Is Anxiety or Panic ruining your quality of life?
Anxiety and Panic Attacks are very real and can be debilitating, they can prevent you from living a full and satisfying life. When you are in the grip of panic or a severe episode of anxiety it can feel like the world is ending. When the feeling of dread or worry is constantly there, therapy for managing anxiety and coping with panic attacks can help.
Although the physical symptoms are very real and sometimes very powerful, the good news is that you won’t die from your anxiety, though the negative effects of stress hormones released into your body over time can harm your health.
How to Stop the Feelings of Anxiety or Panic
Therapy sessions designed to treat Anxiety seek to discover the ‘trigger’ to your anxiousness and gently show you ways to manage your response to it. Therapy sessions are calm, non-invasive and designed to help you to explore the reasons why you feel anxious and to give you the tools to overcome whatever is stopping you from enjoying life to the full.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is the body responding to a perceived threat or danger. When there is something to be afraid of, or when we think there is something to be afraid of our brain prepares our body to go into ‘fight, flight or freeze’ mode.
Most often feeling anxious is our emotional response to fears or feeling threatened on some level. A common example might be how we feel about other people’s expectations of us, or the expectations we have of ourselves.
You May Experience Anxiety in One of the Following Situations:
- Future dates in your calendar like birthday drinks, a wedding invitation, a work meeting etc. fill you with a feeling of dread.
- Your phone ringing or an email ‘pinging’ in your inbox makes you feel overwhelmed.
- Even with no specific event or thing that you are worried or anxious about, you feel overwhelmed by a constant ‘sense’, ‘feeling’ or ‘presence’ of dread and fear.
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
When the body responds this way, the symptoms that the body experiences, because of anxiety, are intense.
You can experience some, if not all the following:
- Thoughts racing
- Unable to concentrate
- Feeling detached from the world around you
- Sweating uncontrollably
- Heart racing
- Other physical responses such as sweaty palms, feelings of nausea, stomach churning
- A sensation of ‘butterflies’ in your stomach
- Legs feeling ‘like jelly’
- Feeling the need to go to the toilet
- Your muscles feeling tense and tight
- Shallow and fast breathing.
The severity of these symptoms can vary, but at their most extreme they can build to a panic attack.
What are Panic Attacks?
Panic attacks are a combination of the above symptoms that are so strong you can feel as though you are having a heart attack or even that you are dying. This fear, that you may be dying, in turn creates more anxiety and the symptoms intensify. . . becoming a horrible vicious circle.
Avoidance as a Response to Anxiety
Understandably, people often adopt certain behaviours to ’stop the anxiety’. Avoidance is a common behaviour adopted to attempt to control the situation, for example, avoiding certain places or people.
Attempting to ‘delay’ the time when you need to do something, in the hope that you will feel ‘more able to’ in the future. But of course, they only make the ‘thing’ worse and your anxiety around it gets stronger.
Counselling for Anxiety
Sessions are offered in-person for those living in Adelaide or Online if preferred. Therapy includes enhanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy eCBT, Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy helping important messages hit home within the subconscious mind, allowing for positive shifts to take place.
Book A Consultation Today
Sessions are available In-person for Adelaide residents (Payneham, SA) or Online for interstate or international clients.
Please note that every booking will receive a video call link for your convenience, in the event either of us are required to self isolate due to Covid related incidents.
Learn about CBT, Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy
What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT?
CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle.
CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT typically includes these steps:
- Identify troubling situations or conditions in your life. …
- Become aware of your thoughts, emotions and beliefs about these problems. …
- Identify negative or inaccurate thinking. …
- Reshape negative or inaccurate thinking.
The problem with using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as a single therapy is that our thoughts and emotional responses to troubling situations are stored within our subconscious mind. This means that we need to access the subconscious mind in order to effect any significant changes to subconscious programming. And it is for this reason that CBT is only one part of the solution.
So how do we gain access to the subconscious mind? This is where hypnosis comes in.
What is Hypnotherapy and how does it work?
Hypnotherapy or hypnosis uses guided relaxation, concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance state.
Hypnotherapy is not mind control, nor is it a zombie-like state; contrary to how it might appear in the movies and stage hypnosis. In fact, it is just the opposite; you are more in control of your mind by activating your choice to set aside the judgments and sensory reactions of the conscious mind and enter a deeper state of concentration and receptiveness.
It is important to mention that you are in-control, can hear everything that is being suggested AND can bring yourself out of hypnosis at anytime.
For Hypnotherapy to work effectively, your own self-will and eagerness to allow yourself to enter into a comforting state of receptivity with the intention of allowing positive changes to occur in your subconscious mind is essential.
Hypnosis is a state you are guided by your therapist to create for yourself. When you are in the receptive state of hypnosis new suggestions are offered to your subconscious mind. It is important to remember, that these new suggestions should be created collaboratively between you and your therapist.
As it is one of the primary roles of the subconscious mind to protect you, this means that only beneficial suggestions will be accepted. It is comforting to know that we all have this inbuilt safety mechanism within us.
What is Psychotherapy and how does it work?
Psychotherapy recognises the lasting impact of past events that were traumatic for you on some level. The focus of psychotherapy is on compassion, listening and understanding rather than making a diagnosis.
Psychotherapy can be a powerful, life-changing experience which can help you overcome social or emotional challenges, and fulfil your potential.
A well trained psychotherapist can support you to:
- Express your feelings and process them in a safe and supportive relationship.
- Gain deeper insight into the issues you face.
- Talk about things in a confidential environment that you might not feel be able to discuss with anyone else.
- Find better ways to cope with feelings and fears.
- Assist you to make positive changes in the way you think and behave that will improve your mental and emotional wellbeing.
- Improve relationships in your life, including with yourself.
- Make sense of any clinical diagnoses you have had by understanding what has happened to you.
- Heal from trauma.
- Learn to communicate better and tolerate differences in yourself and others.
Psychotherapy can help you with:
- Anxiety and panic attacks.
- Feelings of overwhelm like you can’t cope.
- Dealing with stress or recovering from stressful situations.
- Lack of confidence low self-esteem and lack of self-worth.
- Coping with the effects of abuse, trauma and PTSD.
- Depression and sadness, loneliness, regret, grief or emptiness.
- Anger management and extreme mood swings.
- Difficulty making or sustaining relationships, or repeatedly becoming involved in unsatisfying or destructive relationships.
- Sexual problems.
- Difficulties coming to terms with losses such as bereavement, divorce, unemployment or feeling a lack of purpose or direction in life.
- Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia or binge eating.
- Self-harm behaviours such as cutting, burning, biting or scratching the skin, pulling out hair, hitting oneself, or repeatedly putting oneself in dangerous situations.
- Obsessive and compulsive behaviour OCD
- Fears and phobias such as:
- Acrophobia: fear of heights.
- Pteromerhanophobia: fear of flying.
Claustrophobia: fear of enclosed spaces.
- Entomophobia: fear of insects.
- Ophidiophobia: fear of snakes.
- Cynophobia: fear of dogs.
- Astraphobia: fear of storms.
- Trypanophobia: fear of needles.
Identifying the gene-brain mechanisms that contribute to anxiety.
There are a number of anxiety disorders:
- Generalised Anxiety is not specific to one particular thing but can be about anything and everything.
- Social anxiety disorder occurs in public situations where there is perceived risk of being judged or laughed at by others.
- A panic attack involves sudden overwhelming feelings of uneasiness, fear or terror. A person may feel they are about to have a heart attack or die. Panic disorders are diagnosed when this happens repeatedly, or when a person fears future panic attacks.
- Agoraphobia is anxiety about being in situations from which escape might be difficult or embarrassing if you have a panic attack.
- Specific phobias usually involve intense and ongoing fear of particular objects or situations such as bridges or dogs.
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) occurs when particular, sometimes repetitive, compulsive acts must be enacted in order to calm an anxiety, such as checking things numerous times.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often triggered by a major traumatic event, such as being assaulted or in an accident. It involves upsetting memories, flashbacks, nightmares, and difficulties sleeping.
Anxiety disorders can be caused by genetic influence, poor physical health, stress or a thinking style that involves anticipating the worst and negative self-talk. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been found to be an effective way to alter unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that can contribute to anxiety.