Barkley Therapy

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"The best way out is always through"
- Robert Frost

Anxiety Counseling in Burbank & Santa Clarita

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Fear is a normal, healthy human emotion that helps us to recognize, stay out of, and respond to dangerous situations. However, when fear becomes incapacitating, or you experience an irrational aversion to a harmless source, you may suffer from anxiety. Even a reasonable level of anxiety for the circumstances during highly stressful times can take a toll and become overwhelming and debilitating if the situation frequently occurs or for a long duration.

When ongoing anxiety caused by a genuine threat or an anxiety disorder disrupts your ability to function and live a full life, the consequences can be devastating. It can lead to chronic health issues, depression, isolation, job loss, relationship problems, and more. As an anxiety counselor, I can help you understand your anxiety and take control of your life for healthier functioning.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety manifests in numerous ways, but at its core is a debilitating fear of one or more sources. When faced with a threat, healthy fear results in a physical and mental response to help you escape danger. Yet, when you have anxiety, excessive worry resulting from a prolonged or frequent state of fear can lead to chronic stress in your body and mind. This can have additional long term health consequences. Through therapy for anxiety, I can help you calm your fears and reduce your stress and the health risks associated with it.

Following are some of the more common anxiety symptoms you may experience that an anxiety counselor can help to alleviate:

  • Excessive anxiety or worry
  • Difficulty controlling your worrying
  • Feeling out of control
  • Experiencing a sense of impending doom
  • Restlessness or feeling on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Abnormal sleep patterns
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Going to great lengths to avoid triggers

If you have an anxiety disorder, you may also experience “anxiety attacks” when exposed to your trigger. While an “anxiety attack” is not a clinical term, it is often used by people who experience intense bouts of anxiety. During an anxiety attack, you may feel extreme, overwhelming fear and a physical response such as shortness of breath, tense muscles, trembling, sweating, heat or chills, and increased heart rate. If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, I offer anxiety counseling in Santa Clarita and Burbank to help you learn to cope better with stressful situations.

A panic attack is related to anxiety and has similar symptoms. It differs from an anxiety attack, however, because it is more unpredictable, often more severe, and does not necessarily come from engaging with a specific trigger. During a panic attack, you might experience a fear of impending doom, feel out of control, like you’re having a heart attack, or as if you are going to die. As an anxiety specialist, I can help you with this very treatable disorder as well.

Causes of Anxiety

Anxiety disorders generally stem from a complex combination of factors. Some of the influences that increase your likelihood of developing anxiety include:

  • Brain chemistry: Alterations in brain structure, hormonal responses, and neurotransmitter communication can change how your body and mind react to anxiety-inducing triggers. This can lead to a heightened response.
  • Genetics: Studies have shown that having family members with anxiety disorders increases your likelihood of having one, suggesting a genetic component.
  • Environment: Stressful life situations and changes or unhealthy habits can trigger an anxiety disorder. Early negative life experiences or a traumatic event can also trigger anxiety.
  • Medical conditions: Some medical conditions can directly cause anxiety disorders or lead to them indirectly because of significant life changes or pain they cause.

Through anxiety counseling, I can help you uncover the causes of your fears, confront them, and alleviate their impact. Once you understand where your anxiety comes from, I can help you learn new patterns of interacting with your triggers healthily.

Types of Anxiety

Although anxiety is based on a significant and disruptive fear of something, it can manifest in multiple ways. It is also possible to experience more than one type of anxiety disorder concurrently. Some of the types of anxiety disorders include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Separation anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Selective mutism

An anxiety counselor can also help you alleviate your fears if a phobia afflicts you. There are countless phobias that individuals may experience. Some of the more common include:

  • Agoraphobia - fear of leaving your home or being in a place you cannot escape
  • Claustrophobia - fear of confined or crowded spaces
  • Arachnophobia - fear of spiders

If you are troubled by a phobia, anxiety counseling can help you to understand the root cause of your phobia and reduce its impact on your life.

Therapy for Anxiety

Many people suffering from anxiety are hesitant to seek help or may not realize they have a disorder. Regardless of your level of distress, as an anxiety specialist, I can help you to reduce its impact and disruption to your life.

Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, for anxiety is an effective treatment for anxiety and its symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapeutic approach commonly used in anxiety counseling. I may use this approach to help you develop new ways of thinking about and responding to your anxiety-producing triggers. As an anxiety specialist, I will work together with you to create an individualized approach to help you alter your experience of anxiety and feel better. I may also give you assignments to work on between sessions to help you address or better understand your fear. I will help you understand and identify any irrational thoughts behind your worries and help you to change your pattern of engagement with the source.

If your fears are preventing you from experiencing your life to its fullest, I offer therapy for anxiety to help you live freely again. As an anxiety counselor, I can help you to face the source of your stress. So give me a call today so you can return to a healthy, balanced existence.

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