Talk Therapy and Anxiety

Nadia HamiltonPsychotherapyLeave a Comment

Individuals may notice themselves feeling heightened levels of anxiety, especially due to an increased number of stressful events that have been occurring around the globe. Clients who experience anxiety may benefit from talk therapy, as this can help Clients develop skills and strategies to manage symptoms of anxiety and stress. During talk therapy, trained professionals help guide Clients toward implementing positive changes by listening to them non-judgmentally.

The image below explains different stages of the cycle of anxiety that you and your counsellor may explore together in therapy:

Worry/panic: This vicious cycle typically begins by an increase in anxious symptoms. This may include panicking, feelings of dread, and/or excessive worrying accompanied by physiological symptoms including an increase in your heart rate, dizziness, and muscle tension. During this stage, you may notice “what if” thoughts, such as “what if something bad happens?”

Avoidance: Once we begin to feel the initial symptoms of anxiety, a “fight or flight” response is activated. You may try to cope with feelings of worry and panic by staying at home to avoid potentially stressful situations, procrastinate on tasks, and generally try to distract yourself from feeling high levels of stress.

Temporary Relief: Engaging in avoidance patterns can lead to temporary relief. However, this does not address the root cause of your anxiety or help you manage it long-term.

Resurgence of Worry/Panic: One consequence of engaging in avoidance behaviour is feeling increased levels of anxiety at a later time. This is known as a Resurgence of Worry and Panic; when anxiety that you have attempted to avoid resurfaces with greater intensity.

Loss of Confidence in Coping Abilities: Avoidance patterns can lead to a lack of confidence in coping with stress and handling other problems. This can contribute to feelings of helplessness and low self-esteem, as well as perpetuate the cycle of anxiety.

You can break the cycle. There are a number of positive changes that you can implement to help manage anxiety symptoms. If you would like to learn about grounding techniques that can help reverse the vicious cycle of anxiety, click here: https://youniquefoundation.org/grounding-techniques/

For more information or to book a counselling session, please email nadia@serenitynowwellness.ca, or call (403) 454-7600.

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