Anxiety counseling – Diagnosis, Treatment, and Coping Mechanisms
We all get anxious on occasion. You may be anxious about how work is going or because you have an urgent report that’s almost due and you haven’t started. Sometimes, it can be something as simple as being ill-prepared for an urgent presentation. It happens. Everyone wants to do their best and prefers when things are going right. When this balance seems threatened, it’s only natural for your body to react to the unknown. These feelings are characterized by worry and sometimes fear.
First Things First, What Is Anxiety?
You may experience headaches, sweaty palms, a racing heart, and fatigue, among other things. You shouldn’t let this state of mind take control of your life. If you suspect that you have chronic anxious feelings, it may be best to seek professional counseling help from a licensed therapist.
A therapist for anxiety will not only teach you effective ways to take back control but also guide you to deal with your triggers. However, to get the most out of the therapy, it’s advisable to understand your condition. This way, you’ll know what to expect in terms of treatment and recovery. Here’s everything you need to know.
Anxiety is your body’s natural way of responding to stress. In stressful conditions, you may find yourself in fear of the unknown. A job interview, speech, and first date are some of the things that make most people anxious.
However, if these feelings are extreme and last for over six months, you’re probably suffering from an anxiety disorder. The state of anxiousness takes over your life, and you can’t be productive or follow through with something because you’re in a constant state of fear. It’s this state of being that needs intervention from an experienced anxiety therapist. Counseling provides the tools you need to cope with.
Is Anxiety A Mental Disorder?Not necessarily. If you’re experiencing anxiety due to the fear of the unknown and it passes when the trigger is gone, that’s normal, and you don’t need therapy. For this condition to be considered a mental disorder that requires counseling by a therapist, it must:
- - Hinder a person’s ability to function normally;
- - Be age-inappropriate;
- - Be out of proportion compared to the situation
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)This condition is characterized by recurring irrational thoughts that lead the sufferer to perform certain rituals or repeated behaviors with the aim of preventing anxiety. At first, it may seem like the person is a bit of a perfectionist.
However, their need to have everything in order and perfect takes over their life. Most OCD patients can’t function in chaotic situations and have to double-check everything to make sure it’s how they want it. And in most cases, OCD sufferers are aware of their behavior but can’t do anything to control it without anxiety counseling.
Illness Anxiety DisorderFormerly referred to as hypochondria, illness anxiety disorder is a type of anxiety where the sufferer has fears of getting sick. The person is constantly overwhelmed by their imagination of physical symptoms of illness. And sometimes, they may consider normal body reactions as illness despite getting assurance from an anxiety therapist or counseling professional.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)PTSD is also a very common type of anxiety which develops after a trauma. It can be anything from fighting in the war to losing a loved one. The patient gets recurring symptoms like flashbacks and nightmares that make them feel almost as if they are reliving the event over and over again.
AgoraphobiaThis is an anxiety disorder where the sufferer is scared of being in a place or situation that seems impossible to escape from. In addition, they avoid embarrassing situations. This disorder is mostly out of proportion compared to the situation at hand, lasts more than six months, and affects normal functioning. And like all anxiety disorders, one will need an anxiety therapist or counseling professional to intervene.
The therapist will use different counseling approaches, depending on the disorder you have. However, for most disorders, the treatment strategy involves therapy and medication.
What Therapy Is Best For Anxiety?Anxiety counseling is crucial for the recovery process. You see, in some cases, the patient doesn’t require any medication. Sometimes, all that’s needed is lifestyle changes and different coping techniques taught in therapy to get the symptoms under control.
This is where psychotherapy for anxiety comes in. The therapist will use different therapy and counseling techniques depending on the type of disorder. Some of the therapy techniques your therapist may use include:
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)CBT is an effective therapy strategy for anxiety. Here, the therapist helps the patient identify, understand, and change their behavior and way of thinking. The therapist has one goal –to give the patient total control of their recovery during the counseling sessions.
With this approach in the therapy, the patient is in a better position to benefit from counseling because they derive motivation from within. What’s more, they can push themselves and figure out which therapy methods work best for them. Besides, this therapy approach is an excellent way to make the person feel like they’re in control, which is vital for keeping the condition in check.
Some of the counseling practices involved in CBT include finishing at-home assignments and practicing some of the therapy techniques they learn during their sessions.
Family TherapyFamily therapy is also an important part of psychotherapy. You see, this condition doesn’t just affect the patient. It affects their loved ones, too, especially if the patient is a child or adolescent. They need constant attention to ensure the condition doesn’t get out of hand.
If the caregivers have no clue how to handle the condition, the patient is at risk of getting even worse. It’s for this reason that counseling for family members is recommended. The therapist teaches the family what to expect and ways to interact with the patient that don’t cause panic and worry.
Group Psychotherapy for AnxietyThis type of therapy is equally important as well. Here, the therapist treats the patient in a group counseling set up. All the members share the same feelings of fear and worry and in most cases, the same disorder.
The idea in this therapy is to provide the patients with support and offer a safe space to speak up about their feelings. It is also comforting for patients to know that they’re not alone in what they’re going through and their therapist will always support them.
Exposure TherapySometimes, the therapist may find it necessary for the patient to come face-to-face with their fears. The goal of exposure therapy is to get the patient to address their fears directly, thereby reducing their symptoms over time.
At the beginning of the counseling sessions, it is quite scary for the patients. However, the therapist for anxiety has sufficient training to know what level of exposure the patients can handle. The therapist will do it progressively until the patient is comfortable and has overcome most of their phobias.
This therapy is common in patients suffering from OCD. It teaches them to learn to have a bit of disorder around them without being overly anxious about it.
When Medication Is Prescribed?Therapy is a priority for patients with anxiety disorders. You see, in most cases, all it takes to get the symptoms under control is counseling. For this reason, medication may not be necessary.
As a result, the therapist for anxiety will try a variety of therapy techniques and have mediation as the last resort. Medication is given when therapy isn’t working on its own. It’s also common for therapists to recommend trying several medications to identify which one works best for the patient.
Some of the common drugs a therapist may recommend in addition to counseling include:
- - Xanax;
- - Valium;
- - Klonopin;
- - Ativan;
- - Librium;
Does CBD Help Anxiety?Cannabidiol (CBD) is among the compounds found in cannabis plants. However, most CBD products on the market are derived from the hemp plant. Research on CBD for anxiety is inconclusive. There are research studies where participants with anxiety noticed an improvement in their symptoms over time. Some studies reported an increase in symptoms after using CBD products.
Overall, the results are generally positive. However, there are several things you should keep in mind before you decide to go this route. For starters, most of the studies are based on small samples sizes. Therefore, they’re not a true representation of the general population.
What’s more, the studies done don’t look at the long-term effects of taking CBD for anxiety. There is, therefore, no guarantee your symptoms will reduce,and you may experience unforeseen side effects. For this reason, we recommend working with a licensed therapist for anxiety. A therapist has the tools you need to effectively get your anxiety under control. Not to mention, therapy is risk-free.
Home Remedies for AnxietyApart from seeking help from therapist sand counseling specialists, there are several things you can do in the comfort of your home to keep your symptoms under control. Some examples include:
- - Improving your quality of sleep;
- - Working out;
- - Meditating;
- - Avoid drugs and alcohol;
- - Avoid cigarette smoking;
- - Eating a healthy diet.
How Can I Find Anxiety Therapist Near Me?I need to find an anxiety therapist near me. What should I consider when looking for anxiety therapy near me? These are some of the concerns among people suffering from living with anxiety mental health disorder swhen they decide to consult a therapist.
It’s of utmost importance to find a proficient therapist for anxiety to get your condition under control. Here’s how to go about it.
Get RecommendationsThe fastest way to get anxiety counseling near me is to get recommendations from friends and family members. If you know someone who is working with a therapist, chances are they can recommend you to a good therapist. So save yourself the hassle and ask for good counseling recommendations.
Online ResearchIf you’re considering getting online anxiety help, the best place to start is online. Read reviews about the therapy company, check therapist credentials, and set up an interview with the therapist before you make a counseling appointment. Also, compare costs, visit the therapy website, and analyze their therapy services critically based on price.
Narrow Down Your SearchBefore you begin your search for anxiety counseling near me, figure out what kind of therapy help you need. Do you need general anxiety therapists near me, a social anxiety therapist near me, or an OCD specialist? You’ll know the type of therapist you need based on your condition.
However, if you’ve not received a diagnosis from a licensed therapist, that should be your first step so that you can decide which therapist you need before you begin counseling.
Get Professional CounselingFeeling anxious is a normal reaction, especially when we’re taken out of our comfort zone. However, if you or your loved ones suffer from signs of this disorder, seek help from a licensed psychologist or therapist and begin counseling immediately.
Find out what the process of finding a therapist for anxiety involves, compare therapy pricing, and find the top online counseling service providers to ensure you get unmatched therapy help.
Frequently Asked Questions
A therapist won’t diagnose this condition using a single test. The counseling expert will need to carry out a series of tests to determine what type of anxiety disorder one is suffering from. The therapist may give a psychological questionnaire to better understand the situation.
Furthermore, the therapist may request to do mental health evaluations and several physical examinations before making a final diagnosis and beginning counseling.
Should I Go To A Therapist For Anxiety Counseling?
What does psychotherapy for anxiety involve? Is it a good idea to see anxiety therapists near me? If you suspect that you have an anxiety disorder, these are some of the questions that may be going through your mind.
The answer is a resounding yes! Counseling is crucial. A therapist will prove invaluable to your recovery process. Through counseling, the therapist uses different techniques to help you get a handle on your symptoms and live a better life.
How Do Therapists Treat Anxiety?
So, how will your therapist treat your disorder? These disorders are debilitating and often affect one’s quality of life. But the good news is, with therapy, counseling and medication, patients go on to live happy, normal lives.