Do you ever feel the need to take a significant amount of control in your life? Or maybe even control the life of others? You know that feeling when you’re about to give a presentation and you kind of feel like you may be sick to your stomach? How about this – a friend invites you to an event and you say yes and then end up with a ton of racing thoughts over everything that could go wrong, so you call the friend and make up an excuse for why you can’t go? Or just don’t show up at all. Control, nausea, avoidance…all can be symptoms of some version of hidden anxiety that we may be experiencing. I often think of anxiety in several different categories of emotions. It could be worry, fear, obsessiveness, or panic…or something in between!
The function of anxiety
We sometimes think of having butterflies, so to speak, as a negative thing. Did you ever wonder what it could do FOR you though? For example, if your low tire pressure light came on in your car, it would likely cause some form of anxiety and you may take it to a local tire shop to get checked out. Maybe it’s just a result of weather changes or maybe it is because you have a nail in the tire. Either way, it’s likely some form of anxiety that encouraged you to take it in to be checked. And especially in the case of a nail in the tire, you’re likely glad you took it in! Sometimes anxiety reaches a level of so much avoidance and escape, that it really interferes with daily functioning. This may include following through on responsibilities at work or school or in our connection with others. This is when it could be especially helpful to seek therapy to process what is going on. At Harmony Therapy Group, we have several therapists who are experts in helping with anxiety. We can provide treatment that helps to thrive in our daily lived experiences.
Types of therapies for anxiety
Time with a therapist at Harmony Therapy Group may explore a variety of helpful options. In the case of avoidance based anxiety, exposure can often be an effective treatment strategy. However, this is a paced strategically and only in the context of support by a therapist or close family member/friend! Mindfulness based approaches can help one get more in touch with what fear, worry and control look like in their lives. Often these underlying emotions can be overlooked for what feels “right” or “true.” Cognitive therapy may be tremendously helpful at assisting a person with identifying more perspectives and opening up the possibility of a variety of outcomes other than worst case scenario. Behavior therapy may help one get out of the rut of compulsions or avoidant behaviors that result in perpetuating the anxiety cycle. EMDR can assist in anxiety related to sports performance, public speaking or even taking a major exam. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists if we can help you in any of these areas.