Counselling for frequent panic attacks and overwhelming stress

Enduring the regular onslaught of panic attacks and the weight of unrelenting stress is an emotionally draining and physically exhausting experience. Turning to counselling represents a proactive step toward managing these difficulties and finding relief.


Anxiety is the fear of something real or imagined. It can present itself in many different ways, such as generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic attacks, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), health anxiety, separation anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), high-functioning anxiety etc.

How can counselling help?

Here's how counselling, in a British context, can provide invaluable support.

Understanding triggers and coping strategies

Counsellors can collaborate with individuals to pinpoint the triggers of their panic attacks and feelings of being overwhelmed. This comprehension is vital for devising effective coping strategies.

Emotional regulation

Panic attacks often stem from heightened emotional arousal. Counselling equips individuals with the tools to regulate their emotions, control anxiety, and prevent panic attacks.

Anxiety management

Counselling offers evidence-based techniques for managing anxiety. This might encompass relaxation exercises, mindfulness, and cognitive-behavioural strategies to confront anxious thoughts.

Stress reduction

Navigating overwhelming stress necessitates practical stress-reduction techniques. Counsellors can instruct stress management skills, time management, and boundary setting to alleviate stressors.

Building resilience

Counselling supports individuals in cultivating emotional resilience to navigate life's challenges. It promotes self-compassion and self-esteem, thus diminishing vulnerability to stress.

Identifying negative thought patterns

Counsellors work in conjunction with clients to discern and challenge negative thought patterns that contribute to panic and overwhelm. By reframing these thoughts, individuals can gain a more balanced perspective.

Exposure therapy

For panic disorder, exposure therapy in counselling methodically exposes individuals to their fears or triggers in a controlled and secure environment. Over time, this minimises the fear response.

Relaxation techniques

Counsellors impart relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualisation to manage the physical symptoms of panic attacks.

Medication assessment

In certain cases, counsellors can collaborate with psychiatrists to assess the potential need for medication to manage symptoms.

Support and validation

Counselling provides a secure and empathetic space for individuals to articulate their feelings without judgment. Knowing they are heard and understood can be incredibly therapeutic.

Lifestyle adjustments

Counsellors can help individuals appraise their lifestyle and make adjustments to support improved mental health. This may involve changes in sleep patterns, diet, or exercise.

Long-term well-being

Counselling isn't just about mitigating immediate symptoms; it is focused on long-term well-being. It helps individuals acquire skills and strategies for a healthier and more balanced life.

Preventing isolation

Frequent panic attacks can lead to social isolation. Counselling encourages individuals to re-establish and maintain connections with friends and loved ones.

Providing a sense of control

Panic attacks and overwhelming stress often leave individuals feeling out of control. Counselling helps restore a sense of agency and empowerment.

Safety planning

In situations where panic attacks lead to self-harm or suicidal thoughts, counselling includes safety planning to prevent harm and provide a lifeline during crises.

Seeking counselling support is a courageous step toward managing panic attacks and overwhelming stress. It offers the opportunity to understand the root causes, develop practical strategies, and find emotional support during challenging times. It's a pathway to healing, resilience, and a more balanced and fulfilling life.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Wantage OX12 & Rickmansworth WD3
Written by Hope Therapy & Counselling Services, Offering Counselling, CBT, Hypnotherapy, EMDR & Mindfulness.
Wantage OX12 & Rickmansworth WD3

Ian Stockbridge is the founder and lead counsellor at Hope Therapy and Counselling Services. 

As an experienced Counsellor, Ian recognised a huge societal need for therapeutic services that were often not being met. As such the 'Hope Agency' was born and its counselling team now offers counselling and therapeutic support throughout the UK.

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