Are You Ready To Let Go Of Anxiety And Cultivate Agency Over Your Life?
Do you feel like you’re on high alert all of the time—constantly walking on eggshells, worrying about what could happen and on the lookout for danger? Are you consumed with incessant, looping thoughts that make it difficult to focus on tasks at hand and be present with the people around you? Perhaps you engage in perfectionistic thinking and are overly hard on yourself, always second guessing your decisions, stressing about making a mistake and thinking you could have done something better. Or maybe heightened stress is manifesting physically, making it hard for you to catch your breath and causing changes to eating and/or sleeping patterns, rapid heartbeat, increased perspiration, twitchiness in hands, legs or eyes and an exaggerated startle response. It might be that you feel isolated and alone, trying to keep it all together and afraid to let loved ones know how distressed you feel.
Or, maybe you’ve noticed your teen acting differently, and you’re concerned that your child is suffering from anxiety. Perhaps he or she is withdrawing from activities once enjoyed, uncharacteristically moody, constantly timid or on edge and/or complaining about headaches and stomachaches when he or she isn’t physically sick. You might wonder if the sudden behavioral changes are a normal part of adolescent development or if something more serious is going on.
Whether it’s you, your teen or another loved one suffering, do you wish you knew how to feel better and/or help another to feel better—mind, body and spirit—and live with more freedom and ease?
Anxiety Is Extremely Common
If you, your teen or another loved one is suffering from anxiety, you are far from alone. Anxiety disorders are the most commonly diagnosed mental health conditions in the U.S., affecting more than 40 million American adults every year. Anxiety in teens is also on the rise. According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 25 percent of 13- to 18-year-olds have an anxiety disorder, although up to 80 percent of teens with anxiety are suffering in silence, not getting needed treatment and feeling increasingly uncomfortable mentally, emotionally, physically and socially.
Anxiety is often confused with stress, and it’s important to understand the difference. A certain level of stress is normal and healthy. It helps us get things done and protect ourselves when danger is present. However, when normal stress crosses the line into anxiety, it ceases to be useful and can become debilitating. When suffering from anxiety, fight and flight responses, which dump stress hormones into our bodies to prepare us to flee or fight, become dysregulated. Constantly on high alert, the nervous system can no longer tell a real danger from a benign threat. With the nervous system constantly activated, anxiety begins to take over, and we become consumed with worry even when there’s an absence of something to actually be afraid of.
Anxiety also presents in many different ways and on a wide spectrum. One person might feel irritable, uncomfortable and slightly on edge, while another may be so consumed with worry and fear—perhaps suffering from panic attacks—that it significantly affects normal, daily functioning. Regardless of your symptoms and/or the severity of your anxiety, the good news is that there is a different and better way to live. As a skilled psychotherapist with over a decade of experience helping adults and teenagers understand and overcome anxiety, I can help.
Anxiety Treatment Provides You With Insight, Support And Effective Skills
I take a holistic, integrative and strength-based approach to treating anxiety, addressing both specific symptoms and working to help you understand yourself and your experience with anxiety and heal as a whole. Rather than focus exclusively on the thoughts and stories that can fuel anxiety, we’ll also work somatically, mindfully and practically to help you find your ground, connect to your body and thoughtfully develop skills to mitigate and even overcome anxiety entirely.
In anxiety treatment sessions based in safety and trust, you’ll have the space and time to describe how you feel—mind, body and spirit—and notice what your body is trying to tell you. Through noticing body sensations and where unwanted tension shows up in your body—shoulder, jaw, stomach, hands, etc.— you can gradually learn to skillfully release tension at its onset, which can lead to a profound shift in your mood.
In the present moment, and without judgment, we’ll also explore the thoughts that arise as you let go of everything that you’ve been storing up. As you learn to let go of looping, ineffective patterns of thought, building tolerance for discomfort and the resilience needed to move forward, I’ll offer you support and help you focus on the safety of the present moment as you move throughout it. Through mindfully paying attention to the “right now,” you can learn how to connect to your body and mitigate anxiety symptoms as they arise, creating new and supportive neural pathways and fostering long-term sustainable change.
In anxiety therapy sessions, I can also help you build on your existing strengths and resources, learn effective coping skills and identify other ways to calm anxiety, such as specific mindfulness techniques, yoga, meditation, regular exercise, stress management strategies, breathing practices and a whole-foods diet. There are many anxiety calming ways to eat, since food affects our food. As a licensed dietitian and certified nutritionist, I can create a nutrition plan designed to relax and regulate your nervous system, uplift your mood, foster whole-body healing and promote an overall improved sense of wellbeing.
I know both personally and professionally how debilitating anxiety can feel. I also know that with an integrative approach designed to honor and support your specific needs, goals and experience with anxiety that it is possible to feel at peace mind, body and spirit. Rather than continuing to do, think and feel the same things and expect different results, you can engage in a new and more effective path to healing, which can create a noticeable shift in how you feel—oftentimes very quickly. I believe that there is a healing path for everyone. Together, we’ll mindfully replace ineffective thoughts and patterns with new, supportive ones, tap into the innate wisdom of your body and build upon what you need to feel healthy, happy and whole.
You still might wonder if working with a holistic anxiety therapist is right for you…
I’m worried about my teen. How can I tell if my child is suffering from anxiety or if his/her sudden emotional and behavioral changes are part of normal adolescent development?
Parents have incredible intuition, and in my experience, they are usually right. As a parent myself, I know that teenagers go through various developmental stages and an increase in hormones and the academic, social and emotional challenges facing teens today can trigger behavioral changes that mirror anxiety symptoms. Given that you are concerned, it’s best to be proactive and consult an anxiety specialist. I can meet with your child for an assessment and/or work with you if your teen is resistant to coming in. Together, we can determine if your child is suffering from anxiety and, if so, devise a anxiety treatment strategy to help him or her experience relief from discomfort and build the self-awareness, resilience and coping skills that your child can use to foster success and carry into adulthood.
I’ve always felt a little anxious, but I don’t have any mental health issues. I’m not sure if anxiety treatment is right for me.
Anxiety is prevalent in today’s world, and you don’t need to have a diagnosable mental health condition to benefit from anxiety counseling. We all go through periods of increased worry and stress, and most people seek anxiety support to help them better understand themselves and their experience, develop insight and skills and better navigate life’s inevitable challenges. If anxiety is interrupting your normal functioning and/or how you want to function in the world, a holistic approach to treating anxiety can help you relax and show up in the world with increased confidence and grace. Also, I adhere to strict confidentiality standards so no one needs to know that you’re engaging in anxiety treatment unless you choose to share that information.
I feel like I’ve tried everything, including therapy, to overcome anxiety, but nothing has helped. How could working with you be different?
First, it’s important that you don’t give up. Anxiety can be mitigated and even overcome, and I firmly believe that there is a path to healing for everyone. It’s just a matter of figuring out what works specifically for you.
Many therapists take a solely cognitive approach, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on stopping unwanted thoughts. The problem is that thoughts are incessant, dynamic and an innate part of us, and blocking or censoring them arrests our opportunity to learn from them.
Alternatively, I take an integrated and holistic approach to anxiety treatment. Working mindfully and somatically as well as cognitively, we’ll look at your habitual thoughts with compassion and curiosity as we identify and address the root cause of your anxiety. With all thoughts noticed without judgment, you can learn to choose to engage with wholesome thoughts while letting distressing, disempowering and destructive thoughts go. This process of mindful discrimination can help you examine and respond to thoughts in ways that foster self-awareness and support how you want to feel. We’ll also skillfully and mindfully work through the body to regulate your nervous system, which is where anxiety is held. Everything—mind, body and spirit—is interconnected, and my integrative approach has proved time and again to be highly effective. Clients often experience relief fairly quickly and enjoy sustainable, long-term relief.
Live With More Levity, Lightness And Ease
If you’re in Scottsdale, AZ or the surrounding area and are interested in anxiety treatment, I can help. I invite you to contact me through the website or at 480-675-4568 to schedule a no-obligation call or meeting to discuss your needs and goals and determine if we’re a good fit. Due to the mind-heart-body-spirit centered quality of this work, I’m not the right fit for everyone; however, I truly love working with clients who seek practical, holistic healing and are ready to increase self-awareness, cultivate self-compassion and make the changes needed to enjoy long-term relief.