“The emotion of fear often works overtime. Even when there is no immediate threat, our body may remain tight and on guard, our mind narrowed to focus on what might go wrong. When this happens, fear is no longer functioning to secure our survival. ” – Tara Brach, PhD
Are you constantly thinking, planning, and worrying about what needs to happen next, obsessing over things that feel outside of your control, or overwhelmed by fear in your day to day life?
Everyone experiences anxiety on some level, and in fact, we need it. Anxiety allows us the ability to anticipate consequences and to respond quickly to threats. It shows up in our minds and our bodies to keep us safe, typically with some combination of thinking ahead and bodily fear responses to a perceived threat. Anxiety allows us to protect ourselves in some very necessary ways; however, if you are seeking therapy for anxiety, you may be noticing that your experience of anxiety has gone beyond what feels helpful.
If the experiences below sound like yours, your anxiety may be keeping you from functioning at your best, and preventing you from feeling fulfilled and balanced in your life.
- Nervousness, restlessness or being tense
- Irritability in times of stress
- Feelings of danger, panic, or dread
- Rapid breathing or hyperventilation
- Muscle tension
- Increased or heavy sweating
- Trembling or muscle twitching
- Weakness or lethargy
- Difficulty focusing or thinking clearly about anything other than the thing you’re worried about
- Obsessions about certain ideas
- Anxiety surrounding a particular life event or experience that has occurred in the past (A sign that your anxiety is tied to a trauma)
When addressing anxiety in therapy, I utilize a variety of methods to help clients heal and change their relationship with anxiety, including IFS Therapy, Mindfulness, Hypnotherapy, and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). My main approach, Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) works to understand in a deeper way how the strategies of worrying, obsessing, and/or controlling have been protective, even if they no longer feel helpful to you.
I also understand that parts of you may be holding onto fear or panic for an important reason, and that in the process of regulation and witnessing your experiences, there begins to be more room for feeling calm, clear, and connected. Along the way, we work together to find new coping strategies that feel more helpful to you, and allow you to live a balanced life with confidence instead of fear.