Needless to say, anxiety is a normal and inevitable part of human experience. We all know what it feels like to be nervous – even extremely anxious – about events such as a job interview, public speaking, a date, or some other challenging sitiuation. A certain amount of anxiety can be helpful as it provides energy, excitement, and focus for the task. However, in a significant proportion of people anxiety can become incessant, extreme, and out of proportion to the situation, despite the person’s best efforts to stay calm. When anxiety interferes significantly with a person’s life or wellbeing it is often referred to as an anxiety disorder.
As a practice we offer expertise in providing treatment and counselling for anxiety and anxiety disorders. We ensure that we remain abreast of recent developments in the understanding and treatment of anxiety, and Lissa has travelled interstate and overseas to attend seminars and workshops from world leaders in anxiety research and treatment.
What is the difference between anxiety treatment and general counselling?
Although they overlap in many ways, psychological treatment for anxiety disorders is somewhat different to general counselling or therapy. Anxiety disorder treatment involves acquiring specific knowledge, skills and strategies relevant to particular anxiety conditions. While this takes place in the context of an individualised therapy process, anxiety treatment goes beyond general anxiety management skills such as relaxation. It involves learning what causes and maintains your particular anxiety disorder for you, and how to overcome it.
Common anxiety-related problems and disorders include:
- Social anxiety
- Excessive worry or generalised anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Post-traumatic reactions
- Fears and phobias
- Obsessions and compulsions
If anxiety gets out of hand, it can interfere with enjoying life and reaching your potential. An anxiety disorder can hold you back at work, stop you doing things you’d like to do, interfere with social and family relationships, and undermine confidence and self-esteem. People often become quite depressed about feeling excessively anxious, which only makes their situation more stressful, isolating, and difficult.
Fortunately, the vast majority of anxiety disorders are treatable. A substantial amount of research in the last few decades has focussed on understanding anxiety disorders, which has given anxiety practitioners good knowledge of what underlies various different anxiety conditions, and what helps to overcome them.
Unfortunately, many of the understandable and common-sense things that people do to reduce their anxiety in the short term may exacerbate it in the long term. Effective treatments and therapies for anxiety and anxiety disorders break this cycle, by helping you to understand what really drives your anxiety, to learn more constructive techniques for managing your anxiety in the short term, and develop lasting changes that cultivate more comfortable levels of anxiety in the long run.
Research over the last few decades has substantially advanced understanding and treatment of anxiety disorders, underpinning effective psychological treatment for anxiety.
What is an Anxiety Disorder?
The anxiety that people experience as part of an anxiety disorder is no different to "normal" anxiety except that it is more intense, frequent, and easily activated, sometimes to the point of overwhelming distress and panic. The point at which anxiety is considered a disorder is somewhat arbitrary. It really depends on the degree to which anxiety is interfering in a person's life and/or causing them to suffer. The main point is that if your anxiety stops you from doing important things that you would like to do, causes you considerable distress, or interferes with your ability to function socially, academically, personally, or at work, then you are suffering more than you need to as a result of your anxiety. To find out more about a specific anxiety disorder, please click on one of the links above.
Phone: Sydney (02) 9331 0756 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: Suite 517, 185 Elizabeth St Sydney