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How Anxiety Hurts
Anxiety is a very common condition affecting millions of Americans. In fact, it is one of the more prevalent reasons people seek therapy. While some measure of anxiety or worry is normal, many of us are operating in survival mode today with the rapid change of events caused by the spread of COVID-19. It’s very easy to lose yourself and your center.
Problematic anxiety can result in nervousness, catastrophic thinking, excessive rumination or panic. It can impact our mood, behavior, thinking and physical functioning. We feel better when we are connected. You are not alone. There are many proven ways to treat anxiety.
helping you Reconnect to Life
Types of Therapy Used to Help You
cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT, as it is widely known, is extremely helpful and widely used in the treatment of anxiety. It is the most widely researched of therapies and the “go to” for treating anxiety. It is very present and future focused as well as practical and goal oriented. CBT helps change the thinking patterns that keep individuals in a fear state.
In treatment, you will learn how to identify, analyze and change the thinking patterns and behavior that create distress. This results in being able to have more control and meaning in your life.
Sensation Awareness Focused Technique (SAF-T)
As a trauma therapist, I also help tackle anxiety using a technique that targets the “emotion control” center of your brain, the amygdala, to provide more immediate physical relief from the distress of anxiety. The amygdala is the part of your brain that holds painful memories and their associations which can generate fear and its physiological responses. The eye movement therapy used in SAF-T are thought to trigger a relaxation response in your body similar to the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep, where your body is very relaxed.
Most people find the eye movements very relaxing and are able to rid themselves of the negative sensations they are feeling. SAF-T is a revolutionary way to alleviate negative sensations without drugs or hypnosis to calm heightened emotions. It’s safe and can be adapted for online use. Please contact me for additional information on how to use this technique as part of your therapy.
Paying attention. Present Moment. Intentionally.
Thinking in the NOW
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Guided meditation and progressive muscle relaxation are also techniques utilized to reduce amygdala arousal and decrease anxiety. Many clients report feeling rapid relief after learning techniques from mindfulness practice which they go on to use as part of their daily routines. Regular practice can help improve focus and increase self-awareness.
CBT & Attachment Theory
A schema is a negative pattern of entrenched thinking that often stems from childhood. Schemas are not always in our awareness and are resistant to change. This type of therapy uses cognitive, behavioral, experiential and interpersonal techniques to delve more deeply into past experiences that create entrenched patterns of thinking that aren’t helpful in the present.
An example of a common schema might be Defectiveness/Shame that fuels a core belief that there is something wrong with you and that if people get too close they will reject you. Schema therapy extends CBT principles to address unhealthy life patterns and help you get your core needs met.