Are You Feeling Suffocated By Anxiety?
Are worries keeping you up at night?
Are you always waiting for the other shoe to drop, or feel a vague sense that something is wrong?
Do you sometimes have trouble getting out of bed because facing the day is overwhelming?
Does the thought of anxiety bring you more anxiety?
Perhaps you are even uncomfortable in your own skin.
Your mood can be affected by anxiety.You may find yourself more easily frustrated, or moved to anger in ways that are out of character for you. Anxiety for many people is not simply uncomfortable. It can be crippling. It can drain your energy and strip away your joy. Anxiety is often physically painful and can lead some people into isolation and despair.
Chronic anxiety can lead to multiple health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive problems and sleep disorders. And just as important, chronic anxiety can devastate your quality of life, affecting job performance, relationships, and the ability to simply have fun. You are not alone
Anxiety Disorders Affect 40 million adults in The United States Each Year
Anxiety is the most common reason for seeking therapy. It is such a common problem in the US that the comedian Mel Brooks even made a movie about it, “High Anxiety.” Treatment for anxiety has a very high success rate. Yet, just over one third of people suffering with an anxiety disorder seek therapy.
People suffering with anxiety are many times more likely to end up in the doctor’s office, or even hospitalized for a psychiatric disorder. This has to do with the stress anxiety places on our entire system. Your immune system is strained as is your ability to cope with day to day stressors. In other words, anxiety can lead you to believe that you are crazy. Anxiety does not mean you are crazy, it means you are human.
There are many causes or sources of chronic anxiety. Increased anxiety can result from a genetic predisposition. Life stressors such as job loss, relationship conflict, health issues, and major life changes can lead to increased anxiety. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression are also associated with increased anxiety. However, the most common source of increased anxiety, and for that matter depression, is internalized anger. If we swallow our anger, our body, our emotional life and our social life pays.
However, a skilled anxiety therapist can help you find more playfulness, more ease, less worry, and a general sense of well being.
Anxiety Treatment Can Bring You Relief And Comfort
The right kind of therapy can be very effective in treating anxiety. It may seem counterintuitive, but anxiety is primarily a somatic condition, rooted in the body that is reinforced by our thinking and our meaning-making process. Another way of saying this is: Anxiety becomes a problem when we make it a problem.
Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy put it this way: “Anxiety is excitement without breath”. This statement has a twofold meaning. First of all, the somatic or bodily experience of anxiety is nearly identical to that of excitement, except in anxiety one’s breath is constricted while in excitement we breathe freely. The other is that anxiety results from the disruption of energy flow. For whatever reason, anger or excitement or passion are constricted and transformed into anxiety.
Therapy transforms anxiety into excitement, passion, and yes, anger that needs to be expressed.
It is my view that all emotional wounds are relational wounds. It is the way our connection to the world, to ourselves, and to others are constricted. For healing, the lifting of these constrictions to take place, a trusting, warm, open, relationship is necessary. And that is what I offer. I do not assume you are broken and need fixing. We will work as a team, exploring inner conflicts, inhibiting beliefs, and sometimes unresolved trauma, to get to the heart of what is disturbing the serenity you deserve. Then together we will find a resolution to these wounds, so that you can return to a life of joy, passion , and freedom.
The Relational Psychoanalyst, Robert Stolorow, describes the importance of relationship in healing succinctly: “In order for trauma to heal it needs a relational home.” What Stolorow is referring to is that emotional problems, including anxiety, are the result of compartmentalizing parts of ourselves that we fear will either overwhelm us or cause others to reject us. In this light, the path to healing involves being in connection to what we have compartmentalized while being in an open, vulnerable relationship with someone who is also open and vulnerable.
I utilize a variety of methodologies and philosophies in my approach, all having two things in common: an emphasis on relationships, and a focus on the body. Some of my approaches and influences are:
Mindfulness; which is all about bringing compassion to all of what is in our life.
ExistentialTherapy; which is about taking responsibility for our freedom and our choices.
GestaltTherapy; which is existential in its roots. This approach involves the therapist letting go of interpretations and setting up experiments that enable you to see what it is that you are doing that bring you suffering. Then experimenting with new ways of doing things.
SomaticPsychology Has its roots in the work of Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen, founders of a branch of Psychoanalysis known as bioenergetics. The basic premise of this approach is that in reaction to the environment we freeze our way of being in the world in order to feel safe. This freezing shows up in how we hold our bodies and how we allow energy to flow through our bodies. Much of modern trauma therapy is rooted in Somatic Psychology.
Psychodynamic Theory began with Freud. From my perspective the most important aspect of Psychodynamic Theory toward my approach is the idea that not all of our motivations or actions are conscious.
These are all combined in an approach to therapy called Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP) developed by Dr Betty Cannon at the Boulder Psychotherapy Institute, where I am currently a primary trainer.
If you are uncomfortable in you own skin, you do not have to stay that way. In relationship with a skilled, experienced therapist you can move into compassion for all that you are. In this relationship, you can develop the capacity for excitement, passion, and play. You can find that restful place within yourself. You will be able to sleep, anxiety free. You will learn to befriend every aspect of who you are.
Will Anxiety Therapy Make My Problems Worse?
Everyone’s experience in therapy is unique to them. Many people find relief just talking about their experience. Others do feel a temporary sense of heightened discomfort in the beginning. This results from letting your defenses down and facing the truth about your existence. This period is almost always followed by a period of personal growth and an enormous sense of relief.
What If I Am Unfixable?
All that may be “broken” in you is the belief that you are broken. By exploring your beliefs with a skilled anxiety therapist, you will be able to transform your beliefs into beliefs that work for you. Your beliefs will lead to freedom instead of the prison of anxiety.
Will You Think My Problems Are Stupid Or Insignificant?
You are the way you are because what you believe once worked for you. You are most likely on this page because those beliefs are no longer working. Any problem that hinders our freedom and self love is not an insignificant problem.
Do I Need Medication?
I am not a medical doctor and so am not qualified to address medication. Many people benefit from the combination of medication and therapy.What I can tell you is that anxiety is actually an inevitable part of human existence. For most people we get into trouble when we become anxious about being anxious, when we believe it is wrong to experience any anxiety. The first step of anxiety treatment is often to recognize the naturalness of anxiety. Then you can come home to your body.
You Can Live Free And Easy
If you would like to schedule an appointment, or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 720 841 1836.
I offer a free consultation so that you can see if we are a good fit, or to answer any questions you might have.