Do you find yourself running from morning to night in an effort to calm your worries?
- Do you have difficulty sleeping because of the concerns from your day or worries about the future?
- Is it difficult for you to relax, even when you are on a holiday?
- Are you constantly stressed out?
- Do you experience panic attacks?
If you experience anxiety on a regular basis, you might find that you have difficulty taking care of your own needs. You worry constantly about your children, your romantic partners, your parents, or your friends, without taking the time or effort to be sure that your own needs are met. Alternately, maybe you worry so much about your own health and success that you find it difficult to take care of your children or other significant people in your life. You hear about a last-minute meeting at work and your heart starts beating, you start to sweat, and you have trouble breathing. You start thinking about how unprepared you are, which leads to worry about losing your job. If you lose your job, no one will ever want to be with you and you'll end up alone, curled up in a box on the street. These thoughts increase the intensity of your heart rate and breathing, making you feel dizzy. The next thing you know, you are experiencing a full-blown panic attack.
Quality of work can decline when a person is anxious, sometimes because of difficulty concentrating, sometimes because of anxiety that your work is never good enough, which results in spending too much time on one project or giving up before it is finished. Relationships can suffer when you are anxious about pleasing others at your own expense or if you are pre-occupied with anxious thoughts. The body and the mind are inter-connected and affect each other. Thus, when you feel anxious, it is often expressed physically. For example, when you are anxious about something, you might forget to breathe. When you are anxious, breathing becomes secondary to dealing with whatever is threatening you. In order for blood to flow to muscles and to the brain, we have to breathe. When you stop breathing, or breathe only shallowly, your muscles tense up and your brain does not get enough oxygen, which leads to headaches. You might experience panic attacks as your anxiety increases. Health problems include hypertension (which can lead to heart attacks and strokes), ulcers, and more minor health problems like the common cold.
Our world breeds anxiety
Almost 90 million people will experience a clinical level of anxiety at some point in their lives. 15 million will seek panic attack treatment. Everyone experiences stress in their lives and many people experience anxiety on a daily basis, struggling to figure out how to calm their minds. When you think about all you've learned about the dangers of this world, it is no surprise that you would feel anxious. We live in a world with constant access to every conceivable kind of information regarding any possible topic. The calamaties are endless. Ask any massage therapist and they will tell you that most people carrry tension in their bodies. Your body and mind are connected, so when you worry about possible catastrophes your body reacts by tensing up, your breath gets short, and your heart beats faster.
One challenge with anxiety is that it is an invisible pain. It isn't always obvious to others that you are suffering and you might be hesitant to talk about it. As a result, it often affects people for years before they seek help. Luckily, we have effective tools for dealing with anxiety and panic attacks. You have come to the right place!
Anxiety Treatment is Effective
The greatest challenge is overcoming your anxiety enough to start your therapy. Once you come in and experience the relief that comes with support and guidance, you can learn the skills you need to get rid of the anxiety. Anxiety treatment helps you learn which triggers to look for, what to do to respond to a panic attack, and how to keep it from happening in the first place. With a combination of natural talent, a PhD in Clinical Psychology, and more than 20 years of formal training and experience, I can help you gain control over the chaos of your thoughts and calm your mind. By calming your mind, you will calm your body. Your heart rate will drop, your breathing will ease up, and you will be able to relax. Goodbye, panic attacks!
Dealing with anxiety is a two-part process. First, you must learn to self-soothe and calm yourself. Mindfulness and self-care techniques will help. I start every session with mindful meditation, teaching you how to do it and giving you the necessary experience so you can do it on your own. It is easy to get distracted by all the worries and responsibilities in your life. Mindfulness practice centers you so that you can effectively focus on finding solutions to your difficulties without having a panic attack. You will learn to calm your body so that your mind can remain clear. You will find as you improve these skills, you are better able to fall asleep at night and that you can concentrate. Self-care techniques are specifically tailored to you for full effectiveness. When you become adept at self-care, you will find it easier to handle everyday stress.
The second part is changing how you perceive the world, as well as the thoughts that increase anxiety. We discuss current events in your life and use them as opportunities to change how you approach them, mentally. Utilizing tools like a thought record, we can pinpoint which thoughts are most likely to lead to anxiety and panic, then address those thoughts specifically. Because anxiety includes both the body and the mind, we will discuss and practice skills for relaxing your body, as well as changing how your mind operates. My Walking Through Fear exercise is a good example of this. You first learn to soothe yourself and calm your body, then you face something that scares you. This simple-but not easy!- process teaches you that you are more capable than you thought. It makes you stronger and takes the power of the fear away. This approach, also known as Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), has been shown many times to be an effective strategy for dealing with anxiety. You will be given homework at the end of each session because the practice of these techniques is necessary in order for you to master them.
My style is best described as compassionate, balanced action. Understanding why your life is as it is helps to satisfy the mind, but it does not create lasting change because it addresses only the mind. In order to make lasting change, you must engage the body and develop actions that fit with your new understanding.
My clients tell me that they feel safe with me. This opens up communication so that we can work with even the most difficult, private issues as they arise. When you need a listening, caring ear, I am here. A good therapist will do more than listen, however, once you have expressed yourself. I will push you to learn and try new skills. I will encourage you to practice, practice, practice. We will practice them together in our sessions, so that you can try it in a safe place and so that I can give you helpful feedback so you can become stronger than you ever thought possible!
With my guidance, you will learn how to overcome anxiety and make the changes that grow you in the direction you choose. You can beat the panic attacks, through specific use of these skills for panic attack treatment. I can teach you, guide you, and support you as you learn the skills, apply them, and master them.
I discovered when I was younger that fear is usually nothing more than a challenge to grow stronger. Most of the things that terrify us are not actually dangerous. When I was scared, I started to face that fear and I proved to myself that I could handle it, whatever "it" was. In 1995, I started teaching self-defense classes. I have continued to train in a martial art and to teach these effective self-defense techniques. In the course of my training, I continue to find fears that I must challenge and overcome. My formal psychological training began in 1997, when I started graduate school. My focus was on trauma and the severe anxiety following traumatic experiences. I have continued to work with people experiencing all different forms of anxiety, from daily stress to the resulting anxiety following a traumatic event.
In the course of my life in our well-informed and concerned society, I have had to practice the same skills to cope with anxiety. I have discovered that it is an effective way to find my own power. I find a fear, walk through it, conquer it, then move on to the next one. It isn't a one-time experience. It's more like finding your power, practicing it, giving it away, rediscovering it, practicing it, then discovering that there is yet more to find! I was born with a natural ability to speak up for myself that was enhanced by my mentors as I grew. Even with that, however, I had to learn to raise my voice, which is naturally soft and childlike. I had to learn not to be "nice" to people who were disrespectful to me. I had to learn that I could accomplish my dreams. I had to learn to walk through my fears. I continue to learn these, and other, empowering lessons. Everything I ask of my clients I have either already tried, or I am in process of learning. We are in this together.
Therapy is too expensive.
How much are you worth? How much is it worth to know how to quiet the chaos in your mind or calm the tension in your body? When you take the time and spend the money to take care of yourself, everything in your life prospers, often including finances. How much is your health worth? Reducing your anxiety and stress today means less health problems resulting in health care costs and loss of income, tomorrow.
Sometimes, the reality is that your finances simply will not allow for regular, long-term therapy. That's okay because you have options.
- Health insurance often covers at least some of the cost. You simply pay me, then submit the receipts I give you for reimbursement from your insurance company.
- Free! 20-minute consultation. It is important that you find a therapist that fits you, but it can get expensive to pay full price to meet someone while you are shopping for the right therapist. I will gladly meet with you for a free 20 minute consultation so you can get an idea of how I work before paying anything.
- If we work together for a few sessions and you find it is helping, but cannot afford to continue paying the full fee, let me know and we can work together to find a solution that works for both of us.
- Therapy does not have to be a long-term committment. People often feel better after a few sessions. You might not make as many long-lasting changes, but you can still get some valuable ideas and skills that you can practice on your own.
- You can choose less frequent sessions. This usually means slower progress, but it can still be effective- and easier on your pocketbook.
- If you would like to pay for 10 sessions up front, I can give you a discount. Please note that your insurance will likely still want receipts for each session. They don't like paying a lump sum for a service that has not been utilized, yet.
How can I be sure that it will work?
Research finds that almost all clients feel better after 3-4 sessions. Long-lasting and solid change requires more time, based on these two factors:
- The fit between client and therapist. This is the #1 most important factor in therapy effectiveness. I offer a free 20 minute consultation in order to help you get a sense of how well we would fit.
- You must be prepared to do the work. If you are not willing to change your perceptions and do things differently, then nothing in your life will change. The best therapist in the world cannot fix your life without your efforts. I offer specfic suggestions and options to guide you in the actions you need to take in order to make lasting change. If you are not ready to do the work and take the risks necessary to develop your psychological muscles, now is probably not the right time for you to engage in therapy. But if you are ready to get moving to the next phase in your life, you cannot help but succeed!
I'm not crazy
You don't have to have a diagnosis in order to benefit from therapy. Everyone has times in their lives when they can use some extra guidance. When you have already tried everything you can think of, and the panic attacks keep coming (or getting worse), isn't it time to get some help from someone who knows exactly what to do? It helps to have an expert on your team.
Sometimes, life makes you feel crazy, even if you are still functioning. You might find that it's getting more difficult to enjoy your life the way you want to, even though you are managing to survive. The question is, do you really want to live your life just getting by? Therapy can help you find your purpose, so that you can thrive in a life full of Joy.
It's your life. Are you ready to love it?