Anxiety Counselling

Anxiety Counselling

Anxiety is an emotion that everyone experiences on occasion. We all have moments where it feels like the walls are closing in us, or we´re completely overwhelmed. You may feel anxious prior to taking a test, or while making a presentation at school.

However, an anxiety disorder is something different. There are a variety of distinct anxiety-related conditions that have been labelled as disorders. All of these disorders involve excessive fear, anxiety, and related behaviors that negatively impact an individual´s life in a variety of ways (American Psychological Association [APA], 2013).  

If you are experiencing an anxiety disorder you have a lot of company ­- they affect about 12% of Canadian in any specific year (Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada, 2007).

What Are Some Of The Different Types Of Anxiety Disorders?

According to the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), recognized anxiety related conditions and disorders include the following (APA, 2013):

Panic Attack: While panic attacks are not considered to be an anxiety disorder, it is not unusual for someone who is experiencing an anxiety disorder to have a panic attack. A panic attack involves a rapid increase in fear or discomfort that peaks within minutes. Symptoms can be both mental (a sense of impending doom or fear of dying, losing control or “going crazy”) and physical (shortness of breath, choking or smothering sensations, heart palpitations, chest pain or discomfort, trembling, and others).

Panic Disorder: Panic disorder involves reoccurring unexpected panic attacks, followed by at least a month of ongoing concern about another attack or its consequences, or a significant change in behavior (such as agoraphobia) that is related to a past panic attack(s).  

Agoraphobia: The main characteristic of agoraphobia is fear or anxiety about being in places or situations in which escape may be difficult or help not available should panic or other embarrassing/incapacitating symptoms occur. Feared conditions are either avoided or tolerated with intense fear/anxiety.

Specific Phobias: Specific phobias are characterized by intense anxiety/fear that is triggered, almost every time, by a situation or thing that is feared. If you have a phobia, you may go to great lengths to avoid what you fear. Your fear and anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed, has lasted at least six months, and negatively impacts your life.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) The primary feature of GAD is excessive worry and anxiety that is hard to control and which occurs during most days for a period of no less than six months, about a number of different events or activities.

What Does Anxiety Counselling Typically Involve?

During the initial FREE session, you will also be asked to fill out assessment forms in order to help us to evaluate the nature and intensity of symptoms and other issues that you may be facing. This process helps us to us pinpoint effective first steps toward the future you desire.

During the next session, I take a solution-focused approach. We will work towards a clear motivating vision of how your new life will be different and better when your symptoms of anxiety are greatly reduced, and agree upon the goal or goals that we are moving towards.

Later, positive momentum can accelerate after both of us better understand the things that seem to help maintain your symptoms. Although you may at times feel hopeless about improvement due to your symptoms, there are counselling methods (such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) which can help you begin to start thinking differently, so that difficult emotions arise less often and are easier to control (Leahy, Holland, & McGinn, 2012).

You will be strongly supported as you create detailed goals that motivate you, and successful ways of measuring the effectiveness of your own steps towards achieving each of them. You may discover strengths that you can develop and then use to begin overcoming your symptoms. Prepare to be surprised!

Why not take the first step forward towards the better life that you desire:
book your FREE counselling session today
I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.

Audre Lord
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