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Anxiety Therapy

Don't let your anxiety make your decisions for you.

Does anxiety prevent you from feeling like your true self?
Does your fear and worry cause problems in your relationships?
Is anxiety effecting your physical health and how you feel in your body?

If these things bother you, please know that you are not alone. The ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) reports that anxiety disorders are the most commonly diagnosed disorders in America affecting up to 40 million adults (19% of the population). The stress of our society today (including things like social media, financial hardship, isolation, and substance use) does not help. The good news is that anxiety is highly treatable. Becoming more aware of what is happening in your physical body, learning healthy coping skills, and addressing the underlying fears that feed anxiety through therapy can help tremendously. At Wise Mind Therapy we can help you with this and give you tools that can help you reduce and manage stress for the rest of your life.  

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What is anxiety anyway?


Anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, tense, or afraid. Often about the future, or something we think could happen in the future. Anxiety is a natural response in our nervous system when we feel that we are under threat. It can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations.


Anxiety a normal response to stress or threat. Just because you experience anxiety does not mean you have an anxiety disorder. We all have a "fight/flight/freeze" system that helps protect us from danger in the environment. This system is often triggered by our thoughts as well. This part of our nervous system reacts automatically. It is not a choice. Often, when people feel these physical sensations they worry that they have an anxiety disorder. Likely, they can manage this anxiety by learning a few simple tools to regulate their nervous system, like managing their thoughts, taking deep breaths, or grounding themselves to the present moment. Anxiety can become a mental health problem if it impacts your ability to live your life as fully as you want to. If this is happening, reaching out to a therapist is a good idea.


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What are the symptoms of anxiety?


Common symptoms associated with anxiety are:

  • your feelings of anxiety are very strong or last for a long time

  • your fears or worries are out of proportion to the situation

  • you avoid situations that might cause you to feel anxious

  • your worries feel very distressing or are hard to control

  • you regularly experience symptoms of anxiety, which could include panic attacks

  • you find it hard to go about your everyday life or do things you enjoy

  • you have physical symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, fatigue, muscle tension, rapid heartbeat

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How do we treat anxiety?

We help people with anxiety by teaching them tools to calm their nervous system, and help them resolve underlying fears and situations that may be contributing to their anxiety. If anxiety can be linked back to trauma or childhood abuse or neglect, EMDR and Ego state therapies may also be useful. 


Everyone experiences anxiety differently. Some people have anxiety that is very physical. They may not be aware of conscious thoughts that contribute to their anxiety. This can be very scary for people, and often leads to panic and concern that there is something physically wrong with them. This can cause a "spiral" effect that just makes the anxiety worse. These clients benefit from somatic awareness, mindfulness practices, and being educated about what is actually taking place in their bodies. We practice these tools and eventually, the calming responses become more automatic.

Others experience anxiety more cognitively, it is their thoughts that cause them to feel anxiety. For these clients we are more likely to use CBT in order to help them become aware of, challenge, and replace irrational thoughts that do not help their anxiety. Often once people are able to put words to these feelings, and become aware of their "irrational" beliefs, they are able to feel more in control of their anxiety. 

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"What if therapy doesn't work, then where does that leave me?"

One of the common fears about therapy is that it will not work. You will have to accept that you are "damaged" and there is no way out. Therapy will be just another failure! (I didn't say it was rational. I said it was a common fear!)

If you worry about starting therapy for fear if it "not working", let me ease your fears. Therapy is not here to "fix you". This anxious part of you is not the enemy! Therapy can help to raise your self awareness and give you tools to better manage your anxiety. Therapy can help you understand and relate differently to your anxiety. Therapy can help bring subconscious fears (which often drive anxiety) to consciousness. This puts you in the drivers seat and empowers you to live a more fulfilled life. 

I have never had a client leave therapy feeling worse than when they started. We may not eliminate all of your anxiety. We wouldn't want to do that anyway, since it is necessary to keep you safe in the world. But, we can work together to reduce anxiety and give you control over your life.

"I am afraid to face it, what if therapy makes things worse?"

I understand that starting therapy can feel scary. We AVOID thinking about things that make us feel bad. That is natural. We avoid because it works! It is a very useful tool to be able to "contain" things. Lock them away in our minds so they do not interfere with our day to day lives. But, there are consequences to this avoidance. ANXIETY is one of them. 

Skilled therapists know how to walk that line. We respect and honor your mind and how it has adapted to help you deal with your experiences, your stressors. We build up a solid foundation and give you lots of tools and building blocks so that you feel stronger. We do not go bulldozing through knocking down all your defenses and coping mechanisms! We understand that "problems" like avoidance, substance use, and anxiety serve roles in your system. We understand and respect that. Again, I have never had a client leave feeling worse than when they started!

If you would like to talk to a therapist to see if it feels right for you, click the button below...

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