An Integrative Approach To Anxiety Counselling
Are you struggling with feelings of anxiety? If so you are not alone and help is available. I am encountering more and more clients who seek help for precisely this issue. The purpose of this article is to illustrate how I work with people suffering from anxiety so you may have a better idea of what to expect from therapy. If you have any questions relating to this article or how to engage in therapy with me please feel free to contact me.
As an Integrative counsellor, I use techniques from different psychotherapeutic models to tailor the most effective treatment possible. This means that I can vary how I approach the issues according to each client’s individual character and needs.
Generally speaking I aim to work on two different levels for clients suffering from anxiety issues. First there is the immediate challenge of helping you to understand, manage and reduce your anxiety symtoms. Second comes the task of exploring the underlying tensions that might be “driving” the anxiety experience. This part of the work helps you to maintain freedom from anxiety by recognising your deeper emotional needs and learning to effectively respond to them.
There is ample research to indicate that CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is effective in helping people recover from anxiety disorders. The CBT model emphasises the impact of our thinking (cognition) on our behaviour. Through getting a better understanding of our thought-processes regarding anxiety – largely maintained by worry – and by learning behavioural tools to change those processes we can make significant progress in changing how we think and, therefore, how we feel. Exploration of these processes is often a significant initial focus of therapy.
As well as talking about your thoughts in connection to the issues you worry about I introduce mindfulness techniques to help you be able to see more clearly what is happening for you. With this increased awareness of your internal landscape, and instruction in relaxation techniques, you then have more capacity to respond effectively to anxiety triggers (both from the outside world and your own inner thoughts or feelings).
Ironically, the thought processes that drive anxiety often automatically come into being to distract us from uncomfortable emotions. We may not realise it but our minds are very skillful in helping us avoid emotional and mental pain. They create clever diversions to protect us from difficulties. However, in time the avoidance strategy itself can become a problem and prevent us from resolving the original difficulty. An example of this dynamic is an addiction, wherein the sufferer initially gained relief from pain (whether knowlingly or not) through the addictive behaviour but over time it has taken on a momentum of its own and become destructive. It can be a similar process with any thought process. Hence the need to address your emotional management to achieve a long-lasting recovery from anxiety.
For this aspect of therapy I drawn on humanistic theory, which asserts that each individual has his or her own healing potential within. I find that by giving space, encouragement and honest empathy people are often able to contact this aspect of themselves and bring about large shifts in how they relate to themselves and others. Thus you become adept at managing your emotional and interpersonal needs.
I have offered a brief and generalised picture of the process of Integrative Psychotherapy for anxiety as I approach it. Of course, everyone has a different set of experiences and personality attributes that they bring to therapy, which means that no two paths to healing are the same. The beauty of the Integrative model is that it allows for these differences and enables me to bring my full training and experience to each therapeutic relationship.
I offer free assessments so you can find out if this approach feels right for you before committing to anything, and am happy to answer any questions you might have. Please feel free to comment below or contact me on 07737 092 625 or firstname.lastname@example.org