Counselling Twickenham, Whitton I work with:
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counselling for anxiety
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I am a counsellor for anxiety in the Teddington area. And I help people overcome symptoms associated with stress, anxiety or even panic. If you suffer from intense feelings of stress, or you have a tendency to overthink situations, worry excessively and often imagine negative outcomes then you may have issues around anxiety. You may suffer from nervousness, panic or being trapped in situations which give rise to uncertainty. You may avoid situations where you need to speak up for yourself or avoid making the wrong decisions, or feel mortified if you make a mistake.
What is Anxiety? We all know what anxiety feels like. Your heart starts pounding before a meeting with new people or an important event in your life. You may get butterflies in your stomach, shortness of breath or start to flush during a stressful conversation. You may be in a constant state of worry or fret over conflict in relationships, even feeling jittery at the prospect of a meeting with your boss. These are all natural reactions, but they can feel overwhelming at times. Most of us lead fairly frenetic lives and many of us have to cope with feeling anxiety outside of these challenging situations. You may even find yourself in the midst of a personal crisis. If worries, fears, or anxiety attacks seems to be having a disproportionate impact on your daily life, you may be suffering from a more intense state of anxiety or panic. Fortunately, there is a solution beyond medical treatment or drugs. There are plenty of things you can do to help yourself and reduce your own anxiety symptoms by regaining control of your life. Contrary to some people’s opinion, effective counselling can help you become more independent and self-empowered – offering you insight and an opportunity to regulate and manage intense emotions without unnecessary distress or judgement.
Anxiety is often divided into four types: generalised anxiety, panic, phobias and compulsions. Anxiety can also be aroused as a result of trauma. Trauma and distress are quite different in the way they are processed in the brain. Distress can be symbolised and understood, whereas trauma is stored in the body and acts like a ‘panic alarm’ triggered by overwhelming sensory stimulation.
Causes of Anxiety Neurological - we all have basic emotions like love, hate, anger, fear and sadness to help us make sense of our world and survive. Emotions are movement-based and have a beginning, peak and resolution. They bring with them chemical changes in the body which have aided our survival from danger e.g. the ‘flight or fight’ response. Anxiety occurs when you become stuck in a cycle of fear, or there is no change or resolution. This means you remain trapped in a constant state of arousal, sliding into a vicious spiral of anxiety. Relationships – some forms of attachment learned in childhood bring about anxious attachment styles which develop in adulthood. Your relationships can be affected as you withdraw or long for social contact from the people around you. If your behaviour is dominated by anxiety it can affect your partner, family and colleagues who sense anger, rejection or despair. Physical – anxiety is often accompanied by intense mental and physical sensations which convince you that you cannot cope with work, family life or social relationships. This may lead to withdrawal and increasing pre-occupations or isolation. Cold sweats, trembling, and heart palpitations are common symptoms in anxiety. The physical symptoms create a vicious cycle which is triggered by external stimuli. Anticipating catastrophe and dwelling on symptoms can dominate your life and have a detrimental impact on friends and relatives who may feel drained. Anxiety feeds on fear, and can become conditioned behaviour. It needs to be confronted, appropriately and safely with interventions and new thinking patterns.
Symptoms of Anxiety
a constant sense of foreboding
headaches, stomach aches or acid reflux
pain and tension in the back, neck and shoulders
heart palpitations or pains
trembling, shaking, sweating and churning stomach
dizziness and nausea
paranoia and distorted thoughts or beliefs
dry throat or lump in throat
giddiness or nausea
Photo Credit: Justus Hayes, Shoes on Wires
When should I ask for help?
Anxiety is a problem which feeds on itself and is often covered up in isolation. Help should be sought as soon as possible. If physical symptoms are severe consult a counsellor. At Counselling Teddington, EnduringMind I can help you to face the fears and rebuild your self-esteem.
Counselling For Anxiety – At EnduringMind, Twickenham I offer a safe environment for you to explore the triggers and causes of anxiety, as well as various techniques to manage your life and regain some sense of normality. Counselling can help you define and reframe your most common anxieties and find constructive ways of coping to bring about relief. It can help you understand how anxiety works and manage your life through meeting your needs, restoring boundaries and understanding the limits of anxiety. I can help you to confront and tolerate your fears, understand the effects of stress, increase self-esteem and explore the impact on your relationships. Sometimes understanding where an anxiety originated can help you gain a new perspective. Relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, and muscle tension/relaxations can be used to break the cycle. Mindfulness helps you become more self-aware. It allows you to look at unconscious triggers and patterns of thinking by employing graduated exercises in desensitisation and exposure to help you face your fears.
Anxiety in relationships
It’s normal for relationships to suffer as the stresses and strains of everyday life mount. Anxiety is a common problem in relationships. It cause couples to avoid their problems, engage in conflict or walk around on egg-shells. Anxiety is easily triggered when we pick up on the fears, worries and concerns of the people we love. Caring, loving feelings may fade and be replaced by resentment or anger. Each partner can view this differently depending on their own experience of family life. One may despair, while the other may view it as a temporary blip. Where a couple has attached hastily - in response to passion, pregnancy or other needs, disappointment can surface and fester once the excitement subsides. Renegotiating relationships and boundaries, with a skilled counsellor, can help build a more realistic expectations and a deeper relationship.
Symptoms of Relationship Problems
fear of abandonment
feelings of rejection and paranoia
a lack of sexual intimacy
arguments continue without resolution
violence in relationships
the bond of trust is eroded or broken
When should I ask for help with Relationships?
there has been a betrayal of trust; an affair, debt or secret
talking causes confusion or unbearable anger
there is a constant sense of anxiety
separation or divorce seems like the only option
a lack of emotional intimacy
arguments and bickering go on and on
one person is walking around on eggshells
Counselling for Anxiety in Couples - if possible, attend counselling together unless there is domestic violence or fear. Counselling can be undertaken with one partner if that feels more comfortable. Being able to manage conflict, arguments and rows is the foundation to a good relationship. It is unrealistic to hope that arguments be avoided. Two people come with their own values and beliefs, but both people must feel heard in order to thrive. This means developing new skills together. Differences need to be acknowledged; otherwise one partner is unheard. Then one partner may dominate and the other 'disappear'. Arguments are a healthy and essential part of any relationship and can energise if carried out well. Indirect anger and domestic violence are destructive. Counselling can help with understanding the conflict that you may have inherited from your family and offer you new skills such as:
destructive patterns of relating can be recognised and addressed
conflict and communication can be improved
new relationship skills can be learned
the impact of change and loss can be examined
relationships can be more successful
abusive relationships and domestic violence can be addressed
Relationships need solid foundations; two unhappy people with unresolved issues rarely forge long-term happy relationships. It may be tempting to feel that your partner or colleague can compensate for earlier pain and loss, but this hope often leads to unrealistic expectations and disappointment. The pleasure in healthy relationships is wanting to be with someone rather than being needy or dependent. Self-respect is an important ingredient for a good relationship. Even separation and divorce counselling can help foster healthier ways of managing the pain and loss. Sex can be a source of great enjoyment within a long-term relationship but it also poses problems that can leave one partner feeling rejected or angry. Loss of desire is often an early sign of problems within the relationship. Other sexual problems can often be addressed with a good therapist. Communicating and staying connected during difficult times may feel impossible. When two people no longer relate or empathise, their relationship is in crisis. Often a betrayal, an affair or secret debt may be a symptom of the breakdown. Skills are available to help you listen and be heard in safe way. It is not about blaming each other or taking sides. A new depth of understanding can be reached or a couple may feel they have to separate or divorce. At Counselling in Teddington, EnduringMind separation & divorce counselling can help explore whether trust can be repaired or the relationship needs to end. It can allow the couple to split with less hostility.