What is anxiety and anxiety counselling?
Anxiety occurs when you have feelings and thoughts of fear, apprehension, worry, nervousness or imminent danger, that may occur when you are involved in a situation that you feel you cannot manage safely or successfully. With mild anxiety, you might feel some fear or nervousness before undertaking something challenging such as an exam or job interview. A mild and infrequent level of anxiety can be healthy for you, as it prepares you to perform at your best during stressful situations.
However, anxiety is considered a problem when you experience strong feelings of fear, worry and apprehension over a long period of time (such as weeks or months), and it prevents you from participating in or enjoying other parts of your life. At this point you may want to consider contacting a professional therapist for anxiety counselling.
What is severe anxiety?
Severe anxiety is more intense than normal anxiety and may be felt even when you are not involved in any immediate stressful situations. Severe anxiety can be debilitating and greatly affect your ability to cope with normal situations in your daily life. You might experience physical symptoms including a racing heartbeat and nausea. You might also have persistent negative and unhelpful thoughts regarding your ability to cope with situations, debilitating feelings of distress, and you may find you consistently avoid uncomfortable situations. This avoidance can diminish your confidence and quality of life.
Severe anxiety may be a result of the following factors:
- environmental (stress from work, relationship stress, finances, school)
- medical (stress from a serious medical illness or the side effects of medication)
- substance use and abuse (intoxication and withdrawal)
- childhood or adult trauma and grief
- genetics (a family history of anxiety).
When should I seek professional help for anxiety?
When severe anxiety persists, it can develop into a ‘disorder’, significantly impacting your quality of life and sense of wellbeing. The most common anxiety disorders you may have heard of include Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Phobias, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Agoraphobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Severe and long-term anxiety can lead to other problems in your life, including depression, relationship difficulties, and substance abuse. If you have strong feelings of anxiety that negatively impact the way you feel and behave, seeking anxiety counselling from a professional psychologist or accredited counsellor can be an important step.
Anxiety counselling by therapists at Mindful Psychology
At Mindful Psychology, our experienced anxiety psychologists and counsellors in Brisbane can assist you to learn new coping strategies to treat severe anxiety and anxiety disorders.
Don’t assume I’m weak because I have panic attacks. You’ll never know the amount of strength it takes to face the world every day.Unknown
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
Emotional symptoms of anxiety include:
- Constantly feeling tense and worried
- Feelings of apprehension or dread, or anticipating the worst
- Excessive fear of particular situations or things, including public places
- Engaging in uncontrollable, repeated or distressing behaviours to reduce feelings of anxiety
- Strong fears of scrutiny or judgment, or fear of embarrassing yourself in social settings
- Avoiding everyday situations or activities because they make you anxious
- Trouble concentrating, or feeling like your mind has gone blank
Common physical symptoms of anxiety include:
- Pounding heart
- Nausea or dizziness
- Frequent urination or diarrhoea
- Shortness of breath
- Hot and cold flushes
- Muscle tension
How we can help with anxiety:
At Mindful Psychology, anxiety issues and anxiety disorders are treated with a warm, empathic approach based on understanding your unique situation. The specific psychological treatment will be evidence-based and tailored to suit the complexity and causes of the anxiety problem. At the outset of treatment, your therapist will conduct an evaluation and identify the types of anxiety issues and disorders that you have experienced, as well as any other underlying concerns such as depression that might be present.
We will help you to identify potential factors that may be contributing to your anxiety, and will assist you to develop skills to effectively manage and minimise the symptoms of anxiety, and their impacts on your life. Treatments involve exploring and introducing healthy patterns of thinking and behaviour that can help to greatly reduce your symptoms of anxiety. We will explore ways that help you to feel generally safer and calmer, so that you can begin to live the life that you want to be living.
The treatment modalities will be tailored to suit you and will be discussed with you. They may include any of the following:
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Schema Therapy
- Compassion based approaches
- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
- Solution Focused Therapy
- Positive Psychology
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
- Psychodynamic approaches
- Ego State Therapy
- Narrative Exposure Therapy
- Trauma informed approaches
- Motivational Interviewing