Anxiety & Depression Counseling
Anxiety is our brain’s response to perceived threats. Information from our environment is taken in, filtered, and processed in the appropriate areas when we are calm, and all is well in our world. In the case of anxiety, the incoming information is perceived as threatening and sent to our limbic system which is our brain’s alarm system. In this state of hyper-arousal, our brain is not able to effectively process information. We have tripped our fight, flight, or freeze system.
If you have anxiety problems, your system can be habitually in this state which causes issues with multiple systems in the brain and nervous system. Stress and anxiety are leading causes of many health issues. Understanding your brain’s response to anxiety will help you take control of your responses to your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Anxiety counseling will help you to identify your anxiety triggers and learn evidence-based strategies to undo negative thinking, calm your emotional reactions, and make healthy choices in your life. My approach to anxiety counseling is built on the foundation of understanding our interpersonal neurobiology in implementing well-researched modalities including, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Hypnotherapy.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety symptoms range from person to person and also vary in intensity. Symptoms can be physical, mental, emotional or any combination thereof. Examples of physical or body-based symptoms include racing heart, sweating, shaking, shallow breathing, tingling in fingers, restlessness, or difficulty sleeping.
Mental or cognitive symptoms include racing thoughts, irrational or distorted thoughts such as all or nothing thinking, catastrophizing, focusing on the worst outcome, self-disparaging thinking, or difficulty concentrating. Emotional symptoms involve excessive worry, fear, irritability, frustration, depression, isolation, feeling overwhelmed, and helplessness.
Depression counseling is a collaboration between the therapist and the client. Therapy sessions focus on how feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are contributing to negative moods. During sessions, the therapist will also often work with the client to gain insight into problematic thought processes and help the client identify which thoughts have become the most disturbing to the client’s life.
A psychotherapist or counselor can help you identify your level of depression as well as aid in a plan to climb out of the depression. Depression can be very serious, sometimes involving suicidal thoughts. In this case, seek professional help immediately.
How you react and cope with negative mood states is directly correlated to depression. Learning to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices into your routine, change negative thought patterns, connect in meaningful relationships and work toward a positive purpose in your life will reduce your depression significantly. Increasing your support network will help you to learn and maintain healthy ways of coping with the ever-increasing demands of life. This support network can include friends, family, clergy, doctors, and counselors.