You’re here because you feel like you’ve tried everything to feel better and it hasn’t helped. You’re here because you’re ready to get real help and do real work to manage your persistent and complex anxiety, panic attacks, and obsessive thoughts. Maybe you’ve tried medication, but that hasn’t solved your issue. Or you’ve tried taking up yoga, or clean eating, or talking to a friend, or prayer, or meditation, or a slew of other things and you’re still suffering. Your friends and family might think you overreact and should just “get over it” but you can’t seem to.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You can be the one in control – not your anxiety.
When you have a cold that won’t go away, people tell you to see a doctor. When you have a toothache that’s getting worse, people tell you to see a dentist. Yet, when you have persistent anxiety symptoms that aren’t improving, people tell you to get over it, meditate, or “just stop thinking about it”.
From our first session together I will give you concrete tools and ideas to help you manage your complex anxiety once and for all. I can help you start looking inwards at your needs, feelings, and wants, and focus on you instead of looking after everyone around you.
What does anxiety look like?
Anxiety doesn’t always show up in the same ways, but if you experience or have experienced any of the below, you may have anxiety…
- shaking or trembling
- tension headaches
- feeling shortness of breath or smothering
- sensation of choking
- chest pains or tightness
- stomach pains or tightness
- nausea or gastrointestinal problems
- dizziness, lightheadedness, or feeling faint
- feeling hot or cold
- numbness or tingling sensations, known as paresthesia
- feeling detached from oneself or reality, known as depersonalization and derealization
- fear of “going crazy” or losing control
- fear of dying
Anxiety patterns are present in almost everyone, and can greatly impact whether a man or woman seeks help. One common pattern looks like this: a person experiences anxiety and is struggling, the trigger is removed or the situation passes and the anxiety symptoms are relieved, so that person moves on without having identified why they were triggered or appropriate management tools to help navigate if and when it happens again. So, the next time their anxiety flares up, they are right back where they started.
It’s a natural human tendency to only deal with the urgent and must-be-resolved-right-now problems. But if this is something you’ve experienced more than once and if it has ever inhibited your life, you can benefit by identifying why and work with a professional to learn how to manage and overcome it, even if your anxiety isn’t present at this very moment. If you don’t know how you got there, it can make you afraid that you’ll end up there again.
What will we do in therapy?
There is hope. I will work with you to scale back your complex anxiety symptoms to a healthy and manageable level.
My approach is three-fold; in some cases we will apply all of these approaches at the same time to create the maximum benefit as soon as possible. These methods will be tailored to fit your individual situation:
- Work together to find ways to regulate your complex anxiety in the moment, when symptoms are at their worst
- Work together to understand the underlying belief patterns and deeper causes of your complex anxiety so we can identify how you got here and how to avoid this place again
- Develop lifestyle changes and decision-making skills to help improve confidence, self-esteem, and overall health and wellness
Within my practice, I use a combination of proven approaches to anxiety therapy (such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy) to shape your sessions and provide the customized and tailored help you need to manage your anxiety.
I will help you connect with and strengthen the parts of you that you have been missing as we work through your past pain and core beliefs about yourself and your life. As you grow in emotional awareness and as we better understand why you’re suffering, you will find you are able to form strong, positive relationships with others in your life. We also will work on your levels of trust, so you can begin to trust not only yourself, friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers, but the ambiguity of life and what the future may hold.
How do I know anxiety therapy is right for me?
We all go through anxious times – preparing for a job interview, asking someone out on a date, buying a home, prepping for the arrival of a new baby, losing a loved one, meeting new people, or rehearsing for a big presentation – anxious feelings are always close to the surface. But, if you feel that your anxiety is impacting your day-to-day life, relationships with others, or how you see yourself or your life, finding the right therapist can help you take control back and overcome your complex anxiety.
Therapy may be one of the pieces that helps you take back your life, but it could be a very critical piece. Everyone is different, but one thing is for sure: therapy can help you understand the why and avoid repeating the negative and unhealthy patterns and beliefs that keep the anxiety a persistent presence in your life.
The primary goal of your treatment is to identify the roots of your anxiety and determine how it interferes with your life. We will explore the underlying beliefs that cause your anxious feelings. By understanding the various aspects of your condition, you can gain control over the situation and eliminate feelings of overwhelming depression and anxiety.
Has anxiety therapy worked for others?
Yes! More people than you realize struggle with persistent and complex anxiety. At least 18% of adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety disorders, that’s 40 million people, and that number just accounts for reported cases. And out of that population, less than 1/3 of people seek any kind of treatment. That means that so many people suffering from complex anxiety are trying to move through life without the right help or support, which is a little mind-boggling if you think about that. When you have a cold that won’t go away, people tell you to see a doctor. When you have a toothache that’s getting worse, people tell you to see a dentist. Yet, when you have persistent anxiety symptoms that aren’t improving, people tell you to get over it or try yoga.
The truth is mental health is just as important as your physical health. What is life if everything physical is running smoothly except your happiness and wellbeing?
Luckily, there’s been a recent shift in our society and more and more people are trying to start conversations about the benefits of therapy in an effort to help spread awareness of mental health and normalize treatment. Celebrities are becoming more vocal about their personal stories with anxiety and therapy. Athletes are opening up about their mental health struggles. And organizations are campaigning to help end our society’s mental health stigma.
And therapy works, folks. It just does. With the right therapist and the right treatment, you can overcome your complex anxiety.
In this insightful Forbes article, Alice Walton outlines 11 reasons why you should give therapy a try…
- Therapy’s effects persist over the long-haul
- Physical symptoms get treated, too
- Repressed emotions can come back to haunt you later on
- And the passive-aggressive shtick will fade away
- It will give you a whole new perspective on other people, too
- It helps you deal with future curve balls
- Talking about things gives them shape
- You know you’re not alone
- It will rewire your brain
- You won’t have to self-medicate anymore
- It enables you to teach the next generation a better way
Everyone is different, and everyone’s treatment therapy and experience will be different, too. It’s my job to make it the most effective and tailored approach to help you manage and overcome your complex anxiety.
The question is: are you ready to work? Are you ready to find the root causes of your anxiety? Are you ready to make necessary and positive changes in your life so that the same patterns aren’t repeated?
If you are, then let’s begin our work together.
What can I do in the meantime?
Although not a replacement for therapy, the links below are very effective breathing and mindfulness exercises to combat the physical symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks.