Anxiety and panic are the most common and the most treatable mental health problem. Anxiety is actually a normal bodily response that helps keep us safe – the “fight or flight response” that makes us step back quickly when a car passes us too closely. It becomes a problem when it occurs without any reasonable stimulus.
If you suffer from problem anxiety or panic it likely negatively impacts your daily life and could be interfering with relationships and work. You might experience:
- excessive or unrealistic worry that is difficult to control
- edginess or irritability and inability to calm your body or your mind
- difficulty sleeping or falling asleep
- restlessness, tiredness, or muscle tension
- racing thoughts and difficulties concentrating
- lack of success with regular “relaxation” techniques
- palpitations, shortness of breath, dry mouth, trouble swallowing, nausea, or diarrhea
Working with anxiety
There are many different kinds of anxiety disorders, and each person’s experience is different, so our work would focus on your experience and situation. We build on your strengths, self-awareness, and prior knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work.
Most people who come for help with their anxiety notice a distinct difference within a few sessions. I can help you:
- develop practical and effective grounding skills so you feel more settled
- develop mindfulness skills to bring awareness and acceptance to your moment-by-moment experience
- gain different understandings of the anxiety and learn to relate to it in helpful ways
- identify and address what creates or contributes to your anxiety
- heal the source of your anxiety
- build your skills to continue the healing work on your own.
Mindfulness-based approaches to anxiety
I specialise in using mindfulness-based and somatic approaches to anxiety. I draw on Hakomi, Internal Family Systems, Somatic Experiencing and Focusing methods. I also can include movement such as Qi Gong exercises.
Common to all these modalities is a shift of state. Using mindfulness in different ways allows you to access a broader level of experience that than which the anxiety exists. We get to watch it and explore the way we relate to it, rather than be consumed by it. Just like Albert Einstein said:
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”.
In my experience when we shift the way we relate to something, the thing itself changes. This is true for human interactions and for internal human interactions. Systems theory I suppose. Please see some of my articles describing client sessions to see what I’m talking about.
Through anxiety counselling you can develop tools that will work for you in the real world. As a result you will regain trust in yourself and increased control of your experience. This will free you up to enjoy life more, and no longer be held back by anxiety.
Check out these related articles:
- 5 Unusual Steps to Reduce Stress
- What does a therapist do with her own anxiety: a story
- Did you have an alcoholic/dysfunctional parent growing up? Relationship “compass” rewiring please
- Victim, Rescuer or Persecutor? The Karpman triangle
- How to talk to your inner critic so it will listen
“Stephanie has an exceptional ability to work with me to dig deep and identify the ways and patterns of my anxieties. She also is very skilled at mindfulness techniques, and is able to help me look not just at my thoughts, but my emotions, looking them over and figuring out how to get to the core of what they are trying to tell me.”