for anxiety educates you on how to distinguish between helpful and unhelpful worries. This is important because once you understand your anxieties, you’ll have better responses to them. Second, therapy teaches you to monitor your anxiety, which helps you track your progress and get some perspective. Therapy also teaches many strategies for dealing with anxiety as they come up; for example, there are physical, cognitive and behavioral strategies that help you feel more in control and less anxious. If you want to go even deeper and to work harder because you want to get to the actual core of your worries, this is important work as well because it can completely alleviate the anxiety that comes up in these circumstances, allowing it to be just “normal” worry.
Many people suffering from anxiety are not sure who to talk to first. There are so many therapists and types of therapy, its hard to understand who or what makes a good therapist. You want to make sure you find someone you can trust; so, a good first step is, making sure the therapist is licensed to practice therapy and holds a professional, university degree in counselling.
When I think about this, I immediately think about the fact that many clients with anxiety wait for years before seeking help from me. Often, by they time they come to see me, they are so full of anxieties and wrought with fear, it usually takes a number of sessions just to calm them down. They have usually struggled with the side-effects of anxiety-prescribed drugs and are finally ready to see a professional to talk to it all about.
I’m not advocating that, at the slightest blip, you should consider therapy. After all, how we feel can and often does improve, as time passes. Watchful waiting is sometimes a good idea; but, some issues that can be helped with therapy can also sometimes become worse and more entrenched, as time progresses.
Why suffer unnecessarily? Why not make a decision to start working on your anxiety NOW? You have a right to be as healthy and happy as possible.
A lot of people avoid coming to therapy because they fear that if they open up, they will be judged or made to feel worse than they already felt in the first place. This is understandable. However, if you do decide to come in, you don’t need to spill your guts in the first session. In fact, it may be wise to take your time.
Let the relationship with you and me develop and then, when you are ready, you can share what is really bothering you. This is perfectly OK and normal. Go at a pace that feels comfortable to you and tell me as much or as little as you want to in our initial sessions.
In addition to this, for some clients, the prospect of coming to see a therapist is just way too scary. This is very common; so, try to accept your anxiety and fear rather than fight it or make it go away. And note: Part of my role as a therapist is to make you feel welcome, and as comfortable, as possible. Many clients feel anxiety when coming in for the first time.
Me too! I’ve been a client of several different therapists. Some were life changing and some were downright disappointing. It’s worthwhile to think about what went wrong between you with your last counsellor. Your relationship with your counsellor, apart from the work you put into the therapy, is very important. If you are not being heard, understood and respected by your counsellor, you are probably not in the right place. If you find your counsellor leading you down paths you didn’t want to talk about, you are probably not in the right place either. There is just a general sense about this “fit” between client and therapist: if you don’t feel it right away, it’s important to bring it up with your therapist or move on. Sometimes clients and counsellors just don’t click. If you’ve been disappointed with your therapist, that is no indication of what the future will hold. Again, while with some therapists I have wondered how they got out of school, some therapists have literally changed my life.
Unlike most therapists, I work on two levels: I consider the symptoms and look at providing relief as quickly as possible, but I also consider the underlying factors that are driving the anxiety. Some clients want instant relief: and this is possible but not long-lasting. Usually, after a number of visits, when clients have experienced relief but it doesn’t stick around, they start to ask about doing deeper work—to get to the root of their issues.
This is where I really shine. Most therapists would prefer to keep the work topical to satisfy clients in the short-term: however, this doesn’t address the deeper and wider issues that drive anxiety. In fact, in a way, by treating only the symptoms, therapists can make clients start to think they have an unending problem that will just keep supplying symptoms over the course of their life. This short-term thinking isn’t beneficial: I seek to break the cycle of anxiety in my clients, not just provide therapeutic band-aids.
Get in touch! Click on the buttons below and schedule your first appointment. It will be a pleasure to make your acquaintance and start to work with you on your anxiety.