Anxiety is exhausting. It can leave you feeling discouraged and hopeless that it will never stop. Many days you wake up apprehensive, worrying if you’re going to feel “that way” again and concerned if you’ll be able to drive, work or do whatever you need to do. Maybe you’re passing up job opportunities or social activities because you’re afraid you can’t handle situations feeling like you do.
Anxiety can manifest in many ways. Your intimate relationship may be adversely affected by your frequent need for reassurance. You may feel like you have to please everyone all the time. Relentless worry may cause you to feel restless and prevent your peace of mind. You might find it difficult to fall asleep or sleep soundly through the night. And you probably have a hard time enjoying life’s simple pleasures, finding it nearly impossible to relax. If you’re like many people who come to me for counseling for anxiety, you’ve probably already tried medications or seen other therapists, but nothing has brought you lasting relief. Do you wish you could be calmer, feel freer and enjoy more confidence and peace in your life?
What Is Anxiety And How Common Is It?
We all experience some degree of anxiety. “Normal” anxiety is our body’s internal defense mechanism that helps us cope with stressful situations and uncertainty. When normal anxiety gets us to pay attention to something important, it can help us make wise decisions and reduce our exposure to risk.
But when anxiety becomes chronic, overwhelming and governs how you live your life, you are probably suffering from an “anxiety disorder.” If this is your situation, then anxiety is probably interfering with your life.
For example, you may worry excessively and jump to worst-case scenarios about everyday aspects of life like your job, health, finances or relationships. If you are like many people who have panic attacks, you probably avoid situations you fear will trigger them, like driving, going too far from home, attending social gatherings or public speaking. Little by little, you lose more “turf” to anxiety—as you avoid or “white knuckle” your way through activities you used to—or could—enjoy.
If any of this describes you, rest assured, you aren’t alone. In fact, anxiety disorders affect millions of people across the country and are the most prevalent psychological conditions facing adults in the U.S. Fortunately, anxiety therapy is very effective. With the help of a well-trained, compassionate therapist who specializes in treatment for anxiety, you can overcome it and lead a happier, more fulfilling life.
CBT Therapy For Anxiety Is A Very Effective Method Of Anxiety Treatment
Getting a handle on anxiety starts by understanding it from a different perspective. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for anxiety provides this new paradigm. You will learn why your fearful reactions to the physiological and psychological symptoms of anxiety actually intensifies them. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of CBT in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Counseling for anxiety incorporates a variety of CBT methods, including the acceptance-based approach to alter your response to worries and fears in order to manage your anxiety.
In our sessions, you will learn why anxiety decreases when you acknowledge anxious thoughts and emotions instead of trying to ignore or block them. I will teach you how to respond strategically to fearful thoughts and scary physiological symptoms so they calm down.
As we work together in the safety and comfort of my office, I will describe how your brain’s natural survival mechanism gets triggered, flooding your body with adrenaline and fooling you into believing you’re in danger. I’ll explain how anxiety makes your thoughts seem urgent, tricking you into reacting in ways that perpetuate the scary thoughts and worsen physiological arousal. Through our sessions you’ll learn that not all thoughts are created equal—that worrisome thoughts are like a tormenter trying to get the best of you. Once you understand why anxious thoughts, though persistent, don’t merit your attention, you can redirect your focus to activities you want to be doing—and observe how your anxiety subsides.
If you’re like most people who come to me for anxiety treatment, you want to know why you have this problem. While I will answer this question—the most important issue is changing the factors that maintain your anxiety. Once you understand anxiety from a new perspective, you’ll be able to recognize and respond to the physical and psychological symptoms as they occur, giving you a newfound sense of control and confidence. Armed with the knowledge of how your mind works and how to respond strategically to anxiety, you can get back to living life without the burden of fear hanging over you.
You may be thinking about seeking counseling for anxiety, but still have a few questions…
I’ve tried therapy before, but it hasn’t helped me. How do I know that CBT therapy for anxiety will work?
Your concern is understandable. Many people who contact me about treatment for anxiety have seen more than one therapist. The encouraging facts about CBT therapy for anxiety are first, that hundreds of clinical studies have demonstrated its effectiveness when utilized by well-trained therapists and second, that it is a relatively brief therapy for anxiety compared to traditional talk therapy. What I like best about CBT therapy is that techniques for managing anxiety are targeted to address specific anxiety disorders.
I’m afraid my anxiety will get worse if I acknowledge it.
Actually, the opposite is true: anxiety decreases when you acknowledge and identify it accurately. (For example, “I’m having a panic attack…not a heart attack. This is really scary…but, not life-threatening.”) Overcoming anxiety requires a paradoxical approach—meaning that what works to calm it down is the opposite of what you feel like doing. You’ll learn why your reactions to anxiety are—unbeknownst to you—reinforcing it instead of extinguishing it. Once you understand how to respond differently in order to reduce anxiety, your life will improve in ways you may never have believed possible. You will gain the upper hand and learn effective strategies to overcome your worry and fear.
Can I afford to invest the time and money in anxiety treatment?
This is a legitimate question. When clients are ambivalent about counseling, we do a “cost/benefit” analysis of their situation: what are the pros and cons of proceeding with therapy—versus continuing to live with anxiety. If you’re reading this, you’re probably devoting a great deal of time and energy worrying about anxiety. And maybe you’ve passed up professional or social activities due to your fears. By investing in your wellbeing, you stand to gain more than you could ever lose.
There Is Effective Treatment For Anxiety And You Don’t Have To Face It Alone
I encourage you to call me at (602) 242 5400 or refer to www.randyweisstherapy.com for a free, 15-minute phone consultation about your situation. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about my practice and how Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety can help you.