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Anxiety Therapy – Catherine Follett, LICSW – Seattle, WA
Anxiety

Do You Frequently Feel On Edge, Worried and Fearful About the Future?

lighthouse on the coastAre you struggling with nagging, intrusive thoughts about things that might go wrong tomorrow, next week, or even next year? Do you often feel uncomfortable, unsettled, and unable to fully enjoy the present moment? Perhaps your mind fills with a wide range of looping fears, and you can’t stop questioning if, for example, you’ve locked the front door, messed up your work project, or failed as a parent. It may be that one small worry usually gives way to a flood of apprehension, self-doubt, and self-criticism, making it difficult for you to feel capable and confident in most areas of your life. You may not believe that you have the strengths and resources needed to successfully navigate challenges, especially when you think about impending worst-case scenarios. Maybe you feel out-of-place in social and professional situations and mentally berate yourself for saying or doing the wrong thing. Have these experiences and other stressors become increasingly intolerable to the point that you now avoid activities or experiences you used to enjoy? Are you tired of letting anxiety limit your ability to pursue your goals, engage in the world, and live more fully?

Anxiety can create a bleak and even scary version of the future, and many anxious people anticipate everything that can go wrong rather than look forward to all that life has to offer. Perhaps, from the moment you wake up, you feel exhausted from a restless night and stressed about the responsibilities and expectations that lie ahead. You might struggle to stay organized and on task. You may also procrastinate because part of you doesn’t trust yourself to do things right. In an attempt to maintain a sense of control, you might make and remake to-do lists, dedicating more time and energy to planning your next step than fulfilling the task at hand. You may feel caught in a never-ending cycle of dread, hyperactivity, and panic and wonder how you can find relief. Do you wish you could break free from nagging, repetitive thinking; feel empowered to move forward in alignment with your values; and live the rich, engaging life you want?

Millions of People Struggle With Anxiety

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 18 percent of American adults—about 40 million people—struggle with anxiety. And, these numbers only represent those who’ve received an official diagnosis. Many more struggle with the symptoms of anxiety, from feeling overwhelmed to suffering from physical distress, such as shortness of breath, excessive sweating, and a racing heart. Regardless of how you experience anxiety, you are not alone.

Statue of BuddhaWe live in a fast-paced, goal-oriented society that often prioritizes external markers of efficiency and success over internal wellbeing. From an early age, we’re taught to juggle many competing responsibilities at once, and by the time we’re adults ­—often with families, careers, financial concerns, and more—that juggling act can become harder and harder to maintain. Also, many of us come from families that didn’t model emotional honesty and openness. Rather, many of us were taught to keep our feelings in or attempt to avoid them altogether, which inevitably creates a build-up of internal pressure that’s just waiting to release. And, when we are not attuned to our distressing thoughts and feelings and compare ourselves to those who, from the outside, seem calm and together, we can feel profoundly alone.

In truth, a certain level of anxiety is a normal part of human nature. Anxiety helps us predict and avoid threats; it prompts us to obey traffic laws, check on our loved ones, and meet deadlines. However, when anxiety gets out of hand, it can cease to be productive and start impeding our ability to fulfill our responsibilities, feel confident in our skills, and make empowered choices. We can become so fearful about the future that we lose sight of the present.

Thankfully, there are effective ways to manage and calm anxiety. With the help of an experienced anxiety therapist, you can break free from the cycle of anxious thinking, broaden your perspective, and begin to live in alignment with your true values.

Anxiety Therapy Can Help You Find Lasting Relief

No matter how hopeless you may feel today, overcoming anxiety is possible. In sessions, I can offer you the understanding guidance and support you need to recognize anxious thoughts and feelings and challenge your negative beliefs about yourself and the world. Through mindfulness experiential psychotherapy, you can learn how to slow down; interrupt racing, looping thoughts; and foster calm within your body and mind. From this place of stability and resiliency, you can foster greater patience, self-compassion, and self-forgiveness. In truth, you have far more strength and skill than anxiety allows you to see. With help, you can stop focusing on all of the bad things that might happen and decide what truly deserves your energy, attention, and action.

Lotus flowerBy practicing mindfulness, you can release physical tension and bring yourself fully into the present moment. You can begin to recognize and label an anxious thought as just that – a thought – before it consumes or overwhelms you. Separating your anxious thoughts from the truth allows you to see the whole story, not just the limited, fear-based story that anxiety tells. And, once you are able to understand which of your beliefs stem from anxiety, you can begin to quiet your harsh inner critic and develop a greater sense of self-worth and self-confidence. As you clear away the noise and identify your core values, you can begin to engage with the world and all of its opportunities for excitement, growth, and fulfillment.

For nearly 30 years, I have been helping people find effective ways to feel calm in body, mind, and soul. To offer a deep, holistic approach to anxiety therapy, for the past decade, I have augmented my anxiety-related expertise with a study of Eastern and Western psychotherapy practices. I deeply understand the connection between body, mind, and psyche, and, from both personal and professional experience, I know how to transform tension and apprehension into ease and empowerment. Although you may feel profoundly alone in your experience, I assure you that you are not. We’re all human, and we all struggle to balance our careers, relationships, and sense of self. In my office, you can find a safe, empathetic space to express your worries and wishes, release pent-up emotions, and feel heard and recognized. What you’re going through is real and difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone. With help, you can find a new, clear path forward.

You still may have questions or concerns about treatment for anxiety…

I’m worried that if I talk about what’s bothering me, I’ll only feel worse.

Anxiety often compels us to avoid perceived threats, and it’s completely understandable that you’re worried about difficult emotions arising during anxiety therapy sessions. In truth, however, anticipating the worst-case scenario is often much more uncomfortable than the experience itself. And, avoiding discomfort limits your capacity to pursue growth and positive change. Although the work we do in sessions may be uncomfortable at times, I will never abandon you or leave you alone with newly unearthed feelings. We’re in this together, and I will help you get to a place where you feel better, not worse.

I don’t need anxiety treatment. I’m fine, and other people have it worse.

Perhaps part of you believes that because other people have it “worse,” you don’t deserve to take care of yourself and live an engaged, satisfied life. Your pain is valid, and you are worthwhile. Becoming a fuller, more present version of yourself is good for you and everyone around you. You can’t help others without taking the time to help yourself.

Anxiety therapy won’t work. 

Negative predictions about the future are often signs of anxiety, and I encourage you to think about where this belief is coming from. You’ve already taken a positive step by reading through this page. Maybe, instead of deciding what’s going to happen in anxiety counseling, you can give it a chance. You can attend one session and get a sense of what it feels like. Over nearly three decades, I’ve seen anxiety treatment transform people’s lives. It can transform yours too.

You Don’t Have to Feel Governed by Fear

If you are ready to live in accordance with your true values, or if you still have questions about treatment for anxiety in Seattle, WA, I invite you to email CatherineFollett@msn.com or call (206) 715-0831 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.