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Anxiety

Nothing  diminishes anxiety faster than action. 

~Walter Anderson 

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying, affecting how we feel and behave, while manifesting real physical symptoms. People often experience a general state of worry or fear before confronting something challenging such as a test, examination, recital, or interview. These feelings are easily justified and considered normal.

 

Anxiety is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a person's ability to sleep or otherwise function. Generally speaking, problematic anxiety occurs on a regular basis and can be defined as a reaction that is disproportionate to the situational reality.

 
 
Generalized Anxiety Disorder

 

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

GAD is characterized by excessive and uncontrollable worrying about

daily life events. These worries can range to include potential negative

future events, minor matters, loved ones becoming ill or dying, work or

schoolissues, and world events, such as natural disasters.

 

What does psychotherapeutic treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

involve?

The most effective treatment for GAD is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

which works to identify maladaptive thinking patterns and replace them

with morerealistic ones. This is done in conjunction with the support of the

therapeutic relationship.    

 
Social Anxiety Disorder

 

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Individuals struggling with Social Anxiety Disorder have an intense fear of

social and/or performance situations and an excessive concern about

social embarrassment or humiliation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

What does psychotherapeutic treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder

involve?

Typically, Social Anxiety treatment is based on Cognitive Behavioural

Therapy, which include techniques such as Exposure Therapy, cognitive

restructuring without exposure, exposure therapy with cognitive

restructuring, and social skills training. This is done in conjunction with the

support of the therapeutic relationship.

 
 
Specific Phobias

 

What is specific phobia?

Individuals with this disorder experience unreasonable, persistent and

excessive fears of an object or situation, which significantly interferes with

life and is beyond voluntary control. This means having an extreme anxiety

response towards something that is not causing immediate danger. Some

common phobias include fear of spiders, snakes, flying, heights, and

injections.                                                                             

 

What does psychotherapeutic treatment for Specific Phobia involve?

Exposure Therapy is most often used to treat Specific Phobia. The client is

gradually exposed to their feared situations repeatedly, until the situation

no longer triggers the fear response. This can be done via “imaginal

exposure” or via “in vivo exposure” - confronting the feared situation in

real life. Often, treatment plans combine the two techniques. Exposure is

most effective when it is done frequently and lasts long enough for the fear

to decrease. Research has shown that even 1-2 session can produce lasting

effects.

Panic Disorder

 

What is Panic Disorder?

Individuals with panic disorder experience unexpected and repeated

panic attacks, followed by at least 1 month of worry about having

additional attacks. They may also fear of something bad happening as a

result of the panic attack, such as going crazy, losing control or dying.

 

What does psychotherapeutic treatment for Panic Disorder involve?

Typically there is three-pronged approach to treating Panic Disorder:

Psychoeducation is introduced to learn about the body’s “fight-or-flight”

response; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is utilized to understand the

distorted thoughts that accompany the panic attacks; and Relaxation

training techniques.

 

 

 
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Individuals with this disorder have obsessions, or unwanted ugly thoughts

that make them anxious, and/or they engage in compulsions (repetitive

behaviours or mental acts) in an attempt to reduce a feeling of anxiety.

Some compulsions may include repeated hand-washing, checking,

tapping, or mental routines (such as counting backwards from 100). An

example of an intrusive thought is "I might get sick and die from touching

a bathroom door”.

                           

What does psychotherapeutic treatment for Obsessive Compulsive

Disorder involve?

The most effective form of treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is

known as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) treatment. This involves

exposure to the feared situations or thoughts and the prevention of rituals,

whether physical or mental, which work together to maximize the

treatment response. This is all done in a safe and supportive environment

and within a well-established therapeutic relationship.

What are the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Below is a link for an at-home symptomology check list that can help you identify whether you are suffering from GAD. It is important to note, however, that this checklist is not a replacement for a mental health professional. Rather, it is to be used as a tool to provide potential information to help individuals take the appropriate first step in seeking therapeutic support.

 

What are the symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder?

Below is a link for an at-home symptomology check list that can help you identify whether you are suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder. It is important to note, however, that this checklist is not a replacement for a mental health professional. Rather, it is to be used as a tool to provide potential information to help you take the appropriate first step in seeking therapeutic support.

What are the symptoms of Specific Phobias? 

Below is a link for an at-home symptomology check list that can help you identify whether you are suffering from a specific phobia. It is important to note, however, that this checklist is not a replacement for a mental health professional. Rather, it is to be used as a tool to provide potential information to help you take the appropriate first step in seeking therapeutic support.

What are the symptoms of Panic Disorder? 

Below is a link for an at-home symptomology check list that can help you identify whether you are suffering from panic disorder. It is important to note, however, that this checklist is not a replacement for a mental health professional. Rather, it is to be used as a tool to provide potential information to help you take the appropriate first step in seeking therapeutic support.

What are the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? 

Below is a link for an at-home symptomology check list that can help you identify whether you are suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. It is important to note, however, that this checklist is not a replacement for a mental health professional. Rather, it is to be used as a tool to provide potential information to help you take the appropriate first step in seeking therapeutic support.

Helping Individuals, Couples and Families Feel and Be Their Best

Abma Counselling Services has been providing counselling services in Niagara since 2008. What began as a solo practice by Steve Abma has grown into a group practice of six experienced therapists providing treatment for a wide variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, ADD, relationships, marriage, addictions & stress. We are a team of dedicated professionals, passionate about helping individuals, couples and families feel and be their best.  Serving Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, St. David's, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Virgil, Fort Erie, Ridgeway, Beamsville, Jordan, Vineland, Grimsby, Thorold and Welland.

​© Steve Abma. Published by Steve Abma.