• Anxiety is defined as a fear reaction to real or imagined dangers. It is smart to be anxious in a situation that is truly dangerous. It is only a problem when the danger is imagined.

    Sometimes, certain feeling states, like being embarrassed, are believed to be dangerous. We can build so much of our lives around anticipating then avoiding these states. The anxiety can cause us to withdraw, take excessive amounts of alcohol or drugs, use food, sex, or other compulsions to drown it out. We can become overly self-conscious or self-critical, sometimes leading to depression. It can make us obsess on how we are being perceived, causing us to hesitate to make decisions or take actions. It can even make us lie about who we are in order to avoid what we imagine will be overwhelmingly dangerous for us. I can help you work with your anxiety.

    Sometimes, just by disclosing what we fear in a safe, professional environment rather than have it swim around in our heads is an important first step. Often our reactions to what we perceive as dangerous happen so fast and out of our awareness. Together, we can shed light on this process, making it less automatic. Having it interrupted by learning to observe it slows it down. Empathically understanding how we came to imagine a not-so-dangerous situation (e.g. feeling embarrassed) as dangerous is also a transformational tool. Gaining more confidence to approach previously presumed-to-be dangerous emotional states can often help to debunk them. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach or that self-help book would have been written.  It is an emotional, tailor-made process that we embark on together.

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