Anxiety Counselling in Ottawa

We live in the Age of Anxiety – a mental state far more prevalent these days than depression. Many people experience anxiety as very intense, unpredictable and uncomfortable bodily sensations combined with undesirable thoughts and feelings.

Unfortunately, fear and anxiety also occur when we are not in imminent danger. We fear public speaking, meeting a new person, job interview, crowded places – situations that do not threaten our survival. We experience fear and anxiety in these situations because of the way we evaluate them. In other words, in humans the threat doesn’t have to be real; it only needs to be perceived as real. Our body cannot always tell the difference between real and imagined threat. For instance, the body can be activated by intrusive thoughts, images and memories. When we interpret a situation as threatening, the body responds to this perceived psychological threat just as it would to real physical threats. People struggle with anxious discomfort, fears, or worries in different ways. Many of us drink, take drugs, eat or engage in worry to reduce the strong sensations or feelings. It is only natural that we work hard to avoid situations that might bring on unpleasant experiences. This avoidance seems to help in the short run. Yet in the long run it constricts our lives and in fact brings on more anxiety.

Anxiety-related issues respond well to treatment through learning new skills and strategies. The most successful approaches include: emotion focused, behavioral and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy as well as self-help and/or mindfulness. The latter introduces clients to seemingly counterintuitive practices such as befriending emotions, letting go of control strategies, bringing heightened and compassionate attention to one’s experiences as they arise in the present moment. It teaches you how to change your relationship to anxiety rather than eliminate it. Integrated with cognitive-behavioral approaches, mindfulness offers one of the most promising programs for anxiety in the field of psychology.

To book an appointment for anxiety counselling with Elizabeth call 613-302-1573.

Confidential Line: 613-302-1573

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