Are you struggling with overwhelming worries, have difficulty concentrating, find yourself avoiding certain situations, and/or physiological responses to stress (increased heartrate, sweating)? In therapy we’ll will explore the underlying causes and learn techniques to help take back control.
Anxiety is common.
According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, nearly 1 in 3 people will experience clinical levels of anxiety in their lifetime.
Feelings of anxiety and stress are helpful and necessary for survival. Our brain detects danger sends the message to our body to “fight, flight, or freeze.” Our body releases a stress hormone, cortisol, which increases heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. All this physiological activation is especially adaptive if you need to fight off an attacker or run from a bear in the woods. However, prolonged exposure of our body’s stress response is detrimental to our mental and physical health. This is oftentimes the case with anxiety. It can feel like we are always on the lookout for something bad to happen.
In our work together, we will explore the underlying causes of negative emotions in your life. Oftentimes, intrusive negative thoughts are a maintaining factor in high levels of anxiety (e.g., “What if my mind goes blank when I give this presentation?” “I’m going to embarrass myself.” “I’m no good at anything.” “I’m worthless.”) At the same time, the body is interpreting this as a “dangerous” situation and activates the stress response system (see above).
We’ll learn strategies to interrupt these negative thought patterns and slow down our bodies. I utilize scientifically-supported techniques drawn from cognitive-behavioral therapy to bring awareness to how our thoughts impact our feelings and behaviors. Mindfulness is often an important piece of therapy as it quiets the body and allows for increased insight into our internal world. We may also explore how your family-of- origin has impacted your ability to handle stress as anxiety tends to “run in the family.”
The goal of our work together is to gain new insight and techniques to manage stress and anxiety so that you feel confident and back in control of your life. Please contact me to find out if I may be a good fit for you.