Are You Struggling With a Sense of Fear Or Dread That You Can’t Quite Place?
Do you feel caught in a state of tense anticipation, as though something painful or distressing is about to happen? Perhaps you feel helpless and powerless in the face of seemingly inevitable catastrophe, even if you don’t know what might lie ahead. As you ruminate over your choices in the past, you may criticize yourself and doubt your ability to handle whatever might come your way. You may find these fears and the accompanying physical sensations—racing heart, shortness of breath, nausea, etc.—so uncomfortable that you do all you can to push them down or away.
As you grapple with these anxiety symptoms, it may be that you find yourself worrying about worrying, especially as you become increasingly convinced that there must be something wrong with you. Perhaps part of you believes that this must just be the way you are—you must just be a worrier, an anxious person. And although you feel resigned to persistent stress and unease, you might also judge yourself harshly and wonder why you can’t make yourself feel better.
Have you started avoiding experiences and opportunities for connection or joy because you predict all the ways things could go wrong? Do you feel unable to calm down, slow your racing mind, and believe that you are making the right decisions? Do you wish you could reframe your beliefs in a way that serves you, relax into uncertainty, and move courageously through fear into freedom?
You Are Not Your Anxious Thoughts
You are not alone in your suffering. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million Americans over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety—roughly 18 percent of the nation’s population. And outside of those statistics, everybody experiences anxiety from time to time. Whether it is in response to a real or imagined threat, humans have evolved to want to turn and run when something scares us.
Conventional psychology would suggest that anxiety symptoms stem from previous life experiences, such as exposure to trauma or stressors that, at the time of their occurrence, required immediate coping strategies. In other words, worries and fears can sometimes be coping strategies, especially when the danger you’re anticipating is very real. Bringing to light and moving through the pain associated with one’s past trauma can be an important step toward feeling better, however, it is not ultimately what brings complete and permanent relief from all symptoms of anxiety.
It is important to understand that anxiety is normal. Everyone feels it, to one degree or another, because to be human means to experience vulnerability, and therefore fear, on a very fundamental level. Discovering true peace and permanent release from anxiety requires the willingness to illuminate and dispel underlying and generally subconscious beliefs that serve to maintain this experience of vulnerability. This is what my work is geared toward.
When observed closely, what is generally referred to as “anxiety” can actually be felt as a very alive experience taking place inside of your body. Like so many others, you may notice this experience of anxiety and judge it as wrong, bad, or unspiritual—something that needs to be fixed, turned off, or avoided. Perhaps you have internalized the message from our culture to feel good at all costs—the message that insists your uncomfortable emotions have no redeeming purpose other than to bog you down. In truth, although it may seem counter-intuitive, relating to life through this lens does not relieve discomfort—it compounds it.
The good news is, a change in perspective is possible! You, at your core, remain perfectly intact, powerful beyond measure, and absolutely untarnished by the harsh winds of your life. By learning to look at anxiety in a new way, you can discover a potent and effective way of being with your thoughts and emotions that will help you remember this deeper truth about yourself, while also bringing relief from suffering.
With help, it is possible to attune to this deeper Truth in you that is requesting your intimate awareness and curious inquiry into your current beliefs. It is possible to transform distress into a catalyst for change.
With Anxiety Therapy, You Can Discover Your Innate Wisdom and Resilience
Safely bringing awareness to the symptoms and sensations that are emerging can be likened to bringing sunlight and water to a flower seed that is already programmed and destined to evolve into a rose. In a healthy and encouraging environment, you can engage in non-judgmental self-exploration and rediscover the resilient, balanced person within you.
Throughout the holistic psychotherapy process, I will serve as witness and facilitator, but I will not tell you what to do or how to be. You already have those answers within you. Although it may not feel like it, by the time you begin therapy, your whole being (body, mind, and soul) is already in a natural process of healing itself. Symptoms of anxiety are the signs that healing is already underway.
I offer specific, individualized experiential practices designed to help cultivate a healthy and sustainable relationship with yourself, including helping you identify triggers that could intensify your anxiety. With skillful, compassionate guidance and support, as well as mindfulness education, you can gain deep self-awareness and self-acceptance and realize that nothing was ever actually wrong with you the first place. You can address the beliefs and behaviors that may be interrupting your unique healing process, and then engage in a revolutionary reframing of the way you relate to your external and internal worlds. From there, you can transform your life from the inside out.
I have been helping people find deep, lasting anxiety relief since 1995. As an outgrowth of my clinical practice and many years of personal experience with worry and anxiety, I understand the intensity of feelings you may be experiencing. Through committing to your unique healing process, it is possible to let go of resistance, learn how to turn toward difficult feelings, and discover that they do not have to have so much control over you. It is possible to live in service of your authentic self.
You may have questions or concerns about holistic anxiety treatment…
I’m ashamed that I need help addressing my fear.
Through experience, I have discovered that virtually everyone feels some degree of fear. Understandably, many people are hesitant to seek anxiety therapy because they have learned that needing help is a sign of weakness and therefore believe that they need to handle it alone.
Two and a half decades of clinical experience has revealed to me that fear and anxiety are amongst the top-five most commonly articulated human experiences and that those who actively seek help from a compassionate and understanding therapist, without exception, are glad they did. In anxiety therapy, I offer a safe, welcoming, and confidential space for my clients to share what’s on their minds and in their hearts.
I’m worried that something really is wrong with me.
Through cultural messaging and anxiety therapy, many people have learned that having a mental disorder means something is wrong with them. Though anxiety can be intense and debilitating, I prefer to classify it not as a disorder, but rather to normalize it as a dynamic, creative experience that is alive with possibility, and the intelligent emergence of an opportunity to release limiting beliefs in order to feel Whole again.
Contrary to the standard cultural narrative, anxiety symptoms are not a problem, but rather signposts on the path to deeper understanding. They are expressions of your innate intelligence—of something within you telling you that a shift in perspective is possible and indeed ready to occur. The process of therapy allows for a gentle investigation into the root cause of your symptoms and helps you become harmoniously attuned to your deeper wisdom, rather than being at odds with it. Therapy can help you see that nothing is or ever was wrong with you.
What if I discover something bad about myself during anxiety treatment?
Therapy sometimes requires stepping into unfamiliar territory. Many people are afraid of what they might discover about themselves in the process. The process of healing through anxiety—without further avoiding discomfort—will likely require your willingness to be curious and open as you look within. However, in my experience, people are well-equipped to go through whatever is showing up in their lives, even if that “whatever” seems like it might be really big and scary. Your capacity to rewrite your story, relax your nervous system, and find new meaning is already written inside of you.
Heal in Mind, Body, and Spirit
I invite you to email me at email@example.com or call me at 617-515-0327 for a free 20-minute phone consultation. You can ask me any questions you may have about anxiety therapy, my approach, and my practice in Hadley and Northampton, MA. (Note: Video sessions are available worldwide.)
*I welcome adult clients of any race, color, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, relationship style, religion (or non-religion), creed, body size, etc. All are welcome!