Approaching ANXIETY – Finding Hope Through EMDR Therapy
What is Anxiety Therapy?
All people experience anxiety, fear and stress. Fear and anxiety help us know there may be danger. These emotions are intended to help us survive. We pay attention to the possible threat, decide it if is a real threat or not. If not, we go back to relaxing.
If a real threat, we choose our most effective response, whether that is to run, fight or freeze. After the defense technique serves it’s purpose, we gain safety and our system settles down into “well-being” mode. That is how it is meant to work. However, when anxiety is caused by stressful experiences that go unresolved, the anxiety gets stuck in us. The anxiety seems to grow with time. We feel unable to cope with it. These experiences could be mildly traumatic experiences in childhood. We may witness a family member with anxiety. This can be quite scary if a child sees a big mother or father who is scared of many things. They may start to believe “The world is not safe. I am not safe if my big parent isn’t safe.
Or, we may have experienced trauma that we have buried or underestimated.
Either way, seeking anxiety therapy is a wise step. Do you feel any of these common symptoms?
Common Symptoms of Anxiety: Tension Racing heartbeat, nausea or dizziness Predicting the worst Having phobias, fears, or panic (SEE separate page on Panic under ISSUES) Fear of judgment or conflict Shyness, social awkwardness, easily embarrassed
Kinds of Anxiety Disorders
- Generalized Anxiety
- Social Anxiety
- Panic Disorder
- PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress)
Common beliefs of those with anxiety disorders, which tend to increase their anxiety are:
- “I have to be in control.”
- “I’m out of control.”
- “I’m in danger.”
- “I can’t handle it.
- “I have to be perfect.”
Since everyone experiences anxiety, especially when facing the unknown, the goal is to learn to feel it, learn from it and then take effective action to help yourself. EMDR Therapy can help us to do that with experiences that have left us stuck, still distressed, even though they happened in the past.
The Anxiety Disorder Called “Panic”
Panic is the most intense form of anxiety. For more info about how EMDR Therapy can help panic attacks,
Some specialists in panic believe you can only learn to manage it, not treat it. Link to the article that includes a testimonial from a previous panic sufferer who is happily free of panic:
Anxiety Therapy Proceeds Efficiently with EMDR Therapy
Therapy for anxiety with your EMDR therapist will begin with assessment as well as a thorough history, to identify past events that still have an emotional “charge,” still feel distressing even though they happened last month, last year or decades ago. Each event or period of your life that still holds stress in your system leaves you vulnerable to having more anxiety than the current situation would necessitate.
The preparation Stage of EMDR is next. Your Certified EMDR therapist (on this website only EMDRIA-Certified EMDR Therapists are found) will teach you self-care skills and resources that you can use between sessions to help you feel better. These effective skills take 2-4 minutes to practice. Practicing your skills will give you greater confidence, a greater sense of control, than you had before. People who practice them more will get better results than those who rarely practice them or forget them altogether.
When these resources work well for you, you are ready for the Desensitization Phase of EMDR Therapy. As each unresolved memory become desensitized through Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR Therapy, you will find yourself feeling stronger, freer, more capable, more yourself. Once the past memories are cleared of distress, your therapist will help you face the current things that trigger anxiety in you. Once they are cleared, you will be asked to anticipate times in the future that might get you anxious. This is called “Future Template.” As you bring in your positive beliefs from clearing your past and present of distress, you will picture yourself knowing these truths as you go into the future.
Taking care of past, present and future is comprehensive EMDR therapy. The Certified EMDR therapists on this website all know how to treat anxiety, panic or PTSD comprehensively with EMDR. Please go to FIND A THERAPIST and search for your zip code or city, state and “anxiety”. If you live in an area we don’t yet serve, please go to www.emdria.org and click on FIND A THERAPIST. Type in your zip code and click on Certified EMDR Therapist to find a well-qualified EMDR therapist near you. Also click on specialties and choose “Anxiety.”
We wish you very well in moving from anxiety to a calmer life.