‘My Anxiety Treatment Toolbox’

This blog post is the eigth in a series of posts that are excerpts from my full length published article, ‘Five Simple Steps To Managing Anxiety’ available for immediate download from my website by this link: http://www.glennburdick.com/anxiety_help.htm

My Anxiety Treatment Toolbox

In addition to introducing The Five Steps, It is also important that I help my clients become skilled at deep relaxation. This enhances their ability to identify the thoughts that are worrying or scaring them while they are arising, and makes it much easier to let go of mounting levels of fear or anxiety at that moment.

For that reason, I like to teach my clients meditation, which can help them to both relax physically and mentally, and experience states of peace and calmness on a regular basis. This can help a great deal for people with generally high levels of anxiety or worry.

I also employ techniques that have become known as ‘energy psychology’. These techniques involve certain patterns of tapping on acupuncture meridian points (EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique) or bi-laterally stimulating the brain through particular eye movements (EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and can help reduce the influence of past experiences and memories on present coping, as well as helping to develop more powerful present moment coping abilities.

Finally, in some instances I will utilize hypnosis to help my clients to more readily reach deep levels of relaxation, and gain the additional benefit of the subconscious mind in helping make the move towards genuinely accepting your anxiety more rapid and automatic.

I have outlined the steps I consider to be essential to self-managing anxiety successfully. If you take these steps when you are experiencing anxiety, whether moderate or severe, you should see a real difference in how it progresses. Individuals’ ability to complete these steps on their own will vary.

A number of people find that anxiety management techniques are all they need to learn and they will be able to successfully implement the steps on their own. Others will require a brief period of support from a licensed psychotherapist, such as myself, who is very experienced in working with clients with anxiety disorders. This additional support will help fine tune the process and ensure that you implement the steps effectively.

It is highly likely that individuals suffering with Simple Phobia, OCD, & PTSD will require the support of a licensed psychotherapist. In the first instance, Simple Phobia, the anxiety is absent except in the presence of a particular feared real-life situation, for example, a snake, standing on a high platform, sitting on an airplane. While the general principles I’ve outlined above still hold, there are very focused and powerful techniques available to directly eliminate such phobias.

With OCD there will be the need to focus on both the anxiety that triggers the obsessive thinking & the compulsive behaviors, which is complicated enough to require additional therapeutic support.

In the case of PTSD an individual has typically had a real life experience in a very dangerous situation and experienced some of the highest possible levels of fear, often in the context where it was possible, or the individual believed it was possible that their life was at its end.

For many years there was little help available for individuals suffering from PTSD. However, in the last several years techniques have been developed that can be highly effective in permanently reducing the associated symptoms and memories. For this reason, the support of a licensed psychotherapist with the proper training is really essential.

Finally, in severe and persistent Panic Disorder, as well as OCD and PTSD, there may be potential additional benefit from taking certain medications at the same time that self-management strategies are being implemented. Many physicians will require their patient to be working with a licensed psychotherapist in order for them to prescribe these medications.

(photo credit: life serial)

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