Therapy for Anxiety
Your Well-Being Is in Good Hands
Anxiety at a Glance
Do you have the sense that you worry more often and more intensely than others? Do you find it hard to stop worrying or planning once you start? Do your worries distract you during the day and make it hard to fall asleep at night? Perhaps you worry about not being prepared, not getting everything done, making mistakes, or being judged by others. You might obsess over minor details and feel exhausted from decision fatigue.
You want to do things “the right way” and you want to make the “the right choice,” but you end up feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and stuck. You might second guess yourself about taking small steps toward a professional goal or meeting new people. You might worry intensely about the safety, well-being, and future of your loved ones. Anxiety can be so invasive that you may even worry when things are going well; you may view peace as the calm before the storm.
If you relate to the tendency to worry more than most, you likely have mixed thoughts and feelings about this pattern. On one hand, you sense that worrying helps you take action toward your goals, feel more prepared for the ups and downs of life, and generally experience a sense of control. On the other hand, you realize that your worry is ultimately controlling you. It controls what you think about, how intensely, and for how long - regardless of whatever else you need or want to be doing at the time.
You may have also noticed there’s a physical price to pay for consistently being on high alert. For example, you either feel keyed up or worn down; rarely do you experience a feeling of calm between these extremes. Anxiety can also decrease your concentration and negatively impact your sleep. Some people with anxiety experience brief moments of intense physiological arousal, or panic attacks.
Finally, you may have noticed that anxiety is taking a toll on your relationships. Worrying about getting things done and not making mistakes might prevent you from slowing down and spending time with loved ones. Even when you are with others, your mind may be elsewhere or you may find that you’re more irritable than you’d like to be. Finally, if your worry is mostly about the safety of loved ones, you may get the sense that your anxiety is negatively impacting those relationships.
If you relate to these experiences we’re glad you’re here, and we encourage you to keep reading. This page covers reasons to be hopeful about the treatment of anxiety, what you can expect as your anxiety decreases, our experience treating anxiety, and some of the most common questions clients have about the process.
A Calmer You
Imagine waking in the morning feeling rested and centered. You go about your day at a pace that feels less rushed and urgent. You’re able to make decisions efficiently without compromising thoughtfulness. Since you’re not in a perpetual state of arousal, you feel more present and effective in nearly every area of your life. Finally, since you’re not exhausted from rushing and worrying, you’re able to reflect on larger changes you might want to consider. Perhaps you’d like to develop a better work-life balance or be more intentional about certain behaviors. You’re in a better place to reach these goals once chronic anxiety is no longer a barrier.
Reasons to be Hopeful
You're Not Alone
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. It’s estimated that 31% of Americans will experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime. Given its prevalence, there’s a lot of research available about the variables that cause, maintain, and alleviate anxiety.
Studies consistently show that anxiety is highly treatable with competent care. It’s important to work with a professional who has knowledge of and experience with the types of therapies shown to be most effective in the treatment of anxiety.
There’s often a silver lining. People with anxiety tend to be conscientious, thoughtful, and forward-thinking. Seeking therapy to decrease the frequency and intensity of your worries can help you make better use of these personality traits and character strengths.
Drs. Casey and Christopher have over a decade of experience helping clients better understand and reduce symptoms of chronic stress and anxiety. They are knowledgeable about the various types of anxiety disorders as well as the treatments shown to be most effective. They are skilled providers of cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is an evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders. They’re also able to incorporate other evidence-based therapies as needed such as interpersonal and emotion-focused therapies. Drs. Casey and Christopher feel passionate about this area of their practice. They’ve seen how effective therapy can be for their patients with anxiety, and they believe everyone deserves to feel more present and grounded in their lives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I just stressed or is this an anxiety disorder?
Feelings of stress and anxiety are part of the human experience, and they’re not altogether unhelpful. The stress response is essentially a physiological reaction to external triggers and/or internal worries. For example, a person might feel stressed about turning in a work presentation on time (external trigger) and/or making sure they're prepared to give the presentation to avoid negative evaluation (internal worry). In this example, a person’s stress would compel them to work on the assignment and prepare to give the presentation. Their stress would also enhance performance during the presentation if experienced moderately.
Stress becomes problematic when it’s experienced chronically, and this tends to happen for one or two reasons, sometimes both. First, a person might experience chronic stress because they take on more than they can handle. It’s worth noting that sometimes a person can increase their bandwidth by learning to ask for help, improving their systems, and learning prioritization skills (therapy can help with those things as well). Still, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day and stress becomes chronic. Second, a person might experience chronic stress when they worry often, worry intensely, and find it difficult to stop worrying once they start. When a person is consumed by worry for months on end and they experience physical symptoms such as fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, and difficulty sleeping, this points to an anxiety disorder. Ultimately, if chronic stress is negatively impacting a person’s life, with or without a formal diagnosis, therapy can help.
Why am I so anxious?
When it comes to chronic anxiety, “why” is a particularly common question. Anxiety, like many mental health concerns, is influenced by genetics, physical health, personality, significant relationships, major life events, and cultural experiences. For example, a person may have a biological predisposition to experience emotion more intensely, and they may be chronically fatigued making it harder to regulate emotion. In terms of personality, they may be conscientious; they fear disappointing or hurting others, and they want to “get things right.” Their early life experiences and significant relationships may have contributed to a tendency to view the world as an unpredictable place. Perhaps they’ve internalized cultural messages about perfectionism.
Interestingly, the variables that contribute to anxiety aren’t necessarily the variables that maintain it. Effective therapy addresses the variables that keep anxiety going - maladaptive thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and core beliefs. Therapy might also address another surprising culprit maintaining anxiety - avoidance of emotion in general. When a person is anxiously fretting, they’re distracted from deeper rooted emotions. Sometimes the most effective treatment for anxiety is less about “fixing anxiety” and more about unearthing what it keeps buried.