Anxiety Therapy

Anxiety therapy will begin by taking a look at an individual's current situation and aiding the person to evaluate what in their life is causing them distress and discomfort. It will then be determined what immediate changes can be made, if any, to address the anxiety they are experiencing as a result of their felt life situations.

Often when alternative solutions to coping with a stress inducing circumstance is presented, we quickly become aware of a person' s fears.

For example, a person may reply to a problem solving solution in a way that implies, "I can't do that because, if I do then this may happen or, that will mean I am failing or not good enough." You can fill in your own blank here. Hence the fear, or perhaps we can call it, a person's false or conflicting belief of themselves or their life presents itself.

With this information that we accumulated we can then begin the detective work of therapy, meaning where did these beliefs originate and how? The questions that are examined here are exploratative questions ,such as, "when is the first time you remember feeling this way about your self, life, or this type of situation, based on whatever we discover your situation is, and what did you want that you feel you did not get in these first experiences, that you felt you needed?"

When we uncover the answer to these questions, we discover the conflict. The conflict is the pointer to the typically conflicting beliefs of self. How we have been defining ourselves to get this thing we desire, or why we do not need this thing that is actually desired(a defense mechanism because a person feels they are not worthy of having it, on some level). Often a person does not know how to get "it", what they feel they now need, because it was never learned, or a person has interpreted their earlier interactions with this experience as unworthy of receiving it, because they felt no one ever gave it to them.

The "it" we could be talking about here, could be any number of things, for instance, intimacy, nurturance, love, respect, achievement, self-worth, self-esteem, a feeling of being safe, self-confidence, assertiveness, or the ability to enjoy life. This list is not inclusive, these are just a few examples of what the conflict may be centered around.

So, when we know what the conflict involves, what do we do next?We work on resolving the conflict, redefining the self in a new and improved manner to support the needs we discovered we felt were not being met. We change our behaviors that do not support old definitions of ourselves to behaviors that support our new definitions and we confront our fears or the worst case scenarios we tell ourselves.

This can be tricky, because this is what you were perhaps consciously or unconsciously trying to do when you experienced all of the anxiety and discomfort to begin with. So, we are back to trying to cope with the anxiety. This is the circular part that becomes a self feeding cycle of anxiety. Meaning, a person who is not comfortable with their old definitions of self and they are not comfortable with the new definitions of self are influx and having competing needs, which triggers anxiety!

What now? The anxiety could still be present, but for some just acknowledging what they truly want and what is their maladaptive way of seeing themselves can be very healing, but for others that is not enough.

Anyone who has ever experienced anxiety or depression, for that matter, can identify that these emotions are not just felt in the mind, but also expressed in the body. Meaning a person can feel anxiety often in their stomach as nausea, chest as tightening, shoulders as aches, or knots, legs as shaking, hands as trembling, etc. It is not just the mind having a reaction to the anxiety producing event or thought, but the body as well. So, logically both need to be addressed, because both are occurring and triggering the other to occur. Again you can see the self-feeding nature of anxiety.

The maladaptive anxiety producing thought patterns, and the body's anxiety reaction. The thoughts can trigger the body and the body can trigger the thoughts. We could then say we need to release the trauma of the past that lead to these false definitions of self, others, and the world from the body as well as the mind or memory. We are not talking about forgetting, we are talking about the ability to redefine the events in our lives that we feel were traumatic and the root of where the false definitions began.

A person will still remember what occurred, but optimally will not have a traumatic reaction to the events or memory of the events any longer.

The theory is that when a person feels a traumatic event has occurred, they get a jolt, kind of like a television gets a jolt, if a person were to stick a screwdriver into the back of it, it's electrical system shorts out and you get a ZZZZT response from the television. The screwdriver represents the trauma and the television's ZZZZT reaction represents the body's reaction to the trauma. The body's electrical system no longer works properly when the mind has triggered the trauma, and instead the electrical circuits run incorrectly or continues to have a ZZZZT reaction, leading to all the body's uncomfortable responses.

If you have ever had a panic attack, you can really relate to the body's reaction to stress, anxiety, and panic, and as stated above, there are many ways the body can manifest the symptoms of anxiety or even depression. The body feels heavy, exhausted, achy, nauseous, shaky, chest constriction, etc.

The goal is to reset the electrical system of the body and reframe the problematic thoughts, definitions, and interpretations of the event at the same time. We do this by utilizing both Eastern and Western schools of thought. The Eastern schools of thought theorize that the body has an electrical system, well so do the westerners for that matter, but the difference is the eastern philosophies have applied a map of the body's electrical system into their healing modalities.

This map or points in the body that are thought to be energy centers and are called meridians. Acupuncture therapy is based on the meridian points of the body. Some experts in this field have identified a cluster of points on the body that when all are activated they connect to all the electrical points of the body or meridians, so we don't need to know which one is affected, we just address these points that connect to all of them and we know that the one affected will be addressed.

How do we do this, are you wondering? Simply by tapping on these specific points, or rather you tap on yourself, while you follow what I am tapping on myself and in doing so, we sort out your problematic thought patterns, beliefs, and interpretations that have resulted in the anxiety you are currently experiencing. We address the originally defined trauma that led to the false thought patterns of today.

By resetting the electrical system we are releasing the body and the mind's anxiety reaction to the memories that originally created the false definition of self, others, or the world. So that a memory that may have caused you extreme discomfort or emotional pain will no longer cause this type of reaction. You will still remember the event, but the traumatic feelings of the event will dissolve and it will just be something that occurred just like the memory of the last time you did the dishes or some memory that is neutral. You know and remember you did the dishes, but you have no emotional reaction to the event, it's neutral.

Once this is accomplished we can more readily put into place thought processes and behaviors that support your goals, rather than trying to do this when all the anxiety reactions are still present and sabotaging our efforts.

For more information on this process feel free to contact,
Lori Little, MA, Psychotherapist for a free and confidential phone consultation, or to set up an appointment at (248)722-2653 contact us

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