There are definitely gentle, respectful, healthy ways to
address anxiety, while learning what our body/mind may be “telling” us.
Sort the mind… Soothe the senses.
Lisa T. Perry
M.Ed., LCMHC, CCMHC, CCTP, VMT-R
Does It Feel Like Anxiety Is Ruining Your Life?
Do you often feel nervous in situations that call for calm and focus? Does ongoing tension make you feel exhausted by the end of the day? Maybe you feel that when you try to focus, your body won’t let you; you can’t get a deep breath, your heart is beating too fast and your neck and shoulders feel tight. As you go through each day in a heightened state of tension, you may feel you have to bury your feelings and move forward, even if that means you never find real resolution or rest. Or, perhaps you have begun avoiding opportunities, responsibilities or social interactions in an attempt to avoid these uncomfortable, sometimes painful sensations. Have you ever felt embarrassed by your anxiety reactions? Do you wish you could conquer your fears and feel more relaxed on a regular basis?
Anxiety symptoms can be totally overwhelming. In moments of distress and uncertainty, panic can sweep over you and command all of your attention. Your mind can go completely blank. You might find yourself at a loss for words. At these times, you might just want to become invisible or escape to a place of safety. If these moments of panic often overtake you, you may begin to feel as though you don’t know how to navigate your life. It may be that you’re struggling with procrastination, strain in your relationship, difficulties at work or other medical problems. Perhaps you’ve begun relying on alcohol or other substances in an attempt to escape from these seemingly constant worries. You might wonder if anyone understands.
Millions of People Struggle With Anxiety Disorders
Although fear and worry can make you feel alone and question your self-worth, it’s important to understand that even highly intelligent, capable people have “irrational” reactions sometimes, especially during periods of stress and uncertainty. Anxiety symptoms can impact anyone, regardless of level of income, religion, gender, race or age. Inherently, life is challenging and stress comes from many places. It’s hard to meet all of our human needs and keep them in balance, and it’s understandable that we sometimes feel stuck, apprehensive and lost in self-doubt.
Our bodies and our minds are designed to react to perceived emergencies. For example, when we sense a car coming our way, we know to wait before crossing the street. This is part of our survival response. However, when uncomfortable “alert signals” become particularly intense or chronic, they wear us down and prevent us from feeling comfortable and present. Even when a threat only exists in our perception, we start to experience very real emotional, mental and physical distress. This is when we need to take a step back or find an adjustment. Fortunately, a good therapist can help you get back on track.
Therapy for Anxiety Can Provide Relief and Help Restore Balance
I have been practicing counseling for over 25 years, and helping people overcome anxiety is one of my strongest specialties. I know from personal experience how painful and frustrating anxiety can be. However, I also know the absolute joy and relief of overcoming intrusive worrying and moving forward with greater resilience and ease.
During anxiety therapy, we can pinpoint what is creating your pain and partner together to address your specific needs. While it is true that there are typical and common anxiety symptoms, it is equally true that we are all unique. As we work together, I will listen without judgment and strive to understand what you are going through. We can discuss how you have already tried to alleviate your symptoms, identifying what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past. Then, we can build on past successes to create a plan for future relief.
I know that people have different preferences in style. Some people prefer to work more creatively; others prefer a more educational, organized approach. Some prefer to share their experiences with an unbiased listener; others prefer more interaction and direction. I am only interested in honoring what works best for you. Together, we will create the anxiety treatment plan that serves your needs, personality and goals.
I believe it is important to be aware of how anxiety manifests in the body, as well as the mind. I find it highly effective to blend Cognitive Therapy tools with body-aware strategies to address and integrate the whole self. For example, sometimes it can be really helpful to identify and sort out the underlying thoughts that are contributing to worry. Other times, working directly with the body itself can bring about greater levels of relaxation and relief from tension. There are definitely gentle, respectful, healthy ways to address anxiety, while learning to fully understand what our body/mind may be “telling” us.
I am highly skilled in treatment for anxiety and can partner with you to:
- Overcome panic attacks, trauma or PTSD
- Learn various relaxation techniques and self-soothing skills
- Practice effective stress management strategies
- Face difficult decisions and experience conflict resolution
Please know as well, that if you feel it might be helpful to you, and only with your permission, I would be most happy to coordinate care with your other healthcare providers. No matter how anxiety is affecting your life today, it is possible to find relief. With help and support, you can discover the solutions and strategies that work for you.
But you may still have questions about anxiety treatment…
Are you going to pressure me to take medications? If I am already taking medications, will you think I am an addict?
I am neither pro- nor anti-medication. During my years offering anxiety counseling, I have seen clients address their anxiety both with and without medications. There are times when substances or medications get in the way of furthering personal growth, and there are times when medications ease the way or can transform a person’s life. Again, everyone is unique.
As a therapist, I am not personally able to prescribe medications. However, if you are working with a doctor or psychiatrist, it would be a good idea to (nonjudgmentally) notice how medications (or substances) affect your goals. If you want to address your anxiety without the use of any medications, I will always respect that choice as well.
Will I feel judged or put down in some way?
I am quite confident that you will find me to be very nonjudgmental and supportive in nature. I understand how painful anxiety can be, and I know the bravery it takes to reach out for help. No one person can do everything alone. I will always strive to respect your pace and partner with you to meet your personal goals.
What if therapy for anxiety just makes me feel worse?
Given how incredibly uncomfortable anxiety already feels, it’s only natural to feel concerned about making it even worse. You may have already tried to distract yourself, hoping the worries and tensions would eventually go away. Like many others, you may have attempted to “push it down,” only to experience other unintended consequences.
Looking anxiety in the eye may intensify certain sensations temporarily. But generally, anxiety counseling helps us discover new options that were previously hidden from view. By addressing symptoms of anxiety in safe, supportive sessions, you can come to see things more clearly, experience tremendous relief and find vitality restored. You can gain the confidence and strength that comes from overcoming difficult challenges and learn lifelong lessons to help you better manage emotions in the future.
You Can Live With Greater Ease
I invite you to call (828) 575-3073 for a free, 15-minute phone consultation. We can talk through any questions you might have about therapy for anxiety in Asheville, NC.