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Effective Counselling for Anxiety

Do you suffer from anxiety? You're not alone. Seeking a Psychologist's help can help make your anxiety manageable.

Recognising Symptoms of Anxiety

What is anxiety?  Well, Anxiety is the most common mental health issue in Australia. Approximately 1 in 4 of us will experience problematic anxiety at some point in our lives.  


While symptoms vary from person to person, common symptoms include the following bodily sensations:


  • difficulty falling or staying asleep

  • racing or looping thoughts

  • feeling short of breath

  • a knot in your stomach, or constant 'butterflies'

  • poor concentration, difficulty attending to conversations

  • racing heartbeat

  • tightness or heaviness in the chest

  • numbness in the arms or legs, or tingling sensations

  • feeling disconnected from your body.


Such symptoms often go hand-in-hand with these equally frightening thoughts:


  • what's happening to me?

  • I'm going to faint

  • I'm going to be sick

  • I must be having a heart attack

  • I'm going crazy

  • I'm going to embarrass myself


Causes of anxiety are often long standing issues that eventually become so problematic that they interfere with everyday living.  It's not uncommon, either, if you're suffering from anxiety, to find out that someone else in your family has also suffered from it.  Problematic anxiety can be triggered by:


  • job stress

  • family pressures

  • physical illness

  • recent unexpected events

  • death or loss of a loved one


The good news is that anxiety is very treatable, and can be dealt with via a range of psychological therapies. 


What does a Psychologist do in Anxiety Counselling?


For the patient, anxiety counselling involves:


  • Learning about the physiology of anxiety, the 'Fight, Flight, Freeze' response, the symptoms you experience, and why they happen.

  • Learning how to gain greater control over these physiological responses through Mindfulness, breath work, and exercise.


As a Psychologist, these are the practices involved in helping a patient reach those goals:


Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Essentially, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a counselling technique that is about changing the way you relate to your thoughts and feelings.  CBT involves not only becoming more aware of particular thoughts in particular situations (e.g. if I don't get this job, it'll be the end of me!), and challenging their truth (e.g. will it really be 'the end' if you don't get the job?) but also increasing your awareness of what feelings are triggered when you have what might be described as an 'unrealistic' thoughts.


Exposure Therapy

If particular fears are involved with your anxiety (e.g. I'm terrified of speaking to my boss) then a common technique used in conjunction with CBT is something called 'Exposure Therapy'.  Exposure Therapy is based on the idea of gradually confronting your fears one step at a time, with direct psychological planning and support during your counselling sessions.  This exposure allows us to learn that often what you feared most, did not happen or even if it did, the consequences were not as bad as you had anticipated (e.g. I spoke to my boss which was really scary, but I didn't get fired!).


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

More recently CBT has evolved to focus on challenging the way that we relate to our thoughts.  Originating in meditation practices, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (sometimes referred to as ACT) teaches simple techniques which allow us to observe our thoughts and train ourselves to be less reactive to them when they're unpleasant or intrusive.  ACT also emphasises increasing our awareness of our personal values, and, rather than being reactive, helps us respond to situations and people that are more in accord with these personal values. For example, someone at work may be gossiping behind your back. Do you 'give as good as you get' or react in a manner that is more in accord with your values? Approach the person directly and verify if the gossip is in fact happening and ask them to stop?


Are you suffering from anxiety, and want help? Call or book an appointment today, or get to know more about Toowoomba-Oakey area Psychologist Dr. Clive Williams.

Counselling & Help For Anxiety

Get Help With Your Anxiety Today.

Or call: 0427 40 30 99

Get Help With Your Anxiety Today.

Or call: 0427 40 30 99 

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