Online Therapy California In Person Therapy San Francisco & Marin County
Anxiety is a crippling affliction that creates a sense of paralysis, making it incredibly difficult to make choices or take action. While a healthy degree of anxiety serves to protect us from danger, when anxiety is overwhelming it can feel immobilizing. Therapy can help you feel less trapped.
Anxiety is a problem that needs attention and skillful management when it prevents you from freely engaging in the world in ways that are productive, joyful and fluid. It can show up in specific ways, such as social anxiety, where extreme discomfort makes connecting with others a challenge, or illness anxiety, especially prevalent in these times. For some people, anxiety impacts nearly all aspects of life, showing up in a vague but omnipresent way. In the case of generalized anxiety, locating the particular cause of anxiety can be difficult and itself can create disturbance. The effect of anxiety can dramatically limit the contours of an individual’s life, causing them to isolate, restrict their activities, resist change and impede a free exploration of many of the diverse facets of life that may still be unknown and therefore carry an intrinsic sense of danger.
If you frequently experience rapid heartbeat, racing thoughts and it feels like there is an incredible weight on your chest or you notice yourself freezing up, seemingly unable to move in any direction for fear of making a mistake, it is time to take a closer look at what is getting in the way. Together, we will explore your fears and the conditioning that may have led you to this place so you can express yourself emphatically in a way that feels authentic to you. We will look at your limiting beliefs and the underlying traumatic events that are shaping your automatic responses while finding ways to self-soothe and cope with the tension created by heightened anxiety. The goal here is to regain the freedom to expand your world.
Acute and chronic stress frequently shows up in the body as muscle tension, headaches, back pain and stomach upset, sometimes even before we realize the degree of stress we have been managing. Using a mindfulness approach to increase awareness of how our physical body is holding psychological and emotional issues is an effective way to getting to the underlying cause of the problem. Noticing where and how the stress lives in your body can offer important clues as to what is going on in your heart and mind and how to release the pressure that has been building before a crisis occurs.
Identifying the cause of your distress and naming it can provide a surprising degree of initial relief. Taking a closer look at the context of your circumstances and the environmental conditions in which you live can reveal opportunities for change and areas where you might shift your behavior in order to find greater release from the pressure you have been putting on yourself or inheriting from others. Reframing the way you think about your needs and desires can also initiate important shifts in the way you approach your daily life, help you find direction, streamline your efforts, and prioritize your goals so your energy is more efficiently spent on the things you most care about.
When racing to meet the overwhelming demands of work and life, slowing down to take time to breathe, sleep, or eat a healthy meal can feel like the last thing you want to do. Pushing against the intense pressure to succeed, finding resolve in your inherent self worth, and learning to let go of doing in favor of being can feel incredibly uncomfortable and unnatural, especially for high achievers, individuals who believe their value is inextricably tied to their productivity, and others who use work to distract them from emotional distress in their personal lives, past or present.
Learning to slow down as you approach yourself with kindness and curiosity is critical to getting to know more about where your stress originates, how you are coping, what you are lacking, and how to better meet your essential needs. Once a more effective balance has been restored to your physical and mental health, you can be free to explore your most authentic desires, building awareness around what it is that you truly want, in order to discover a life of fulfillment and personal satisfaction in alignment with your highest personal values.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy can help you explore the existential causes of overwhelming anxiety, fear and panic to help you develop deep insight for long lasting change as well as tools for coping with the immediate present.
It takes courage to take the first step. Give me a call or send a message. We'll see if it feels like a good fit and take from there. You don't have to struggle alone.
My office is in Tiburon, CA with easy proximity to Mill Valley and Sausalito. I see clients for therapy in person and online.
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