Counsellor in Teddington. Photo Credit: Justus Hayes, Shoes on Wires
Counselling for Anxiety - Counsellor in Teddington
During our sessions, I offer interventions which help you balance your thoughts and emotions. You will learn to improve your self-awareness and confidence deal with daily exercises.
We all know what anxiety feels like.
When you suffer with anxiety, a stress response is triggered in your nervous system. Your body produces a flood of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin. Now your brain is primed on high alert. As your breathing and heart rate goes up, you feel an added sense of urgency. Your body and brain goes into overdrive, searching for immediate solutions that never seem to come. And don't bring relief.
This is why you tend to overthink situations, or worry excessively. You start to anticipate worst case scenarios and imagine negative outcomes, even before they happen. Your mind is lost in a world of anxious thoughts. You may know your response is disproportionate, but you panic anyway.
As the cycle continues, you begin to spiral downwards. You start reacting badly to uncertainty. Unable to clear your head, you delay decisions, doubt yourself and feel overwhelmed. Then you start to procrastinate over decisions and feel mortified when you make mistakes. Very soon, you avoid engaging with people at all. You're afraid to confront people and find it difficult to speak up for yourself.
What is Anxiety?
Feelings of anxiety are normal.
Most stress is a natural response to challenging situations and a part of being human. We need a certain amount of stress to respond and act. Although you can develop an anxiety disorder, you can also reduce your symptoms. For most people, the symptoms of anxiety are very uncomfortable, but short-lived. For others, the symptoms are prolonged and distressing.
When you experience the symptoms of anxiety try to slow down and notice what is happening. By developing your awareness of physiological changes, you can begin to adapt. For example, you may notice your heart starts pounding before a meeting with new people or an important event. Soon, you get butterflies in your stomach, shortness of breath or start to blush in a conversation. You might be in a constant state of arousal: worrying and avoiding conflict in relationships. Or feeling jittery at the prospect of a meeting with your boss.
Your feelings can be overwhelming at times. Perhaps you lead a frenetic lifestyle, or have to cope with challenging situations on a daily basis. You may even find yourself in the midst of a personal crisis. If your worries and fears, have a disproportionate impact on your life, then you may be suffering from a panic disorder.
Dealing with anxiety
Fortunately, for you there is a solution beyond medical treatment. I am a counsellor in Teddington. Over time, I help you with interventions that reduce anxious symptoms. Adapting to your anxiety, rather than ignoring it helps you regain control over your life.
If you receive effective counselling, this can help you become more independent. As you talk things through in therapy, a counsellor can offer you insight. Feeling more self-empowered, you will learn self-regulate and manage your emotions.
You might be aware that anxiety manifests itself in different ways: generalised anxiety, panic, phobias and compulsions. You may also be suffering from traumatic memories in the past. When you experience trauma it is processed differently in the brain. Your anxiety can often be rationalised and understood, whereas trauma has a highly disruptive impact on your life. You tend to react to trauma automatically, because it is triggered unconsciously by a stress response in the body. When you're triggered, it acts like a ‘panic alarm’ responding to overwhelming sensory stimuli.
The causes of Anxiety
The nervous system
We all feel basic emotions like love, hate, anger, fear and sadness. Our emotions help us make sense of the world and survive. Our nervous system is based on stimulus and response. When we process emotions they have a beginning, peak and resolution. But if we do not process stress our emotions remain on high alert. They trigger chemical changes in the body which help us react to danger e.g. the ‘flight or fight’ response. However, when you become stuck in a cycle of fear, or there is resolution, your ability to adapt is limited. You remain trapped in a constant state of arousal and slide into a vicious spiral of anxiety.
Your relationships can also be affected by anxiety. You may notice a tendency to explode, or withdraw from social contact. The people around you start to feel on edge and avoid you too. If your behaviour is dominated by anxiety it can affect how you interact with your partner, family and colleagues. You may treat them with anger, rejection or despair.
The physical symptoms
Anxiety is often accompanied by intense mental and physical sensations. You may be convinced that you cannot cope with work, and family life. Slowly, you become immersed in your pre-occupations and isolate yourself from others. Your physical symptoms increase with cold sweats, trembling, and heart palpitations. And you may start waking in the middle of the night.
This creates a vicious cycle. As you dwell on your symptoms and anticipating catastrophe, anxiety begins to dominate your life. You may feel unable to resolve problems, which has a detrimental impact on friends and relatives. The people closest to you may feel drained. As you spiral downward, anxiety feeds on fear and leads to impulsive behaviours. You need to be confront anxiety with new interventions and thinking patterns.
Symptoms of Anxiety
- panic attacks
- 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
- obsessive thoughts
- anti-social behaviour
When should I ask for help?
Anxiety is a problem which feeds on itself. You cannot afford to hide away your problems in isolation. And you need to get help, as soon as possible. If physical symptoms are severe you need to consult a counsellor. At Counselling Teddington, EnduringMind I can help you to face your fears and rebuild your self-esteem.
I offer a safe environment for you to explore the causes of anxiety, as well as learning the techniques to manage them. You need to restore your self-confidence and regain a sense of normality.
I offer counselling to help you find constructive ways of relieving the symptoms. With increased understanding you can manage your life better. You become more effective at meeting your needs and self-care routines.
I can also help you to tolerate your fears. Sometimes understanding the cause of anxiety can help you gain a new perspective. When you understand stress, you can explore the impact on your personal life and relationships. The more you create space and time for yourself, the more you slow down and process emotions.
I provide you with breathing techniques and muscle relaxation to break the cycle. If you practice mindfulness you become more self-aware. By learning about your unconscious triggers and patterns of thinking, you learn to face your fears.
Counselling for Anxiety - Counsellor Teddington
Anxiety in relationships
Anxiety is a common problem in relationships. As the stresses and strains of everyday life begin to mount, your relationship unravels. And if you avoid your problems, no-one will mend your relationship for you.
You may try to avoid your problems, or walk around on egg-shells, but nothing will change by itself. You explode in anger when things don't seem to go your way, but the conflict doesn't bring you closer. Very quickly, as you pick up on the fears and concerns of others, you rely on defensive patterns of behaviour. Your loving feelings begin to fade, while resentment and anger replaces the closeness you once had.
You both experience anxiety in different ways. One of you feels despair, while the other views the malaise as a temporary blip. You also depend on each other in different ways. When couples get together very quickly and fall in love, they often ignore the problems. But feelings of euphoria are not easy to maintain. Once the excitement subsides, your disappointment begins to fester. And you notice there is very little intimacy to build on. A skilled counsellor, helps you develop more realistic expectations and renegotiate the boundaries.
The symptoms of relationship problems.
- you may fear abandonment.
- your feelings of rejection and paranoia.
- when you experience communication breakdown.
- you experience a lack of sexual intimacy.
- if your arguments continue without resolution.
- when there is violence in your relationship.
- you have financial pressures.
- when you have health problems.
- if your bond of trust is eroded, or broken.
When should I ask for help with Relationships?
- when there has been a betrayal of trust; an affair, debt or secret.
- if talking causes confusion or unbearable anger.
- there is a constant sense of anxiety.
- separation or divorce seems like the only option.
- when you lack of emotional intimacy.
- if you keep repeating the same arguments over and over again.
- when you feel like you're walking around on eggshells.
I offer couples counselling to help you address anxiety. If possible, you can attend counselling together, unless one of you is unwilling or there is a threat domestic violence. Sometimes, you may feel more comfortable with individual counselling. When you're able to manage conflict and arguments, you begin to set a good foundation for your relationship. It is unrealistic to hope you will avoid conflict. When you come with your own values and beliefs, you must respect your differences. You must work through the issue if you want to thrive. And you need to develop new skills together.
You need to acknowledge your differences; otherwise you will feel unheard. One partner may dominate, while the other 'disappears'. You learn that arguments are a healthy part of any relationship and can re-energise it. But patterns of aggression and denial are destructive. I help you to understand the nature of conflict in counselling. I will also direct you to the patterns you have inherited from your family and resolve them.
- you can address destructive patterns of relating.
- I help you improve communication.
- you learn new relationship skills
- I examine the impact of change and loss
- when you address abusive relationships and domestic violence
How to overcome anxiety
Relationships need solid foundations. Two unhappy people with unresolved issues rarely forge long-term, happy relationships. It may be tempting to believe your partner will resolve unhappiness for you, but this hope often leads to disappointment. The pleasure in healthy relationships is wanting to be with someone, rather than being needy.
Self-respect is an important ingredient for a good relationship. A counsellor helps foster healthier ways of managing the pain and loss. Sex can be a source of great enjoyment in a long-term relationship, but it also poses problems that leaves one partner feeling rejected or angry.
Loss of desire is often an early sign of problems. A good therapist will help you resolve these tensions. When you are no longer able to empathise with a loved one, your relationship is in crisis. The cracks begin to show when one of you has an affair, or a secret debt.
Interventions 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.