What Anxiety Feels Like

Anxiety can feel extremely disconcerting. You're dealing with increased heart rate, sweating, possibly a choking sensation, chest pressure, flushing, racing or panicked thoughts; intensified by the fear that you won't be able to handle it or that someone will notice your distress.  The worst part is this makes you avoid things. You stop going places that might make you anxious. In the short term this feels like a win, but ultimately it means the list of places you no longer go and things you no longer do gets longer. Before you know it, it seems like it's difficult to go to work or keep in touch with friends. Anxiety and panic can become the bully that rules your life.

Effective Care for Anxiety

The good news is you can change your relationship to anxiety and live a life that isn’t controlled by fear and worry. Imagine feeling free to do things you enjoy or that interest you without being held prisoner by your anxiety. Psychotherapy can help you do that.

Evidence-based treatments for anxiety consist of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). You can read more about them at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) website here.

Components of CBT and ACT that work particularly well are:

  • Psychoeducation - Learn about the relationship between cognitions, emotions, physical sensations, behaviors, and how this constitutes the "cycle of anxiety".

  • Cognitive Skills - Teach you how to identify and examine unhelpful thoughts that may lead to anxiety.

  • Exposure Therapy - Helps you learn to challenge avoidance and tolerate feared situations.

  • Mindfulness - Keeps you grounded in the present moment and aware of (but not tied to thoughts).

  • Acceptance - Teaches you that physical and emotional experiences can be a part of our existence without defining us or our future.

  • Relaxation Techniques - Learn how to attend to your body's physiologic response to anxiety.

Common Fears About Starting Therapy

Will talking about my anxiety make it worse? Fortunately the answer is “No”. Therapy helps you identify the underlying cause of your anxiety. More importantly, it helps you understand that your anxious thoughts and feelings are things that you are capable of experiencing and gives you concrete tools and techniques to be able to do so. Avoidance is the “glue” that sustains anxiety, so bringing it into the light and talking about how it affects you is the opposite of that.

Experience and Results

Our doctoral-level psychologists have many years of experience assessing and treating anxiety disorders. They have worked in hospital, private, and government settings in which they were trained in cutting-edge techniques. Our clients often tell us they wish they had started therapy sooner when they see how good it feels to engage in meaningful change that allows them freedom from anxiety. Don’t suffer unnecessarily. Anxiety is a treatable condition and our providers are highly skilled. Call today to reserve your session and take back your life!

Anxiety Specialty Areas

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Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Does there always seem to be a dull hum of anxiety in the background? Ever been called a “worry wort” or “Nervous Nelly”? Feeling edgy, restless, unable to sleep or concentrate? Ever feel like your mind “goes blank” when nervous? Irritable, sweaty, tense or sore muscles? If your worry or anxiety has hung around for over 6 months and has reached a point where it is negatively affecting your ability to function personally or professionally, you should give us a call or email. We can help!

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Panic Disorder

Panic can be terrifying. You might even feel like you’re having a heart attack when in the midst of a panic attack. If you’re experiencing panic attacks that seem to come “out of the blue,” followed by persistent fear of having more panic attacks, you should consider talking with us about how we can help. Panic is treatable with effective, evidence-based psychotherapy. You don’t have to let panic push you around any more. Take back control of your life. Call or email today!

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Social Anxiety

Hope you aren’t called on in class or that you’re never forced to be the center of attention? Do you find that you avoid social gatherings or interactions because you’re really afraid of being unfairly judged or being embarrassed in front of others? Worrying about what others might be thinking all the time is exhausting and can shrink your social support and social life down to the smallest of circles. If you’re ready to stop living in fear, give us a call or email today!