Therapy for Anxiety
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What is Anxiety?
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – feeling the excessive and unreasonable worry in various areas of life
- Social Anxiety Disorder – feeling intense self consciousness and worry of being in social situations and interactions for the fear of being judged, humiliated or embarrassed.
- Panic Disorder – having sudden intense fear which leads to a panic attack, and being constantly worried about having another panic attack.
- Agoraphobia – intense fear of being in places or situations which are difficult to escape.
- Specific Phobias – intense fear of specific objects or situations.
- Separation Anxiety — feeling very anxious when a close, loved person leaves and worrying that something bad may happen to them.
- Selective Mutism – a type of social anxiety in which a person is unable to talk in certain social interactions
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder— people with OCD exhibit compulsive behavior. This can be due to situations which provoke Anxiety. OCD comes in various forms; checking, repeating, cleanliness, organizing and obsessive thoughts.
There can be numerous reasons specific to your situation that can cause anxiety. Here are some commonly identifiable ones;
- Substance abuse or withdrawal— Certain drugs or a mixture of different drugs used by people could induce symptoms of anxiety.
- Traumatic experiences — Experiences or exposure to situations that negatively impact us often imprint us with unpleasant, fearful memories.
- Future uncertainty or negative anticipation—Not knowing what happens next can put you on edge. Stressing extensively about the future may lead to anxiety.
- Childhood trauma— plays a significant part in the overall shaping of the cognitive and emotional behaviors of a person. This becomes a major cause of mental health concerns and worries in adulthood.
- Disturbed Sleeping and Eating Habits— Unhealthy sleeping and eating patterns may manifest through symptoms of anxiety over a period of time.
- Medical or medicine induced Anxiety— Medications can cause different side effects in different people. But some drugs target the same parts of your body that play a role in anxiety symptoms.
- Work stress— Work life has become one of the major causes of stress in adults. Prolonged work hours, demanding tasks and exhaustion can take an adverse toll on health leading to anxiety.
- Bullying and Harassment— Bullying is prevalent in various organizations be it school, college or workplace in different forms. Being insulted, Taken advantage of, or being constantly demotivated can cause various symptoms of anxiety.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety:
- Trouble sleeping
- Tense muscles
- Feeling fatigue
- Low energy
- Heart palpitations
- Loss of Appetite
Mental / Emotional Symptoms of Anxiety:
- Panic attacks
- Intrusive thoughts
- Uncontrollable worry/fear
- Difficulty concentrating
- Getting irritated easily
- Feeling isolated
- Withdrawing from people
Our Treatment Approach to Therapy for Anxiety
While most people search for treatment for their anxiety, therapy for anxiety should not be seen as a treatment. Rather it needs to be viewed as an exploration and addressing of underlying causes and symptoms of anxiety.
Anxiety is like a signal. It tells us the system is vigilant, overwhelmed and dysregulated. At the outset it may appear that the anxiety is related to a worry about the future, a particular incident, an irrational fear or even a generalized feeling of dread. However, therapy often shows that the roots of anxiety go way deeper. It can be an emotion that we are unwilling to face, or it can be trauma that is unseen and unaddressed from our past.
At Inner Space our therapists who work with anxiety, address both the manifested symptoms of anxiety as well as the underlying causes of anxiety. We explore the anxiety triggers using cognitive-behavioral therapy. With the help of somatic psychotherapy, mindfulness-based therapy and meditation practices, we help the client to address the emotional overwhelm and start to regulate their nervous system. Regulating the physiology of the body and the nervous system is crucial to going deeper. Once the overall nervous system feels a bit settled, there is possibility for deeper self-exploration, learning helpful coping mechanisms and eventually overcoming anxiety.
Benefits of Coping with Anxiety through Counseling
FAQs on Therapy for Anxiety
There is no standard frame of time to treat any mental health condition, and this includes anxiety. It depends on the depth of anxiety, intensity of anxiety-symptoms, frequency of anxiety symptoms or panic attacks if any and how long has anxiety been a part of the system. It also depends on the client’s readiness to address difficult and deeper issues as well as the skill of the therapist.
Our nervous system learns to become anxious over a period of time. Hence, it is helpful not to set a deadline for anxiety therapy but come to therapy with the mindset of exploration. If there is dedication and diligence from the client along with the guidance of a good therapist anxiety can certainly be overcome. You may start to see improvements and reduction in symptoms in a few weeks too. However, it is important to maintain regularity and continue with the therapy so that the symptoms of anxiety and the underlying causes for the same are worked through.
A psychologist is trained in helping you explore the underlying causes for the anxiety. A good psychologist is also able to address the nervous system overwhelm that is a core manifestation of anxiety in the body. With your help, the therapist can help you identify triggers, identify unhealthy coping patterns and suggest helpful ones. They can also help you address the emotions of sadness, grief or fear that may be underlying the anxiety. Most importantly they can hold space for you and make your nervous system feel safe which helps it to heal. It is therefore imperative that you take therapy only from a properly qualified psychologist who has training in psychotherapy.
We have found that online therapy for anxiety is most helpful when you take regular appointments as recommended by your therapist and follow through any tasks that have been suggested by your therapist. Your therapist may suggest certain ways of thinking, journaling or certain mindfulness practices to follow in between sessions.
The most important thing about dealing with panic attacks is to stop fearing them. When we fear getting a panic attack, we further create anxiety in our minds and bodies. Panic attacks are brought on by this anxiety. When the system cannot deal with the anxiety, it starts to manifest in the body in the form of a racing heart, sweating, chest pain or other symptoms that are very unpleasant. The chain of panic attacks continues- the more your fear them the more anxiety is created, the more you are likely to have them. Hence to avoid panic attacks it is very important to avoid that overwhelm in the system. In order to do this avoid worrying about the panic attack and additionally make light exercise and practices like yoga, mindfulness and meditation a part of your life. There is clear scientific evidence that these practices lead to regulating the vagal tone and increasing parasympthetic activity of the nervous system, both of which create conditions in the mind and body that reduce the chances of having anxiety and/or panic attacks. In fact, at Inner Space, we find that the practices of mindfulness and meditation are helpful for most mental health conditions and need to be integrated into our lives in order to lead a physically and mentally healthy life.
The treatment of anxiety often needs to consist of several elements:
If the anxiety is severe, medication may be considered. In milder situations it may not be needed. Your therapist can assess you and suggest if this course is needed or may even suggest therapy for a few weeks before any decision about medication is taken.
Therapy for anxiety is usually required whether or not medication is needed. Therapy helps deal with the root of the anxiety. It helps explore the causes, deal with the emotions that are underlying the anxiety and finally adopt healthy coping mechanisms to deal with the anxiety.
Healthy lifestyle choices need to be developed that include the practices of mindfulness, meditation, yoga, light exercise, healthy eating, avoiding too much news and social media and other sources that agitate the mind. The mind-body system is one whole and every choice we make can either add to anxiety if it is an unhealthy one or reduce anxiety if it is a healthy one.
How to Book a Therapy Session for Anxiety
Contact us to Book an Appointment
NOTE: We are not a crisis intervention center and only deal with mild to moderate conditions. If you are in a state of emergency or crisis, we urge you to contact a crisis prevention helpline or seek offline therapy.
Here's how Inner Space Therapists have helped
Video Resources to Cope with Anxiety
Self Care Resources to Cope with Anxiety
If therapy is something you can not take in the moment, you can begin your healing journey with the help of our free resources carefully curated by our team of qualified therapists