It’s important to recognise that healthy functioning anxiety serves a clear purpose: to alert us to danger. However, when anxiety starts to spill over into everyday life and starts to have a negative impact on the quality of your life it might be time to see a therapist.
Do I suffer from anxiety ?
Anxiety is more than just worrying. Anxiety can persist whether or not the cause is clear to the sufferer. Anxiety can make a person imagine that things in their life are worse than they really are. They can become obsessed with “what if’s”, and fears for the future can make them think they’re going mad. You may see your anxiety as something sitting in your mind, taking over your thinking: “Why can’t I stop thinking about that?”; “I am always imagining bad things happening”; “I can’t stop worrying.” Anxiety can also develop into phobias or panic attacks which in turn have the effect of escalating your anxiety itself and can have severe impact on you day-to-day life.
How does therapy work ?
CBT is a common approach to dealing with anxiety which is based around getting you to identify and critically question your negative or anxious thoughts and to things you'd usually avoid because they make you anxious. Here a therapist can help you to become aware of your habitual and historic patterns of behaving and thinking and to learn to notice them in your everyday life. Once these thoughts are exposed, together with a therapist you can explore the validity of these thoughts in a rational manner and in time, they become less frightening and the pressure is relieved.
The challenge with dealing with anxiety is that for some individuals techniques employed by CBT are known yet seemingly impossible to attain. And equally sufferer is often acutely aware of techniques to reduce anxiety, such as mindfulness, getting some exercise, connecting with other individuals. If this is the case then the focus of therapy is to explore why these techniques aren’t being employed or if they are being employed, why aren’t they working, to explore what purpose is the anxiety serving, and what fears are the anxiety masking.
Contact your GP
Anxiety, along with depression, is one of the most common mental health disorders and is one of the main reasons for seeking therapeutic support. However if you believe you may be suffering from anxiety, the first step might be to contact your GP. Medication can be an effective solution for anxiety, particularly acute anxiety, and is also highly effective when combined with counselling. There is also a qualitive test, similar to that used by the NHS, that will give you an indication to the severity of your anxiety, which comprises of seven simple questions. Click here
I am a registered therapist with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, hold a Diploma in Humanistic Integrative Counselling,
as well as Diplomas in both CBT and Relationship Therapy.
Whatever issue you present with, I believe anyone can benefit from having a time and space where you can be listened to with compassion, in confidence and without judgement.
I have a professional, welcoming space, in the centre of Bournemouth where you can talk freely without fear of being judged or misunderstood.