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Therapy for anxiety and building a sense of self

We live in a fast-paced world, sometimes seeing things moving so fast that we feel we can no longer keep up with what to do next. We start questioning ourselves and our ability to respond to and influence what will happen in the future. We may even come to think of it as inevitable. Our uncertainty about the future increases and overwhelms us; our train journey into the day seems interminable, with pressures that not so long ago were positively solvable, but are now perceived as impossible tasks.

This is a glimpse into what it means to live with anxiety about your today and your tomorrow, to be filled with regrets about the past and irreversible decisions, and to be confused by an entanglement of otherwise innocuous thoughts and emotions. Or, better described as, "my mind feels like a mass of wires that had no visible connections and I could not make sense as to why I was feeling the way I was".

This is describing a type of anxiety that is painful and unbearable, filtering and infiltrating each and every experience of most days - something far beyond the day-to-day apprehensions that help us anticipate and deal with daily challenges. When asking to draw a picture of how clients feel, it is not unusual to be shown a picture of what can only be described as 'a mess' - not when a nebulous knot of difficulties is distressingly experienced.

Imagine opening your front door to a day where your journey is delivered with confidence about navigating your next move and, when necessary, allowing stillness and peacefulness to pass your way. Imagine a possibility that, what sometimes can start as an ordinary day of your life, can turn out to feel exciting, with you attending to your day, your future, and making the most of your relationship with significant others. Imagine a day where a journey into work feels like steps away from achieving your goals, and that journey back home when there is a clear sense of, "I can do this!".

How can therapy help?

Therapy is not magic, and things can be very difficult. Allowing yourself to know that having a bad day is OK can sometimes be a start. Therapy can help in re-adjusting expectations of self, others and the world, to realistic and specific hopes without being self-critical and envisaging a better, rather than a lesser. Therapy can help with shifting perspectives in starting to think of the world as being potential, and achieving an optimistic sense of self.

We can become able to work through difficulties and think on opportunities, but most importantly, stop counting bad days. All described are possibilities and certified facts for transitional stages in our life and have potential as the most insightful way of looking at a therapeutic encounter as one that accounts for both the therapeutic process and the outcome.

Recently, following a request for online counselling, issues of confidentiality and ethical practice within a frame of counselling and psychotherapy allowed for deep introspection, not only on reasons for contact but the preferred mode of accessing counselling/psychotherapy.

Thinking about anxiety in conjunction with reaffirming a sense of self from all described above, at first, can appear that such a provision of service is an impossible task. And yet, when a careful formulation of difficulties is provided, such a task begins to take a contour of possibility and exploration. Some important aspects of such an ask is a decision itself. It is a beginning, and thinking about anxiety and a sense of self brings about awareness and the confidence to seek help or guidance. That is a step forward in itself.

In terms of confidentiality, there are several ways in achieving that, keeping in mind both that your counsellor/psychotherapist is a trained professional and your ask for help is genuine. Thinking forward from that is for you to discover.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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London, Greater London, W1W

Written by Madalina Day

London, Greater London, W1W

My practice is real and based on a reality and development as long-life learning. My work is guided by my training, qualifications and practice in a variety of settings with different client groups. Most encountered difficulties are anxiety and anxiety disorders - and it is what I am most knowledgeable about in terms of practised experience.

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