Over the long term, anxiety can deplete bodily energy, create confusion, a sense of low-self-esteem and a sense that someone ‘cannot do what others do’. At the heart of it, it is about an internalised risk assessment process that those affected by it, go through, as though their internal script is to manage external risks that in many cases, seems much larger than it actually may be.
As a qualified BACP registered therapist, and as someone who has lived with, managed and reduced the impacts of anxiety on my life for over 30 years, I understand how this condition can affect and permeate many parts of a person’s life.
My work on anxiety will include taking a person centred approach where I bring in different modes of work to help someone gain an understanding about the internal risk scanning process of anxiety, the seeds of where it could have come from, how family dynamics also could have impacted on it, and destigmatising feelings, thoughts and emotions that may raise anxiety within individuals.
Honouring the Body
My work also is based on honouring the body’s defensive systems that are aimed at protecting ourselves from danger, creating the opportunity to explore whether these defensive systems are over-reacting to internal or external body situations and allowing people to see and feel anxiety, not as a catastrophic threat, but a part of the body’s inbuilt defensive system that can be adapted back into balance or a form of equilibrium.
I also work on relaxation techniques, visualisations and facilitating new ways of understanding, thinking about, managing and ultimately, reducing anxiety for people who have suffered repeated bouts of anxiety in their lives. This may have taken the form of high stress reactions, muscular tensions, panic attacks, phobias causing low moods, ruminations about fearful thoughts and recurring catastrophic thoughts that seem to carry on. It is also important to add that phobias may be attached to certain situations such as flying, travelling in enclosed spaces, health related fears, thoughts related to shame and even being in the ‘outside world’ (agoraphobia).
Allied with this, I work on feelings of self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy in being able to carry out tasks such as leaving the home, travelling, being in enclosed spaces and ultimately in supporting the development of independent living and decision making. I work on feelings of self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy in being able to carry out tasks such as leaving the home, travelling, being in enclosed spaces and ultimately in supporting the development of independent living and decision making. I fully understand how this can make life feel that it has stopped, but there is a path forward, a way to feel open and confident and a way to feel that life can move forward, albeit small steps as a start.