Anxiety Treatment 

Specific evidence-based treatment for Anxiety Disorders are provided at the Center for Psychology and Wellness. Individuals with anxiety often mistake the physical symptoms of anxiety for a medical illness and spend a significant time at the physician without getting any clear explanations for what is happening. 

 

It is important to consult with a mental health professional to better understand anxiety and what to do about it. Whether anxiety is the primary concern or a secondary reaction to trauma or other life events, the therapists at CPW will assess and consult with each client and create an individual treatment plan based on what has been found to work! A therapist will help those struggling to enhance their understanding of anxiety, modify thoughts/behaviors, and increase quality of life.

The therapists at the Center are skilled at treating anxiety problems including, but not limited to the following: 
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder 
  • Panic Attacks
  • Agoraphobia
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Social Phobia
  • Trichotillomania (hair pulling)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 
  • School Anxiety/ School Refusal

How do I know if I am struggling with an Anxiety Disorder?

The following are some of the most common symptoms of Anxiety Disorders:

  • Intense and excessive worry that impairs daily functioning
  • Persistent anxious thoughts for most of the week, for weeks at a time
  • Racing thoughts that are difficult to stop or slow down
  • Frequent "What if..." questions
  • Replaying distressing traumatic events over and over again in your mind
  • Specific fears that are excessive when compared to the actual level of risk
  • dwelling about social discomfort for significant periods of time
  • Feeling very self-conscious
  • Assuming that all eyes are on you most of the time
  • Distress about making mistakes and/or living up to expectations
  • Compulsive thoughts or behaviors
  • Pattern of avoidant behavior
  • Persistent difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Panic Attacks
  • Worry about the onset of physical symptoms
  • Physical symptoms include:
  • Frequent and prolonged muscle tension (e.g. clenching jaw, tightness in legs/arms, clenched fists, etc.)
  • IBS and other digestive problems
  • Racing heart
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Distractibility/Day Dreaming
  • Chest/Stomach Pain
  • Profuse sweating
  • Tingling/Numbing in limbs

What is the difference between Anxiety vs. Anxiety Disorder?

  • Anxiety Disorders produce longer lasting, more frequent, and more excessive symptoms than the shorter lasting, normal, and expected levels of Anxiety.

  • The major difference between an Anxiety Disorder and Anxiety is that the excessive worry resulting from an Anxiety Disorder causes significant impairment in multiple settings and daily tasks (e.g. home, work, school).

  • Anxiety is a normal emotion that has helped people adapt and survive in the face of danger and threat. Almost everyone experiences anxiety and that is okay. Without anxiety, people would be missing an important factor that is needed in motivation and survival. 

  • Anxiety Disorders often cause people to perceive higher levels of threat or danger than are actually likely to occur.

  • Anxiety Disorders lead people to think that the symptoms are unbearable or significantly harmful to them (e.g. cause death or heart attack).

  • When the intensity of emotional and physical responses to anxiety becomes unbalanced and unhelpful, treatment is strongly recommended.

How can therapy help?
  • Anxiety Disorders are very treatable! In fact, they are one of the most treatable disorders.
  • Treatment can reestablish balance and enhance helpful levels of anxiety.
  • Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) and exposure work is used to help identify and change thoughts and beliefs that lead to elevated and/or unrealistic levels of anxiety. 
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) is used with individuals who experience anxiety as a result of trauma.
  • Modify behavior patterns that lead to avoidance and persistent cycles of anxiety.
  • Create a safe and comfortable environment where clients can explore anxiety, tolerate the symptoms, and practice skills the manage and decrease anxiety.
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