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Does Seeing A Therapist Help With Anxiety

Pros Of Online Therapy

Dealing with ANXIETY During Therapy

Some people may prefer online therapy due to:

  • Cost: Online therapy is typically less expensive for both the client and the therapist. Free online therapy is ideal for people who do not have health insurance or are having trouble covering out-of-pocket costs.
  • Suitability: The American Psychiatric Association state that telemental health is suitable for people of all ages, including children, adolescents, and adults. Also, some people, including some autistic people, for example, may feel safer and more comfortable receiving treatment in their own homes.
  • Accessibility: Online therapy is more accessible for people living in rural and geographically isolated areas and for people who are unable to travel. Opting for online support can also reduce the need to take time off from work or school.
  • Confidentiality: Some people find that online therapy offers greater confidentiality than in-person treatment. There is no risk of a person encountering someone they know at a therapistâs office, for example.

What Does Anxiety Feel Like

Were all familiar with the expressions that describe common physical feelings relating to anxiety, for instance having butterflies in the stomach or jelly legs.

Anxiety can show itself in a range of physical signs, such as an increase heart rate, muscle tension, dizziness, sleeplessness, hyperventilating and wanting to use the toilet more. These are caused by the hormones released by the fight or flight response.

Some of these can be a normal reaction to external stresses, says Caz, But they can be a problem when they start to happen habitually.

These feelings can interfere with your life, become out of proportion and be very distressing.

What Should I Be Looking For In A Counsellor Or Psychotherapist

There are currently no laws in place stipulating what training and qualifications a counsellor must have in order to treat anxiety. However, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has developed a set of guidelines that provide advice about the recommended treatments.

In the first instance, those suffering from anxiety should be offered access to a support group and self-help information recommendations by their doctor. If this doesnt help, or the anxiety is more severe, psychological treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy and/or applied relaxation are recommended. Further treatment may require medication.

Read the full NICE guidelines:

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Tips For Managing Anxiety

Self-care goes hand in hand with looking after your mental health. Learning techniques and methods to help you manage your anxiety can really make a difference. It’s important to not let the fear of your anxiety rule your life and having some self-care methods in place can help you cope with symptoms.

You Want Help Processing A Traumatic Event

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Traumatic events, like near-death experiences, dont always cause people to become traumatized. People respond to traumatic events differently and sometimes, theyre able to process them in a way that they dont develop PTSD.

A therapist can help you deal with a traumatic event. This could prevent you from developing PTSD or it may help you find more meaning in your life. It may even help you grow from your experience.

Also Check: How To Calm Body Anxiety

Learn To Recognize The Signs Of Anxiety

Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting up to 18% of the population. Knowing the signs of anxiety can help you realize when someone you love is having fearful thoughts or feelings. Symptoms vary from person to person but can be broken into three categories:

Join A Peer Support Group

Although it may seem counter-intuitive to seek help in a group setting when you are afraid of people, peer support groups have many advantages for those with SAD.

In a peer support group, you have the option of sitting and listening quietly without speaking. You can hear about how others have also been afraid to open up in therapy and how they overcame this obstacle.

If you do decide to join a peer support group, make sure that it is one that is for people with social anxiety or that the group is sensitive to the challenges of people with SAD.

Also Check: Why Does Anxiety Cause Dizziness

How To Make The Most Of Therapy

Trying to make a change can be a challenge. Being in therapy for anxiety is no exception. However, if you are persistent, you should see improvement.

Here are a few ways to make the most of your therapyand actually see some results:

  • Don’t pretend to be OK
  • Ask questions
  • Tell your therapist anything and everything
  • Do the work outside your sessions
  • Focus on your goals
  • Make sure you have a social support system
  • Reduce stress in your life that makes your anxiety worse

In this way, you can see that putting in an effort and being present throughout the therapy process will have the biggest impact on how well it works for you.

What Happens During Therapy

5 Signs Its Time To See A Therapist

Therapy sessions can be viewed as problem-solving workshops. At each session, a discussion with your therapist will analyze where you stand and the status of the issue that brought you in. Remember that therapy is an incremental process that happens with time and growth, and each therapy session serves as a step in your progress. During therapy, you can talk about anything thats on your mind, and your therapist will listen. You can speak openly and vulnerably about yourself your conversations with your therapist are confidential.

After you unpack your feelings, your therapist might provide you with some insight in response or help you deconstruct and synthesize what you just shared. They also might give you a task or something to think about if they think its important for your process.

Overall, during therapy you will be able to unpack and disclose whatever is bothering you and receive constructive feedback to help you improve your mental health.

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You Start Overusing Or Abusing Something To Try And Help Alleviate Your Symptoms

When the going gets tough, many people turn to their trusted mood-altering substance of choice such as alcohol, cigarettes, or some drug. Theres nothing wrong with that ) when done in moderation.

But when were feeling overwhelmed, sometimes we look to one of those helpers and start over-using it. We risk adding another disorder to our existing problems in an effort to self-medicate.

And its not just drugs that people will abuse to help alleviate their symptoms. Spending all of your free time online, engaging in non-stop pornography or gambling, or constantly checking your Facebook updates may all be efforts to block out your other problems.

Worse is when we turn our angst or anger toward another person in our lives, such as a loved one. Some people lash out or make their loved ones life miserable as a way of trying to feel better about themselves.

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Is your therapist warm and friendly?
  • Does she encourage you or intimidate you?
  • Is she knowledgeable about SAD or does she minimize your concerns?

If there is something about your therapist that makes you uncomfortable, you may be better off with someone else.

Also Check: How To Stop Chronic Anxiety

Narrative Therapy Tricks To Use To Calm Down Your Anxiety

Feeling anxious makes you feel bad about yourself sometimes. But narrative therapy shows us that many things are not as they seem.

During the struggles of mental illness, I fought for my self-esteem and worth, and Im still fighting. And when I say fought, I mean, kicking and screaming inside my head. I also mean feeling like I was some monster for being different. I am no monster, and it took years to discover that.

The thing is, there are ways to separate yourself from your problem, and thats what I had to do. One of those ways was the use of narrative therapy.

Online Therapy Is A Thing

Are You Living With Anxiety?

For many years after I started therapy, I didnt know online therapy existed. After I learned of it, I doubted the efficacy. Part of this was because of the Showtime series Web Therapy where Lisa Kudrow plays Fiona Wallace, a terrible and self-obsessed therapist. I loved the show and thought Lisa Kudrow was hilarious, but it subconsciously warped my view like Good Will Hunting did. I assumed online therapists were not as credible as in-office ones.

Now I have gone to both online and in-office therapists. Both were licensed and equally skilled. I actually wish I had started online therapy sooner because it was difficult to convince my last boss to allow me to take time off from work to go to therapy sessions. I had to prove myself at the company before he felt comfortable letting me come in late once a week. With online therapy the schedule is more flexible and I dont have to take time off work.

Read Also: Can You Have Anxiety While Sleeping

Thought Challenging In Cbt For Anxiety

Thought challengingalso known as cognitive restructuringis a process in which you challenge the negative thinking patterns that contribute to your anxiety, replacing them with more positive, realistic thoughts. This involves three steps:

  • Identifying your negative thoughts. With anxiety disorders, situations are perceived as more dangerous than they really are. To someone with a germ phobia, for example, shaking another persons hand can seem life threatening. Although you may easily see that this is an irrational fear, identifying your own irrational, scary thoughts can be very difficult. One strategy is to ask yourself what you were thinking when you started feeling anxious. Your therapist will help you with this step.
  • Challenging your negative thoughts. In the second step, your therapist will teach you how to evaluate your anxiety-provoking thoughts. This involves questioning the evidence for your frightening thoughts, analyzing unhelpful beliefs, and testing out the reality of negative predictions. Strategies for challenging negative thoughts include conducting experiments, weighing the pros and cons of worrying or avoiding the thing you fear, and determining the realistic chances that what youre anxious about will actually happen.
  • They Take A Second To Recognize What Theyre Doing In The Moment

    Sometimes it takes a little recognition of the present moment to refocus your thoughts.

    Instead of using my energy and effort to decrease or get rid of my anxiety, I choose to realign with what I value most in that moment, Annestedt said. Perhaps I am in the middle of playing with my kids, but I have an anxious thought about an impending work project thats interrupting me. In that moment, I can choose to put all of my attention into problem-solving that thought or I can pull my focus back to playing Legos. I always strive to choose the latter.

    Living With is a guide to navigating conditions that affect your mind and body. Each month, HuffPost Life will tackle very real issues people live with by offering different stories, advice and ways to connect with others who understand what its like. In May, were covering anxiety in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. Got an experience youd like to share? Email wellness@huffpost.com.

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    What Happens In Therapy

    At first, the therapist will meet with you and your child to talk. They will ask questions and listen. This helps them learn more about your child and about the problem. The therapist will tell you how they can help.

    After that, your child will go to more therapy visits. At these visits, your child might:

    • Talk. Talking is a healthy way to express feelings. When kids put feelings into words instead of actions, they can act their best. When someone listens and knows how they feel, kids are more ready to learn.
    • Do activities. Therapists use activities to teach about feelings and coping skills. They may have kids draw or play as a way to learn. They may teach mindfulness and calm breathing as a way to lower stress.
    • Practice new skills. Therapists help kids practice what they learn. They might play games where kids need to wait their turn, use self-control, be patient, follow directions, listen, share, try again, or deal with losing.
    • Solve problems. With older kids and teens, therapists ask how problems affect them at home, at school. They talk over how to solve these problems.

    How Thought Challenging Works

    Talk to a Therapist Online for Help with Anxiety & Depression

    To understand how thought challenging works in cognitive behavioral therapy, consider the following example: Maria wont take the subway because shes afraid shell pass out, and then everyone will think shes crazy. Her therapist has asked her to write down her negative thoughts, identify the errorsor cognitive distortionsin her thinking, and come up with a more rational interpretation. The results are below.

    Challenging Negative Thoughts
    Negative thought #1: What if I pass out on the subway?
    Cognitive distortion: Predicting the worst.

    More realistic thought: Ive never passed out before, so its unlikely that I will pass out on the subway.

    Negative thought #2: If I pass out, it will be terrible!
    Cognitive distortion: Blowing things out of proportion.

    More realistic thought: If I faint, Ill come to in a few moments. Thats not so terrible.

    Negative thought #3: People will think Im crazy.
    Cognitive distortion: Jumping to conclusions.

    More realistic thought: People are more likely to be concerned if Im okay.

    Replacing negative thoughts with more realistic ones is easier said than done. Often, negative thoughts are part of a lifelong pattern of thinking. It takes practice to break the habit. Thats why cognitive behavioral therapy includes practicing on your own at home as well.

    CBT may also include:

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    Is It Time To Get Some Help

    Life is rarely without its challenges. There are some, however, that can be so overbearing that it seems impossible to move on.

    Whether its the death of a loved one or overwhelming feelings of anxiety, its important you know that help is available for every problem life throws your way.

    Learn about common reasons people see psychologists.

    You Want Help Managing Stress

    Life is inherently stressful. You cant get rid of all the stress in your life. In fact, some stress is good for you.

    But, if youre having trouble managing your stress, you may want to talk to someone. Being stressed out can lead to a variety of issues, like being irritable and short-tempered or becoming inefficient and frantic.

    A therapist can help you learn healthy stress management skills or they may assist you in problem-solving so you can eliminate some stressful aspects of your life.

    Read Also: How To Know You Have Social Anxiety

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