Anxiety, Panic & Stress
Are Anxiety, panic and stress stopping you reaching your goals?
- Are you afraid of going out?
- Do you worry about having a panic attack?
- Do people make you feel nervous?
- Do you drink too much in social situations?
- Do you get upset with people or do they get upset with you?
- Do you worry about job interviews or exams?
- Do you have problems maintaining relationships with friends, family or colleagues?
- Are you sometimes envious of other people’s abilities?
For most people with anxiety a short course of regular sessions will help you take back control of your life and allow you to manage challenges and difficulties in a resourceful way.
The aim of my approach, and this type of therapy, is to help you learn Cognitive and Rational Emotive Behaviour (CBT/REBT) problem-solving skills so you can become your own therapist.
However, having an experienced, trained and non-judgemental individual to help guide you through seemingly overwhelming issues can be the key to helping you get your life back on track…
There are many things which can be problematic in our lives: confusing and difficult emotions, relationship difficulties, work concerns, pain and longterm illness, difficult upbringing and life experiences are just some of the things that people find a course of CBT/REBT useful for.
However, sometimes we have more complex problems where several aspects of the issues listed here may be a feature. And sometimes, we just feel stuck — our life is not where we want it to be.
Talking through things in a focussed way can really help you get clarity on what needs changing.
The most commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders are:
- generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
- panic disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
You might not have, or want, a diagnosis of a particular disorder – but it might still be useful to learn about these different diagnoses to help you think about your own experiences of anxiety, and consider options for support.
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
If you have felt anxious for a long time and often feel fearful, but are not anxious about anything specific that is happening in your life, you might be diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
Because there are lots of possible symptoms and effects of anxiety this can be quite a broad diagnosis, meaning that the problems you experience with GAD might be quite different from the problems another person experiences, even though you have the same diagnosis.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a diagnosis you might be given if your anxiety leads you to experience: Obsessions – unwelcome thoughts, images, urges or doubts that repeatedly appear in your mind and Compulsions – repetitive activities that you feel you have to do.
A phobia is an intense fear of something, even when that thing is very unlikely to be dangerous to you. If you have a phobia, your anxiety may be triggered by very specific situations or objects.
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If you develop strong feelings of anxiety after experiencing or witnessing something you found very traumatic, you might be given a diagnosis of PTSD. PTSD can cause flashbacks or nightmares which can feel like you’re re-living all the fear and anxiety you experienced during the actual event.
Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behavioural therapy
Guided by empirical research, CBT focuses on the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems and changing unhelpful patterns in cognitions (e.g., thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes), behaviours, and emotional regulation. It was originally designed to treat depression, and is now used for a number of mental health conditions and to promote ‘mental wellness’ awareness.
The CBT model is based on a combination of the basic principles from behavioural and cognitive psychology. It is different from historical approaches to psychotherapy, such as the psychoanalytic approach where the therapist looks for the unconscious meaning behind behaviours and then formulates a diagnosis. Instead, CBT is “problem-focused” and “action-oriented”, meaning it is used to treat specific problems related to a diagnosed mental disorder and the therapist’s role is to assist the client in finding and practising effective strategies to address the identified goals and decrease symptoms of the disorder.
CBT is based on the belief that thought distortions and maladaptive behaviours play a role in the development and maintenance of psychological disorders, and that symptoms and associated distress can be reduced by teaching new information-processing skills and coping mechanisms.