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Help with Anxiety in Bristol and Bath

As you may have gathered, I specialise in treating anxiety related disorders and I have created a separate website to cover the matter in more detail. You can find detailed information about anxiety at www.anxietyspecialist.co.uk. It may also reassure you to know that I am an ex-sufferer, so not only do I have the tools to help you overcome your anxiety, I also know the territory first hand. I think this can be very important to the quality of support that you feel from your therapist.

What is Anxiety? 

Anxiety is natures way of alerting you to the possibility that you are in danger. ALL animals have the capacity to experience anxiety when they feel threatened. Anxiety's job is to demand your attention and make you feel really uncomfortable by reminding you that something is dangerous. In an appropriate situation Anxiety could save your life. Problems arise when anxiety is triggered inappropriately which sadly can happen very easily!

Why? 

Well, briefly, your brain actually contains two brains. At the base of the brain is the "limbic system" which is your "animal" brain. The limbic system deals with instinctive and emotional responses (fear, anger etc), whilst your cortex, particularly your frontal lobe processes higher thinking such as logic, reason, planning and control.  

Ordinarily the intellectual brain (Frontal Lobe) retains control but when stress levels rise beyond a certain threshold the emotional brain (Limbic System) is activated to provide protection by making us feel fearful. When this happens the intellectual brain can be overwhelmed by the signals from the limbic system meaning that we lose some measure of our usual sense of "control". These limbic system signals create powerful unpleasant feelings designed to alert us to a potentially dangerous situation or to get out if we are already in it. The problem is, we live in a (sometimes) stressful world, and even though we may not be in real physical danger, the limbic system is a primitive brain and it can easily misread a situation causing fear to fire irrationally and inappropriately. This can happen within specific situations as we see in phobic responses, or it can build into a generalised feeling of being unsafe so that we feel anxious all the time. Here, the limbic system is reading that "life" itself is a dangerous place to be and in the worst cases we can end up scared of everything.  

Solutions. 

The first thing to know is this. There ARE solutions! Nobody has to stay anxious. Anxiety is an emotional brain response and it is happening because you feel alarmed by something, either consciously (meaning you know what it is you're alarmed about) or unconsciously (meaning you know you feel alarmed at some level but you don't know why). My job is to help you identify the cause of this disturbance and show you how to manage it more skillfully. In practice we use hypnotherapy, solution focused therapy, NLP, CBT, and many other psychotherapeutic techniques to reduce the amount of emotional arousal (stress) you experience on a day to day basis. Some of the things we look at in helping you to reduce your anxiety levels will invariably include: 

  • Helping you to relax more deeply and giving you recordings and techniques you can use between sessions to stay relaxed. (Even if you think you can't relax!)

  • Looking at how you would like things to be in your life and helping you to overcome any obstacles to achieving your goals. 

  • Dealing with any specific anxieties. Specific fears are dealt with in the phobia section of this website. 

  • Investigating the things you are telling yourself about (your) life that are alarming your limbic system. Increasing positive use of language. Decreasing negative self-talk (CBT).

  • Helping you to change stressful negative core beliefs about Yourself, the World, or Others. 

  • Healing past traumas.

  • Creating positive expectation of future events. (Negative expectations alarm your limbic system causing anxiety).

  • Learning thoroughly how to deal more positively with the discomfort of being anxious. Helping you stop fearing the fear. Fear itself is often the number one enemy. When we stop fearing the fear, the limbic system can relax more quickly and wellbeing will return.

The above list is by no means exhaustive. It's just a flavour of some of the things we need to be thinking about when addressing anxiety related difficulties and in practice treating anxiety requires a flexible thorough approach. We use whatever is most appropriate for you. I give all my clients my ninety page "anxiety busting" manual (electronic format) for extra support and clarity throughout treatment.  

About me and anxiety. 

I genuinely expect to be able to help you. I have spent over fifteen years learning about anxiety and I can offer you sincere specialist guidance in taking your life back. I've helped hundreds of people regain their health and wellbeing. Recovery does take time. Once unleashed, anxiety takes time to settle and we have to create the conditions necessary for that to happen.  If you are chronically anxious expect as a minimum 6-10 sessions. However, with this said we expect to be making some improvements pretty much straight away, and I don't offer just a "quick fix". This is a therapy that will provide you with understanding that will show you how to live an anxiety free life.....for life! Remember you can visit the anxiety specialist website for more information at www.anxietyspecialist.co.uk and there is also a detailed article available on anxiety and depression here. I have also written two books with a third on the way which you can access on the links below.

If you'd like some help with your anxiety contact me to book a consultation. 

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If you're looking for help with stress, anxiety, or depression, you may be interested in my new book - Anxiety Relief. This book will explain everything you need to know about how to recover. To learn more just click the cover...

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