If you are looking for counselling and therapy for anxiety, it is interesting to look at the evolutionary aspect of anxiety and fear. Hardwired to survive our hostile environment humans were lower on the food chain. We had to move and think fast in order to outwit animals much bigger. The slightest noise or breeze alerted us to danger. Our bodies would flood with adrenaline and cortisol to be capable of running away or fighting to survive.
In the days when we lived in caves, anxiety could help us to survive. In those days the cause of our anxiety would be to see a lion or a snake. This emotional response could save our life. A flood of chemicals, adrenaline would flood our bodies to enable us to run or fight.
Another option would be to freeze. This short-term solution to help us survive meant our pulse and breathing decreases so the predator would move on not wanting to eat dead meat. This shutting down or freezing happens to us as children when we feel in danger or there is emotional or physical abuse.
As adults, we find this freezing informs our lives in the workplace and at home. We may find we don’t have a voice to explain ourselves. If we do it’s aggressive or passive one extreme or another we cannot find a middle way.
Anxiety has become the norm for a lot of people
Today, anxiety is a constant for many people because life has become so fast-paced. We don’t often have the chance to just think and feel and experience what is happening to us. We have so many distractions such as food, alcohol, drugs, tv, gaming, porn, sex, etc all of which take us out of ourselves.
Counselling and therapy for anxiety are unfortunately quite hard to obtain through the NHS. If you are lucky enough to go privately or through your insurance company find a therapist through the BACP. Look for a therapist that you feel comfortable with. Someone who can teach you ways or give you tools to help understand and manage your anxiety.
I am a trained Psychosynthesis Counsellor and EFT/Matrix Reimprinting practitioner. Both of these techniques will help you to understand the roots of your anxiety and help you to alleviate the stressful emotions that you are dealing with.
Counselling and Therapy for Anxiety
What causes a person to be so filled with anxiety that they rarely have a peaceful moment?
- A difficult childhood with parents that were traumatised by war, alcohol/drugs, violence, or aggressive behaviour
- Caring for elderly parents or relatives
- Past emotional and/or physical abandonment or rejection
- Parenting, or being a single parent
- A traumatic incident(s) that was not understood, processed, or acknowledged
- Maintaining a pressurised job
Anxiety and fear overwhelm
Here is an example of someone who is aware of his anxiety but realised that this was hiding deeper fears. He has an adult rational part of him that knows that he can work through this problem. He is also aware of a part or parts of him that are terrified.
“I received a letter telling me I was being audited. At first I was fine. But as time went on I found myself getting more and more anxious. It felt that I was slipping into a deeper place of not just anxiety but a very deep fear. What had I done to feel that I had committed a serious crime. I felt like a little child that had no one to protect him. I really was on my own and no one was going to help me.
Somewhere in my mind, I know the depth of despair was not comparable to what had triggered this. In more rational moments I knew I had an accountant to help me, I had the money to pay for it. So what was the problem here? The problem was I felt that I was drowning and the panic was trying to keep my head above water. Not only that I realised I felt raw inside like someone had been scraping the inside of my body. The feeling was horrendous. This was deep anxiety and fear and I had no escape”.
Does this sound like something that happens to you? In a way, this experience has shone a torchlight into this person’s psyche. It has shown that there is a part that as a child felt deeply unprotected and fearful. As uncomfortable and frightening as this is it is also an opportunity to reconnect with this young part and reclaim it.
Re-visiting childhood anxiety and fears
Throughout our childhood, we experience things that we have no way to understand or process. As a result of that experience, we have parts of ourselves that we have to split off or bury as they are too painful. These parts that are in distress, angry, sad and they inform the way we react to others. How often are you aware of feeling unable to understand a situation and just feel vulnerable? Or given a job at work and feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Our adult self is nowhere to be seen and we just feel very young.
Humans are resiliant and had to find a way to survive
Constructed a survival personality in order to cope with the world.
Do not under any circumstances allow people to see how wounded we are.
Do not allow ourselves to feel the shame or humiliation we may have experienced as a child.
Live our lives in denial.
How do begin to understand?
Working with Psychosynthesis techniques we can break down and focus on the different parts or sub-personalities. For example, developing an internal critic or a judge was probably a way to help us to do better.
Perhaps compassion was in short supply when you grew up and the only people like parents and teachers who you were surrounded by were critical and judging to themselves and others.
Not always though many people are determined not to follow the same paths as their family but we cannot help but be touched by these earliest influences.
But we can learn how to have a relationship with all these parts that carry uncomfortable feelings and emotions like shame or guilt, or not good or worthy enough.
It is also possible to give these parts a voice so that they can express themselves and their needs. In time these parts become integrated and we become more secure in ourselves because our emotional foundation becomes more sturdy.
Question: do you know the part you are identified with:
Feeling anxious and scared as you about to go into a business meeting
You feel shame going to see the doctor
Also feeling guilty when spending money on yourself
Vulnerable and exposed within a large group of people
Only feeling happy when you are doing something for someone else
Counselling and therapy for anxiety has very effective tools that help manage anxiety
I have tools to help you build a framework within which to work. Also, have an understanding of anxiety and depression stemming from family dysfunction.
I can help you see how you survived your childhood.
With this understanding, you are then able to move more into the more adult parts of you.
You can reclaim the childlike wonder you had to suppress.
Like most counsellors and therapists my motivation is helping and guiding people to better mental and emotional health. I offer a free 15/20 minute conversation by phone. We can discuss if you would like to come for an initial consult and if I think I can be of help to you. If not, I may be able to recommend someone who may be more suitable.
Either way, that first conversation comes at no cost and no obligation.
Phone: 0794 707 1908
During this lockdown and most of 2021 I will be working online.