Anxiety Therapy in Madison, WI
Anxiety is a universal human experience that can become so overwhelming it interferes with normal life. Our systemic response to threat is instant and physiological. As the heart rate increases, the mouth gets dry, breathing can become rapid or difficult, and stress hormones and adrenalin flood the body. This response by the sympathetic nervous system, the “fight or flight response,” was once enormously effective in giving us the speed and strength to escape a tiger or kill the Woolly Mammoth. In today’s world, where the threat is a concern about work performance here in Madison, conflict in a relationship, or an upcoming social event, this response only adds to our distress. Sweating and turning red, trembling, wanting to cry or throw up — all common anxiety symptoms — make everything worse, and we become more miserable and self-conscious.
Whether you are dealing with social anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, generalized anxious feelings, obsessions, compulsions, hair pulling, skin picking, or persistent worry, few things feel as horrible, and few things arouse a stronger desire to avoid and run away.
You don’t have to run away! Let us help you gain skills for managing your anxiety so you can get back to your life!
There is much to learn. For example, there is a difference between fear, which is what you feel when you are faced with a real and present danger; and worry, which is usually associated with anticipating something in the future or repeatedly reviewing something in the past. We can teach you to read your body’s cues right away in order to effectively intervene in the cascade of anxiety, helping you learn how to halt your own habits of thought, calm your nervous system, and head off the paralyzation and humiliation that can come with a severe anxiety response.
We use a combination of insight, cognitive behavioral techniques, and mindfulness, along with body-based relaxation and stress management techniques designed around your unique experience with anxiety, and your particular response patterns. We walk you through phobias or specific anxieties slowly and carefully so as not to overwhelm you, and help you to learn to recognize the patterns of thought and reaction that keep you stuck. We help you question whether your anxiety is a communication from your deeper self that something in your heart or in your life needs to be attended to. It can certainly be a wake up call, drawing attention to problems that need to be addressed.
By engaging in a non-judgmental exploration of your feelings, thoughts, reactions, and inner monologue, we can help you return to a sense of control over your own responses. And as always, we believe that there is utility in the experience you are having. We will help you discover that, and support you in turning your anxiety around so it can positively contribute to your conscious evolution and personal development.