Counselling for Anxiety
Are you struggling with persistent or ongoing worry, fear or panic? Are you frequently feeling overwhelmed? Do you avoid certain situations or avoid going out in public due to anxiety? Now is your opportunity to explore counselling to manage your anxiety symptoms.
It is a normal part of life to face setbacks and challenges along the way. Anxiety may feel as though it can not be beaten, but counselling helps tackle the challenging symptoms you have been experiencing. Sometimes people can navigate anxiety symptoms head-on and move on, other times we find ourselves filled with self-doubt,worry, or frustration. No matter how worried, fearful, or sad you might feel right now, please know that positive change can happen and I can help you with that change, in a way that is going to help you feel better and allow you to move forward in life.
Whether you have a clinical diagnosis of anxiety, or simply feel anxious (or worried, fearful, or panicky) counselling can help you move forward. Anxiety can be debilitating or difficult to live with and can feel like it is taking over your life. You may question whether things will ever improve, but things can improve, once you develop a plan to better manage your anxiety symptoms. People, especially men, are often taught to ignore their problems, by powering through or putting on a front, which gets tiring after a while. The good news is that counselling allows for increased awareness, increased hope and increased motivation to tackle your anxiety symptoms and to give you back the life you want.
Causes of Anxiety
There are several causes of anxiety and the risk factors for those with anxiety vary widely:
- Family history: individuals with a family history of anxiety or another mood disorder may be at higher risk of anxiety
- Medical conditions: some medical conditions such as chronic illness or pain, insomnia, stroke, or cancer may put you at an increased rate for anxiety
- Substance use/addiction: individuals that are addicted to, or misuse substances tend to have higher rates of anxiety symptoms.
- Stress or past trauma are factors that increase your risk for anxiety
- If you are diagnosed with depression or other mental health disorders, you are at a higher rate of being diagnosed with anxiety.
Living with Anxiety
Symptoms of Anxiety
You are not alone, as 12 percent of Canadians will struggle with anxiety at some point in their life. Anxiety symptoms can include:
- Feelings of hopelessness/helplessness
- Feelings of irritability, frustration or restlessness
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Feelings of guilt or shame
- Difficulty sleeping (or feeling weak or tired)
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Avoidance of certain situations
- Experiencing stomach problems
- Increased heart rate/sweating
- Difficulty controlling worry, fear or panic
Anxiety symptoms can lead to other mental and physical conditions, including depression, substance misuse, trouble sleeping, social isolation, relationship issues, problems functioning at school or work and poor quality of life.
Often, the biggest barrier to accessing help is admitting you need it. Sometimes stigma and shame stands in the way of accessing care. Women and men typically have different responses for coping with anxiety. For example, men typically turn to alcohol or drugs to cope, or often get angry. In many men, anxiety goes unnoticed or undiagnosed.
While it may seem impossible, individual counselling can be helpful for improving these symptoms.
The Starting Point
Scheduling a 15-minute consultation with me is the starting point to making the type of change you are ready for.
Assess/ Clarify Situation
Through careful consideration, curiosity and open dialogue, together, we can identify a newfound way of thinking about and understanding your situation.
In order to be effective, it’s typically best to aim for setting SMART goals, as they are easier to achieve.
SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. Let’s get goal setting!
Together, we will explore and create habit-forming strategies to support you and help you achieve your goals. Your progress will be reviewed and adjustments will be made to keep you moving forward towards long-lasting change.
When managing anxiety symptoms in counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is often used to treat the symptoms. CBT is an evidence-based model that focuses on identifying negative thoughts and behaviours and replacing them with more positive options. CBT allows for goal-setting and cognitive and behavioural modification, which can turn into permanent change. I also use Narrative, Emotion-Focused, Solution-Focused, Motivational and Mindfulness-Based Therapies to support anxiety symptoms.
Maybe you have been to your family doctor or Nurse Practitioner and had a discussion about taking medications to manage your anxiety symptoms. Whether you are taking medication for anxiety or not, counselling can help you move forward and feel better. In fact, counselling is on the list of effective treatments for anxiety. The list also includes medication management and self-care (food, exercise and sleep). Anxiety management can include one of these strategies, or may include a combination of them.
What will the first counselling session be like?
To take some of the pressure off, bring an open mind, but also bring your questions and concerns to that first session.
Be open to doing some work together–that’s the best way to navigate the process during the first session. Some clients prefer to write down a few notes before the session, others have their talking points in their head and come ready to discuss things.
During the first session, I will confirm a few things related to confidentiality and get your informed consent to proceed. I will always ask if the session is staying on the topic you were hoping to discuss. At the end of the session, together, we will decide next steps. As the session wraps-up, you may want to jot down a few notes.
How many counselling sessions are needed?
Of course, this is impossible to answer, but there are a few principles I follow that may help bring clarity to that question:
- Getting right to work: In any counselling you want to get right to work. It’s important to address the issues of concern and set a goal in the first session, as this guides future sessions
- A short-term/brief framework is often used to guide individual counselling. Some clients need fewer sessions (4 to 8), while others need more sessions. Some clients prefer to develop a long-term counselling relationship. There is no pressure to commit to a certain number of sessions, or the frequency of the sessions.
What to expect from counselling
The best form of individual counselling is that which addresses and respects your emotions, needs, desires, and personality. I make it a point to take the time to respect each of these areas when working with clients, as this helps to better understand all the issues impacting you to be effectively laid out and addressed. Through careful consideration, curiosity and open dialogue, together, we can identify a newfound way of thinking about, understanding and improving your situation.
I respect that you know your own mind and life better than anyone else, and consider this a benefit and an opportunity to help you move forward, through encouraging the consideration of your emotions and from your own perspective.
Your values will be explored, to see if you are living according to them, or contrary to them. Your strengths and weaknesses will also be explored – a lot! I will tap into your wisdom, sometimes even when you don’t believe it exists, and help you set small, achievable goals to work towards. We will identify potential obstacles to your goals and develop plans to address them. Your progress will be reviewed and adjustments will be made to keep you moving forward towards long-lasting change.
Typically, counselling is about stages. The first stage, exploration, involves helping clients examine their thoughts and feelings. The second stage, insight, helps clients understand the reasons for these thoughts and feelings. The third stage, action, involves the client making changes.
What is your counselling session rate?
The fee for an individual counselling session is $125.00 and sessions typically run around 50 minutes in length. Session fees are due the day the session takes place and payment can be made by cash, e-transfer or credit car. A receipt will be provided.
How does counselling work?
Counselling allows for self-discovery, better self-acceptance and the development of a sense of contentment, which fosters unprecedented growth from within. It will encourage hope, optimism and bolster self-confidence. Typically, counselling fosters new insight, which increases the ability to openly communicate with newfound respect for others and openly work through issues with more motivation and ownership. Counselling for depression can help you tap into a new you!
A client may attend individual counselling for as few as three or six sessions, or as long as several years, depending on the goals for therapy. I can help improve how you feel about yourself with issues related to managing:
- Other mental health conditions
- Relationship stress
- Emotional regulation (anger, impulse and reactivity)
- Interpersonal stressors
- Employment/school stressors
- LGBTQ2S+ matters
- Gender identity
- Gender transition
- Grief and loss
- Gender-based abuse
- Alcohol or drug addiction/misuse
I can help you make sense of it all and to develop a plan to make long-lasting change, one step at a time.
Some clients bring notes of what they want to talk about, others are mentally prepared and don’t need any prompts. Asking questions in your consultation is one way to confirm what will help you get ready for your first session.
Now that you know men often have different ways they respond to their problems, would you like to know more about how individual counselling works. While there isn’t a roadmap to the process, it usually starts with a hope for change. Click now to better understand how counselling works.
Depression presents differently in everyone, but no matter how it is impacting you, counselling can help, once you have strategies to manage it more directly. Often, the biggest barrier to accessing help is admitting you need it. Click now to better understand depression.
When it comes to mental illness, the sexes are different. Women are more likely to see a health care provider and get a diagnosis, whereas men tend toward substance abuse or other unhealthy coping strategies. Men often minimize or don’t understand their own emotional pain. In fact, men may feel depressed or anxious for years without doing anything about it. Break this stat by scheduling an appointment for help now.