Anxiety can make us feel like our mind is spinning out of control. It keeps us up at night, and keeps us from living fully during the day. Anxiety is born out of fear, but fear, in and of itself, is not the problem.
In my practice, I work with clients to develop new ways to relate to and understand their anxiety. I use mindfulness techniques and methods grounded in Acceptance and Commitment and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies to help clients to lessen the grip of anxiety on their day-to-day lives.
Some of the questions I explore with clients include:
- How is your anxiety impacting your feelings or behaviors?
- What do you do to avoid feeling anxious?
- What would you do if it weren’t for anxiety?
Naturally, we want to get rid of uncomfortable anxious feelings. One of the most common ways to avoid anxiety is to avoid what triggers it. This makes sense. We are wired to avoid what we see as a threat.
Unfortunately, when anxiety takes over it inhibits our freedom and our ability to live fully. To make matters worse, we often feel ashamed of the anxiety we are feeling. In my practice I try to de-stigmatize client's anxiety. People of all backgrounds struggle with anxiety. Disrupting shame around it can be an important step.
Another practice that can help is "naming it." Research shows that identifying or naming our fear activates our prefrontal cortex, the parts of the brain involved in higher-level decision making, and deactivates the limbic system-- our “fight or flight” brain. Simply saying, "I'm feeling anxious" can decrease the hold it has on us.
Many clients also benefit from homework and take-home practices to help alleviate anxiety outside of session. Instead of trying to get rid of anxiety, I help clients increase their capacity to handle it. We know that exposure to our fears tends to lessen them long term.
All that said, I am careful not to push too hard. We take things as slow as you need. No one benefits from feeling pressured to expose themselves to something they are not ready for. While I encourage clients to relate to their fears in new ways, I approach each client with respect for their history, goals and boundaries.
Ready to get started? Click on the button below to schedule a free phone call or send me an email.