Anxiety disorders are very common in our culture. The fast pace of life, multiple roles that we play, and pressure to keep up with multiple demands at the same time can easily result in a diagnosable anxiety disorder. The most common anxiety diagnosis is called generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which includes chronic worry about a variety of different topics, feeling on-edge and restless, feeling tense and having trouble relaxing. You also might notice sleep and appetite disturbances, and that your thoughts are sped up with GAD.
Treatment for anxiety disorders can include either medication or talk therapy, or a combination of both. Many people like to try talk therapy first, to assess whether medication is necessary. Counseling sessions for anxiety are usually focused on identifying the source(s) of your worry, identifying thoughts and beliefs that aren't helpful, and learning mindfulness techniques to notice and redirect your unhelpful thoughts as you go about your daily life.
Counseling sessions can also help you better define your personal goals, and provide a sense of direction. Regular sessions provide accountability for following through with the goals that you've set for yourself. Personal goals can be related to work, intimate relationships, family dynamics, physical health, self-care, friendships, leisure time, or any other aspect of life that is causing worry. By identifying concrete steps that you can take toward your goals and having someone holding you accountable to take those steps, you are more likely to succeed.
Assessing GAD in our office is quick and easy by answering a few questions in your first session. You may find insight into your thought patterns and daily habits that can turn down the volume on the worried thoughts and turn up the peace and calm.
Kambria Kennedy-Dominguez, Counselor and yoga teacher specializing in mental health, substance abuse and wellness.