reThink: Psychotherapy Services
reThink: Psychotherapy Services
Reclaim you life: Solutions for anxiety and depression
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Anxiety

WHO WOULD YOU BE WITHOUT THE CONSTANT WORRY AND FEAR?

Anxiety is the state triggered when we imagine worst case scenarios. The core psychological state that drives anxiety is fear, which is obviously an extremely helpful emotion in situations such as coming face to face with a bear. Anxiety is more than fear though- it’s a prolonged emotional state around a future possibility. So, if we did encounter a bear and ran for our lives, that would be a good thing. If we have anxiety about meeting bears and we avoid camping or hiking because of the “what if I see a bear” thought, that’s obviously not so helpful. Ask me how I know that…

Anxiety tells us two things- that the situation we are in is very, very bad and that we have no ability to control it. We then feel anxious, which in turns makes us feel anxious about being anxious…it’s a spiral that’s hard to dig ourselves out of.  Just like depression, anxiety is made worse by the thoughts we have about a specific situation we are in.  “Why can’t I deal with this’, “ What’s wrong with me”,  “I’m having a panic attack and I’m going to die”. As you can imagine, these thoughts are far from productive.  More so, they point to deeper views of yourself or the world: anxiety about going to a party may mean that you are afraid of feeling embarrassed, or appearing uninteresting, anxiety about driving can point to a fear of being out of control.

Symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Physical- sweating, shaking, nausea, upset stomach, numbness, dry mouth
  • Cognitive symptoms- fear of losing control, being unable to cope, fear of negative reactions from others, poor concentration, distractibility, difficulty in reasoning, loss of objectivity, poor memory
  • Behavioral symptoms- avoidance, escape, pursuit of safety, restlessness, agitation, difficulty speaking
  • Emotional symptoms: feeling wound up, tense, frightened, fearful, terrified, edgy, jumpy, agitated, irritated, impatient.

So, what can we do to take anxiety under control? We’ll explore the following: manage the physical symptoms of anxiety ( through breathing techniques) and analyze the thoughts that maintain and increase anxiety.

“ Why can’t I stop feeling this way”

“What’s wrong with me”

 “I am out of control”

Do these thoughts sound familiar? Have you ever stopped to think that they might not be true?

 

 


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Depression

WHO WOULD YOU BE WITHOUT FEELING like a failure?

 

 

You do not have depression because of something bad that happened to you. It’s more than that- after all, if that were the case, everyone would be depressed, because life is not holding anything back.

Depression has many causes: genetic, epigenetic, biological, psychological and environmental. What is important to know is that the meaning you give to what happened and the thoughts you have about life, contribute to, and maintain depression.

Therapy can help, in that we can learn ways to think differently, so we can lessen the effects of depression and start showing up in the world in more engaged and functional ways.

The main symptom of depression is a sad, despairing mood that:

  • is present most days and lasts most of the day
  • lasts for more than two weeks
  • impairs the person’s performance at work, at school or in social relationships.

Other symptoms of depression include:

  • changes in appetite and weight
  • sleep problems
  • loss of interest in work, hobbies, people or sex
  • withdrawal from family members and friends
  • feeling useless, hopeless, excessively guilty, pessimistic or having low self-esteem
  • agitation or feeling slowed down
  • irritability
  • fatigue
  • trouble concentrating, remembering and making decision
  • crying easily, or feeling like crying but being not able to
  • thoughts of suicide (which should always be taken seriously)
  • a loss of touch with reality, hearing voices (hallucinations) or having strange ideas (delusions).

It is possible to take small steps towards a more active, positive state of mind. Let’s look at what you used to do that gave you pleasure. Let’s start small. Maybe by not hitting the snooze button 20 times before you get up. Maybe by taking a shower. Maybe by cleaning the clothes from the floor -5 minutes today and 10 minutes next week. Then giving ourselves credit for doing  things that we did not feel like doing, but that we did anyway-  that’s huge!

One step in front of the other, we’ll invite pleasure back into your life and with it, a sense of agency, of capability and mastery. You will feel your depression symptoms lessen and you’ll learn new ways to think about yourself and your problems, in the process.

Our goal in therapy is to equip you with the best mindset and tools so that you can become your own therapist. 


Low self-esteem

Who would you be if you believed in your potential?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most clients admit that they don’t talk to anyone as badly as they talk to themselves.  Some think it’s good to be harsh on yourself, some can’t even hear how horrible the words sound, because they’ve played this tune their entire lives.  One thing is certain- self esteem is essential for psychological survival.  When we let negative ideas and judgments about ourselves take over, we let the Critic side of us take over. This usually serves a purpose- it’s usually to keep us safe and shelter us from rejection. But when we avoid being part of the world- avoid going to a party, on a date, a promotion at work, a new project at home or school, we not only deprive ourselves of opportunities to grow and evolve, but we deprive the world of the same.  What’s supposed to keep us safe, ends up trapping and hiding us from better versions of ourselves.

 

In therapy, we learn about Wise Mind- the opposite of Critic, the voice of reason and balance and calm and realistic appraisal.  The voice of the improved, 2.0 version of who you are today. We learn to listen to Wise Mind and not let perceived dangers deter us from taking opportunities in our lives.

We thank the Critic for what it has to say and how it serves to protect us, but we learn to engage the Wise Mind and approach life with wonder and curiosity and interest.  We engage in circumstances that will increase our self esteem and we increase self esteem by engaging in circumstances that have that potential. 

 

 


If you are interested in addressing any of these issues in therapy, click below.  I offer a 15 minutes free phone conversation so that I can get a sense of your problems and see how I can be of help. 

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