Anxiety is synonymous with the term ‘fear’. Where fear is usually thought of in the sense of being afraid of something in the external world, in anxiety a person can also be afraid of internal dangers as well as external ones. Anxiety is an unpleasant emotional state, which is future oriented, perceiving threat of some kind and resulting in bodily changes and discomfort.
These can include: rapid heart rate, sighing respiration or over breathing, chest pains or tightness, increased perspiration, increased mental activity, tremors, dryness of the mouth, churning of the stomach, nausea and vomiting, muscle tension in the head and neck, fatigue, frequent soft stools and increased frequency in urination.
Anxiety is also accompanied by feelings of apprehension, irritability, poor memory, distractibility, insomnia or difficulty falling asleep, as well as awaking from nightmares. It can be persistent and can be accompanied by unpredictable panic attacks, where there is a sudden onset of fear of impending doom and feelings of unreality. It is often expressed in persistent feelings of tension for which the person can often find no identifiable cause.
People often use medication to alleviate symptoms or cognitive behavioural approaches (CBT), which focus on changing the thought and behavioural patterns which have evolved. I am supportive of integrating these approaches into my work with the clients I work with, if they choose.
As a humanistic and integrative psychotherapist I work to establish conditions of safety and trust for the client, to alleviate the perceived threat of their inner upheaval. I combine CBT techniques with a strengths-based approach using experiential techniques to facilitate awareness of the processes underlying the symptoms, while supporting clients develop positive coping strategies to regain a sense of control over their symptoms.
I work at a pace that is tailored to each individual client offering:
mindfulness techniques, as well as
providing psycho-education on diet, exercise and lifestyle issues which may be exacerbating the problem, as well as attending to issues around self-assertion and boundaries.