Is Anxiety Therapy Right for You?
Do anxious thoughts keep you awake at night and distract you during the day? Are you unable to move on from things that bother you? Is it difficult to perform everyday activities because you're wrapped up in your head?
Perhaps it's difficult to do your best at work or school. Maybe you worry that your job performance is inadequate, or that you're doing something wrong. Possibly you feel uneasy in group settings or speaking in front of your peers.
Anxiety can affect all aspects of your life, including your relationships. You may worry about being judged for certain thoughts and feelings, so you stuff them deep down inside to fester. Alternatively, you may find yourself continually doubting that what you're experiencing is "okay," so you habitually seek reassurance from friends and family in hopes of being "normal."
It's even possible to suffer from physical symptoms of anxiety, including the following:
- Heart palpitations
- Stomach pain
- Shortness of breath
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle tension
Because these symptoms have no physical cause, it can be difficult to address them. This can increase one's frustration, igniting a vicious cycle.
At the end of the day, what you’d love is to be at peace. You don’t want to worry about the "what ifs" – you just want to relax and enjoy your life.
Dealing With Anxiety Is Difficult—But You’re In Good Company
Anxiety is the most common mental disorder in the US, affecting 40 million adults annually. The five major types are:
- Generalized Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Social Phobia
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their lives. It’s what motivates you to study for an important exam, to pay your bills on time, and to show up prepared for the meeting with your boss. However, the above-listed types of disorders exemplify the harm that occurs when it gets out of control.
There are many reasons why these disorders are so common, especially in today’s world. It seems that at every step of our lives, we’re met with intense pressure to be productive and succeed. Not to mention the pervasive, tumultuous political climate we’re bombarded with on the news and social media. Oftentimes we’re expected to suppress our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs rather than freely expressing ourselves. We’re told not to sweat the small stuff and that we just have to be stronger than whatever we’re confronted with. Sounds simple enough, but such slogans make better bumper stickers than constructive life strategies.
The fact is, ignoring our bodies when they warn us of a problem often energizes the very symptoms we disregard, resulting in harm rather than healing. Despite how counterintuitive it seems, leaning into the fear and challenging yourself to live alongside of your anxiety is a profoundly constructive response.
This is where anxiety therapy comes in.
A trained therapist can help you identify the ways you feed your symptoms. They’ll also teach you a variety of skills to manage them so you can live a healthier, happier life.
Anxiety Therapy Can Teach You How To Decrease Your Symptoms
On your own, it can be difficult identifying anxiety-provoking thoughts or debilitating mental patterns that merit your attention. Fortunately, therapy provides a nonjudgmental environment for you to develop the skillset to observe your own thinking and respond to it in ways that serve your best interests.
Bray Counseling offers a warm, friendly space where you can explore your anxiety symptoms without fear. Our practice is client-centered and we’ll tailor every session to fit your needs. With our help, you’ll learn how to identify anxiety triggers, understand how and why you react to them as you do, and establish a solid toolkit to work productively with them whenever they arise. Our goal is that you learn to manage, reduce, and work through your symptoms, allowing you to live a full life that is vibrant and value-centered.
At first, much of our time will be spent on education. We want you to understand your symptoms, know why they flare up, and see clearly what you may be doing to fuel them. Sessions often begin by us catching up on anything that’s happened since the last time you were in.
During sessions, we'll walk through the Cycle of Anxiety:
- Something in the environment triggers it
- A thought distortion occurs automatically
- The distortion evokes specific emotions
- Those emotions produce a variety of behaviors
- These behaviors may produce more triggers
By doing this, we’ll help you identify the easiest place to break the cycle and reduce your reaction to thoughts and triggers.
There are a number of empirically-proven methods to manage anxiety, including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Acceptance-Commitment Therapy
- Exposure and Response Prevention
At Bray Counselling, we’ll assess your thought patterns and behavioral cycles, and expertly employ all the necessary treatments to achieve the best results for you.
Additionally, if you’re open to it, we’ll often assign you homework outside of sessions. For example, we may ask you to expose yourself to something you’re anxious about in an imagined setting by reading a script or watching a video, and then take manageable steps to overcome your fear. Or we’ll introduce a new skill that can buffer you against the detrimental effects of uncontrolled anxiety and ask you to practice it between sessions.
Anxiety isn’t easy to deal with, but that doesn’t mean it has to consume your life. By becoming educated about how it works and learning effective techniques to utilize when it appears, you can regain your peace of mind by letting go of anxious thoughts.
You may still have reservations about anxiety therapy…
How do I know treatment will really help?
Our methodology has proven to be incredibly effective at treating anxiety, more so than using medication alone, and consistently diminishes symptoms.
I’m not sure I’ll have the time for anxiety therapy.
At Bray Counseling, we’re more than happy to work around your schedule so you can reap all the wonderful benefits of anxiety therapy. In fact, we offer weekend, early morning, and evening appointments for this exact reason. We believe it’s vitally important to care for all aspects of your health, not just the physical ones.
I’m afraid of being judged.
Many people who suffer from anxiety feel ashamed of what transpires in their minds and worry about how other people would react if they knew the content of their thoughts. The reality is, most of us have intrusive thoughts that seem strange or repulsive. That’s why our compassionate therapists at Bray Counseling never judge or jump to conclusions. We want to provide you a safe space to explore where those thoughts come from, delve into understanding them, and develop a life-enhancing skillset to thoroughly manage them.
Learn To Manage Difficult Thoughts With Anxiety Therapy
If you're ready to make a lasting change in decreasing your anxiety, please call us at 512-636-0104 or easily send in our appointment request form. With the help of Bray Counseling, you can begin your journey to overcoming anxiety.