worry, anxiety and stress
In my practice I frequently treat individuals who struggle with anxiety. Anxiety is an incredibly common feeling that most of us have experienced in one form or another. For example, we have all dealt with apprehension or worry. It can also appear in the form of physical symptoms such as muscle tension or gastrointestinal concerns. Anxiety disorders are not the same thing as everyday worrying, however, they are the most common mental health problem in the United States. Though there are a multitude of anxiety disorders, the one I most commonly treat is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). GAD is understood as the experience of excessive, uncontrollable worry occuring for at least six months. GAD symptoms include sleep difficulties, trouble concentrating, restlessness, muscle tension and irritability. Many people with GAD report that the onset has been gradual and that they have felt anxious since childhood. Some people who struggle with GAD and other anxiety disorders spend a lot of time dealing with their symptoms without pursuing therapeutic help. I understand that coming to therapy can be an overwhelming or daunting experience. As such, I aim to make all of my patients comfortable, including those who are struggling with anxiety and beginning psychotherapy for the first time.
It should also be noted that you don’t need to be unnecessarily worried all of the time about a number of different things to be seen in my practice. Many, but not all, of my patients benefit from some support or help adjusting to life in the city. Also, it is important to mention that diagnoses are helpful to an extent as they do inform treatment. However, one could argue that there is a trend of over-diagnosing patients and I believe in treating the individual.
In my practice I approach treatment by exploring your current thoughts, behaviors and emotions and putting less of an focus on childhood experiences - though some people do want to talk about their childhood experiences, and that’s okay! As such, my theoretical orientation is best described as cognitive behavioral and I do employ CBT techniques when appropriate as some patients benefit from specific CBT techniques like challenging distorted thinking (i.e., perfectionistic beliefs). And while it is comforting for some patients to know that research has proven the efficacy of CBT for the treatment of anxiety disorders, I have personally found that each client is unique and treatment can look different from person to person. I believe that together with my patient’s input, I can successfully create a personalized treatment plan that builds upon your strengths and is tailored to your anxiety-related concerns.