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  • Therapy for Anxiety

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    Is anxiety getting in the way of you living the life you want to live?  Do you find yourself worrying all the time or feeling nervous and on-edge a lot?  If so, are you wondering about how therapy for anxiety works?

    You may find yourself feeling so anxious or nervous that you wonder if everyone else worries as much as you.  It can often feel like other people are more relaxed and don’t get anxious about the same things as you. You may not be sleeping well at night and you might be having trouble focusing at work during the day.  Maybe you have have noticed that you are more irritable and less patient with your partner or children. Your stomach might do flip flops or your head may pound when the worrying takes over. Perhaps you sometimes find yourself    thinking of one nervous thought after another and feeling like you can’t make them stop.

    You want to feel calmer and worry less.  You’d love it if you could get into bed at night and go right to sleep peacefully without running through a seemingly endless list of concerns.  Finding a way to be fully present with your family and friends would make a huge difference in your life.

    Therapy can help you calm your anxiety and be more present.  Anxiety treatment is effective.

    Do you wonder if perhaps everyone worries sometimes and that feeling anxious is actually normal?

    If so, you’re right – it is definitely normal to worry sometimes!  Fear and worry are part of what keeps us safe in the world.  If you never had any worries, you might put yourself in dangerous situations.  However, some people worry more than sometimes or more than what’s necessary. When you find yourself worrying more days than not or if all that worrying is interfering with your daily life in any way, then it’s time to get help to better manage it.

    Do you sometimes wish there were ways you could manage the anxiety on your own?  Are you wondering if you can manage it on your own or if you really need therapy?

    There definitely are some strategies you can do on your own that may help get your anxiety under control.  Some people are able to do this successfully while other people find that doing it on their own isn’t enough.  Tools that may work are practicing mindfulness, doing relaxation techniques, and using organizational strategies like making lists.  If these tools on their own aren’t enough or you aren’t sure how to best use them, then seeing a therapist can be extremely helpful.

    What is important to keep in mind is that therapy for anxiety works!  With counseling, you can learn how to worry less, feel less stress, sleep better, feel better, and engage more in the life you want to be living.  

    Are there different types of anxiety?

    Yes, there are several different types of anxiety and, even within the same diagnosis, different people may experience different symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to find a therapist who can individualize treatment to your needs.  Some people experience generalized anxiety where they find themselves worrying about a lot of things most of the time. Others may experience panic attacks and other people may have social anxiety where they struggle in social interactions with other people.  Still others may only have anxiety about 1 or 2 specific things, such as snakes or heights.

    How does therapy for anxiety work?

    I take a warm, collaborative approach to therapy.  We will spend some time getting to know each other so I can best identify what concerns you have, what your goals are coming out of counseling, and we can work together to come up with a treatment plan that works best for you.

    I primarily use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which has been shown to be effective for many different things, including anxiety disorders.  In general, CBT for anxiety involves education about the anxiety, learning new relaxation techniques which can help you manage the physical symptoms of anxiety, learning cognitive strategies to identify more adaptive or helpful thoughts and beliefs that will lead to lower anxiety, and using behavioral exposure to systematically lessen the anxiety response when faced with whatever triggers the fear.

    In general, CBT for anxiety takes about 12-20 sessions but is variable depending on your individual needs.  The first 2-4 sessions are usually focused on assessing what is going on for you and getting to know each other. Based on whatever information is collected at that time, we will work together to identify goals of treatment and come up with a treatment plan that we are both comfortable with.  After that, we will begin the intervention phase. Throughout the therapy process, we regularly assess how you are doing and what kind of progress you are making towards your goals. This helps inform whether we need to change our treatment approach, adjust your goals, or if you are ready to end therapy.

    If I think I need therapy, how do I get help?

    If you want to understand more about how CBT may help you, learn more about what services I offer, or schedule an initial visit, please contact me today to set up a free consultation phone call.  You can even schedule the call directly through this site if you prefer by clicking here.