Anxiety

worried-man-plaid-shirt

While occasional worry is an expected part of life, anxiety can result from your system being stuck on high alert and hypervigilance from the perception of threat.

Even when the rational mind is aware that there is no danger, the emotional brain, which is evolutionarily older, behaves as though we are in constant peril. This part of the brain developed when we were in an environment where we had to be on alert to survive. However, even though the modern world does not contain those same threats, the brain’s architecture has not caught up to the evolved society. Now, instead of fearing threats to survival, the brain can simulate scenarios that provoke a similar type of anxiety. Anxiety is not inherently wrong, as it often serves an important adaptive function of keeping us safe. But, when it is out of proportion to your current reality, it can lead to significant distress. 

These scenarios can play on the fears of the health and safety of your loved ones, fears of engaging in social situations, or a general sense of dread of the future. Such fears can create thought patterns that play on loop, activating stress-response circuitry in the brain and keeping the mind and body on high alert. 

Due to the distress caused by anxiety,  people develop coping methods that may work in the short term but may don’t necessarily benefit their well-being in the long run. Counselling can help teach you ways of coping with anxiety in addition to exploring and working through the underlying causes of its origin. 

Types of Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety

Generalized anxiety is the experience of fear, dread, or anxiety directed towards a range of different triggers as opposed to a particular situation. It can often involve fears of the unknown, worry about the future, and ruminating over issues without feeling like one can manage or control their worry.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is the intense fear of social situations and interacting with strangers. It can range from fear of public speaking to a sense of dread over minor interactions with others.Often beneath the anxiety and fear lies a deeper sense of inadequacy. Fears of being negatively evaluated or acting inappropriately around others make avoiding all interactions a tempting option but it can result in a sense of disconnection for the individual.

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are a terrifying experience where one experiences an intense surge of fear or anxiety that typically peaks within minutes but can feel unbearable. In these instances, the body reacts as though it is in actual peril, producing symptoms like a rapid heart rate, quick, shallow breathing, tingling sensations, trembling, dizziness, dissociation and more. In this state, people often fear losing control or even dying. Although panic attacks are not physically dangerous, this experience is highly uncomfortable. It can often lead to the ongoing fear of more panic attacks happening, avoiding situations that might provoke them.

Phobias

Phobia is an intense fear or aversion to a particular object or situation. Generally, the fear associated with phobias is out of proportion to the actual danger caused by the situation or object. The fear or aversion is typically persistent and lasts for more than six months If you have a phobia, you might experience irrational anxiety or panic about possibly encountering the feared object or situation and take active steps to avoid them. Fortunately counselling is a proven effective method of recovery for phobias. Exposure therapy, Mindfulness based therapies and Cognitive Behavioural therapies are just some of the ways you can be supported in your healing journey.

How can Counselling help?

The experience of anxiety can be terrifying and destabilizing, so it is often reacted to by using strategies of distraction or avoidance. Psychotherapy aims to give room to anxious experiences in order to disarm and neutralize their threat. Emotion-focused therapy is one such modality that aims to disarm these defenses in a gentle and caring manner and access the underlying feelings that may have previously felt too threatening to experience. By processing these deeper feelings within a safe, non-judgemental relationship, new ways of feeling can start to emerge. 

Cognitive-behavioural therapy allows you to have incremental exposure to the previously fear-inducing situations and thoughts and slowly makes those experiences tolerable. Rigid thoughts and beliefs associated with th anxiety are questioned, and new adaptive ways of thinking and behaving are introduced. 

Mindfulness-based approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) advocate for a way of engaging with the thoughts, feelings, and sensations of anxiety where instead of fearing or avoiding them, you learn to sit with them. Bringing such presence and acceptance to your experience of anxiety can eventually loosen the grip it has over your life. Mindfulness and acceptance skills are cultivated to help you align yourself to a life of value and meaning.

References

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Craske, M. G., & Stein, M. B. (2016). Anxiety. Lancet (London, England)388(10063), 3048–3059. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30381-6

Swain, J., Hancock, K., Hainsworth, C., & Bowman, J. (2013). Acceptance and commitment therapy in the treatment of anxiety: a systematic review. Clinical psychology review33(8), 965-978.

Why No Fear Counselling?

With clinicians of many languages and backgrounds in convenient locations, we provide effective counselling services tailored to your unique situation.

Head Office: 
778-288-8361 (Call or Text)

Email:
info@nofearcounselling.com

Mailing Address:
2117885 6th Street, Burnaby, V3N 3N4

 

Fax:
604-357-5182

Office Hours:
Monday – Friday
9 am – 5 pm

Therapy hours:
7 days per week;
8 am – 10 pm by appointment 

Copyright © 2020 No Fear Counselling | Sitemap | Privacy Policy
No Fear Counselling
4.5
Based on 93 reviews
×
js_loader

Oftentimes even when our rational mind is aware that there is no danger, our emotional brain, which is evolutionarily older, behaves as though we are in constant peril. This part of the brain developed when we were in a context where we had to be on constant alert in order to survive, however even though our modern world is not full of the same threats, the architecture of the brain has not caught up. So now instead of fearing threats to survival that we face in the world, the brain can simulate scenarios that provoke our anxiety at any time. Anxiety is not inherently bad, as often it serves an important adaptive function of keeping us safe, but when it is out of proportion to our current reality, it can lead to significant distress. 

These scenarios can include fears of the worst happening to loved ones, fears of engaging in social situations, or a general sense of dread for the future. They may replay as though on a loop, continuously activating stress-response circuitry in the brain and keeping the mind and body on high alert. 

Often because of the distress this causes, people develop ways of coping that may work in the short term but may not necessarily benefit their well-being in the long run. Counselling can help teach you ways of coping with anxiety in addition to exploring the root causes of why the anxiety developed in the first place and working through these issues. 

Types of Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety

Generalized anxiety is the experience of fear, dread, or anxiety directed not just towards one specific scenario or thought but rather to a range of different things. It can often involve fears of the unknown, worry about the future, and ruminating on a number of different issues without feeling like one can manage or control the worry.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety can range from a fear of public speaking to a sense of dread over even the smallest interactions with others. Fears of being negatively evaluated or acting inappropriately around others make avoiding all interactions a tempting option but one that results in a profound sense of isolation and disconnection. Often beneath the anxiety and fear their lies a deeper sense of inadequacy or shame. 

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are a terrifying experience where one experiences an intense surge of fear or anxiety that typically peaks within minutes but can feel unbearable. In these instances, the body behaves as though it is in true peril, producing symptoms like a rapid heart rate, quick shallow breathing, tingling sensations, trembling, dizziness, dissociation and more. In this state, people often fear losing control or even dying, and although panic attacks are not physically dangerous, this experience is extremely uncomfortable and can often lead to ongoing fear of more panic attacks happening which may be reacted to by avoiding situations thought to provoke them. 

How can counselling help?

The experience of anxiety can be very scary and destabilizing, so understandably it is often reacted to by the employment of strategies to distract or avoid feeling it. Emotion-focused therapy aims to disarm these defenses in a gentle and caring manner to access the underlying feelings that may have previously felt too threatening to experience fully.  By processing these deeper feelings in the context of a trusting relationship, new ways of feeling can start to emerge. 

Cognitive-behavioural therapy employs strategies to begin incrementally exposing yourself to the previously fear-engendering situations and thoughts, so they begin to be more tolerable. Thoughts and beliefs associated with the anxiety are questioned so as to introduce new, more adaptive ways of thinking and behaving. 

Mindfulness-based approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) advocate for a new way of engaging with the thoughts, feelings, and sensations of anxiety wherein instead of fearing or avoiding them, you learn to sit with them and even befriend them so they begin to have less of a grip on your life. Meditation and an attitude of acceptance are cultivated to allow anxiety to stop being an obstacle to living a life that is in line with what you value and find important. 

Oftentimes even when our rational mind is aware that there is no danger, our emotional brain, which is evolutionarily older, behaves as though we are in constant peril. This part of the brain developed when we were in a context where we had to be on constant alert in order to survive, however even though our modern world is not full of the same threats, the architecture of the brain has not caught up. So now instead of fearing threats to survival that we face in the world, the brain can simulate scenarios that provoke our anxiety at any time. Anxiety is not inherently bad, as often it serves an important adaptive function of keeping us safe, but when it is out of proportion to our current reality, it can lead to significant distress. 

These scenarios can include fears of the worst happening to loved ones, fears of engaging in social situations, or a general sense of dread for the future. They may replay as though on a loop, continuously activating stress-response circuitry in the brain and keeping the mind and body on high alert. 

Often because of the distress this causes, people develop ways of coping that may work in the short term but may not necessarily benefit their well-being in the long run. Counselling can help teach you ways of coping with anxiety in addition to exploring the root causes of why the anxiety developed in the first place and working through these issues. 

Types of Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety

Generalized anxiety is the experience of fear, dread, or anxiety directed not just towards one specific scenario or thought but rather to a range of different things. It can often involve fears of the unknown, worry about the future, and ruminating on a number of different issues without feeling like one can manage or control the worry.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety can range from a fear of public speaking to a sense of dread over even the smallest interactions with others. Fears of being negatively evaluated or acting inappropriately around others make avoiding all interactions a tempting option but one that results in a profound sense of isolation and disconnection. Often beneath the anxiety and fear their lies a deeper sense of inadequacy or shame. 

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are a terrifying experience where one experiences an intense surge of fear or anxiety that typically peaks within minutes but can feel unbearable. In these instances, the body reacts as though it is in actual peril, producing symptoms like a rapid heart rate, quick, shallow breathing, tingling sensations, trembling, dizziness, dissociation and more. In this state, people often fear losing control or even dying. Although panic attacks are not physically dangerous, this experience is highly uncomfortable. It can often lead to the ongoing fear of more panic attacks happening, avoiding situations that might provoke them.

How can counselling help?

The experience of anxiety can be very scary and destabilizing, so understandably it is often reacted to by the employment of strategies to distract or avoid feeling it. Emotion-focused therapy aims to disarm these defenses in a gentle and caring manner to access the underlying feelings that may have previously felt too threatening to experience fully.  By processing these deeper feelings in the context of a trusting relationship, new ways of feeling can start to emerge. 

Cognitive-behavioural therapy employs strategies to begin incrementally exposing yourself to the previously fear-engendering situations and thoughts, so they begin to be more tolerable. Thoughts and beliefs associated with the anxiety are questioned so as to introduce new, more adaptive ways of thinking and behaving. 

Mindfulness-based approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) advocate for a new way of engaging with the thoughts, feelings, and sensations of anxiety wherein instead of fearing or avoiding them, you learn to sit with them and even befriend them so they begin to have less of a grip on your life. Meditation and an attitude of acceptance are cultivated to allow anxiety to stop being an obstacle to living a life that is in line with what you value and find important.