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Let's talk about anxiety

Posted By Elizabeth Pincott  
10/08/2020
09:50 AM

Let’s talk about anxiety

Anxiety is a common presentation for us at Breakfree Psychology Services and let's be honest, it’s not too surprising given the time we are living in. With the impact of COVID, there is the pressure for both parents to work and raise children at the same time and of course the pressures we put on ourselves to achieve or have comfortable things in our life, such as a bigger house or a new car.

It’s not just individuals who present to a psychologist for counselling as a result of wanting to reduce this feeling of anxiety. It’s also couples who present. Our psychologists find that anxiety in a relationship causes many problems. This can including conflict, the inability to solve conflict, engaging in poor communication, being critical, defensiveness and stonewalling. Anxiety in relationships can often be a huge problem if it’s not addressed. It can significantly and negatively impact on the feeling or view the couple have of their relationship. Often viewing their relationship negatively.

One of the first things psychologists will tell anxious people is that anxiety is a normal feeling. It is only a problem when the anxiety is long lasting and impacting upon day to day life. Therapy for anxiety will help to reduce this feeling by increasing a persons understanding and their ability to cope better with heightened anxiety and be able to also reduce this feeling to a more manageable and ‘normal’ level.

Secondly it’s important to understand why humans experience this feeling of anxiety in the first place, such as understanding its origins and its evolutionary purpose. This is best understood by learning about the fight or flight response that humans have when they are faced with a threatening situation. Psychologists often explain this response as a survival response and that prior to the advancement of safer living conditions in the modern world this survival instinct was needed to quickly prepare a human to fight, flee or freeze when faced with a life or death situation. The result of activating this system is that the body ‘goes to work’ to prepare for the chosen response. The heart increases blood flow to our limbs, resulting in increased heart rate, sweating, shortness of breath, stomach upsets, and tunnel vision.

As your psychologist we will help you learn how to turn this system off so that you can reduce this feeling. Common therapeutic techniques include; Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT). Another therapy called Schema therapy incorporates many of the same principles with the addition of going a lot deeper into the development of unhelpful beliefs and coping mechanisms that prevent traditional forms of therapy from being helpful.

We have expertise in treating anxiety at Breakfree Psychology Services. We are located in Townsville, however we offer online counselling sessions also for your convenience.

Call us on 0479 149 277 to book a session with one of our psychologists today.