Counselling for anxiety
Feeling excessively anxious is horrible. It can produce effects that range from feeling uncomfortable to feeling totally disabled by it.
Anxiety is normal but for some people it gets out of hand. It involves both physical and emotional experience because it is related to the automatic fight or flight response. Normally this response helps you to keep safe in dangerous or threatening situations. At these times your body releases hormones including adrenalin and cortisol. These help to prepare your body to either put up a fight or to run away. They do things like increase your heart rate, increase your rate of breathing and send blood to your limbs.
You will undoubtedly experience anxiety many times in your life; it's what keeps you safe. It allows you to react to threatening situations. Sometimes though this gets out of control. You might feel worried all or a lot of the time, even about things that are just a normal part of life. You might worry about things that aren’t really likely to happen. You may have panic attacks. You might even end up with being given a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.
Some people seem to be more likely than others to feel excessively anxious. They may tend to be more negative in the way that they think about things. They may have lives that are a little too full, not allowing themselves time to relax, think and do things that they enjoy rather than what they think they should be doing. Work or school might be a strain. They may have difficult relationships or financial stresses. They may have had a traumatic experience such as bereavement or an injury. It can also be a side effect of both legal and illegal drugs.
In conjunction with some good self-help techniques; counselling can be very effective in alleviating anxiety. Whilst management techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness help to manage your immediate symptoms, counselling will help you to deal with the underlying causes. At the very heart of anxiety are the beliefs, thoughts and behaviours that drive it and cause it to reoccur, and this is where counselling comes in. A counsellor will help you to find and explore these in a safe and comfortable environment and at a pace that it deliberated by you. A counsellor can help you to understand your feeling and your experience of anxiety. They can help you to understand why your anxiety developed in the first place. You can explore and devise your own recovery strategy, one that suits your needs. A counsellor will offer personal, non-judgemental, confidential support so you can feel safe in exploring your experiences, thoughts and feelings. They can offer emotional support, feedback and observations about your progress through therapy and into recovery.
Unlike many other self-help techniques that claim to help with anxiety, counselling has been extensively researched and there is a significant amount of evidence that demonstrates its effectiveness.
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About J Claire McDonough
Claire McDonough is a qualified integrative counsellor, advance hypnotherapist, nurse and trainer. She has spent her career working in mental health and wellbeing. She runs a successful private practice in Clitheroe Lancashire where she provides, group and individual therapies, community and CPD training.