Virtual Reality In The Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
How Anxiety Disorders Develop: The “Spread” of Fear
Clients often ask, “Why do I have an anxiety disorder?” or “How did this happen to me?”. The development of anxiety disorders is complex combination of genetic predispositions and learning experiences. However, this post will discuss one factor that distinguishes individuals with an anxiety disorder from those who do not develop anxiety disorders: fear generalization. Fear generalization refers to the process by which fear “spreads” from one object, sensation or situation to others that are similar to it. For example, a soldier returning home from combat may have fear when driving because his convoy was attacked on a road in the war zone. As this fear spreads to more and more situations, the individual may report greater impact on his daily life. Continue reading
Where Are You Letting Your Thoughts Take You?
The Anxiety Response
Anxiety is a response to a perceived threat. Sometimes, there really is a threat. We have to jump out of the way of a car or are in a dangerous place. Often times however, we are actually in a safe place with no threat in sight. Yet threats in our minds (our thoughts) can often create the same anxiety response as a real threat right in front of you. Continue reading
Mindfulness Can Help Your Anxiety
Components of Worrying
Ever notice that your worries are typically concerning something in the future, or something that happened in the past? Feelings of anxiety, worrying, or ruminating are often related to past or future events. This is because when something just happened that made us feel nervous (i.e. going on a first date) we tend to interpret that event based on our feelings (nervousness/anxiety). This leads to us worrying about what we said, how it went, and what our date thought of us. Regarding future worrying, this is often because uncertainty or lack of control can make anyone a bit anxious. In order to deal with the anxiety about the next date, we worry about all the potential outcomes or possibilities. Thoughts about the future and the past are common, and not always anxiety provoking – but can be a huge part of someone’s anxiety. Continue reading
Why Can’t I Get A Good Night’s Rest?
- Do you have trouble sleeping because of anxiety?
- Does it feel like every time you lie down to get some sleep, your brain starts running through every possible worry from the day?
- Are you waking up in the middle of the night and can’t seem to shut off your brain?
Anxiety is a common causes of insomnia. With so much going on in our lives during the day (school, work, family, friends, bills, chores, etc), there is not only a lot to think about but also very little time to think about it…that is until our head hits the pillow at the end of the day. No matter how tired we may be, stress and anxiety seem to find a way to perk us and leave us sleepless. Understanding the impact of anxiety on sleep (and vice versa) is the first step to making changes that can lead you to a good night’s rest. Continue reading
Exposure Therapy: Learning to Feel Safe
As discussed in previous posts, a core component of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is overcoming avoidance and starting to face your fears. This is known as “exposure therapy” and is one of the most effective treatments for anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and specific phobia. Continue reading
Bringing Your Anxiety With You For The Holidays
We have waited all year and they are finally here: The Winter Holidays. Holidays can be a time of
excitement, fun, and celebration. They often brings us together with loved ones near and far, giving us the opportunity to reconnect and strengthen our relationships. The holidays are also a
time to relax and unwind from the busy year behind us. For those who struggle with anxiety, however, holidays can also be a time of great trepidation. Family get-togethers, office parties, gift exchanges, and more can lead to increased anxiety. While it may seem necessary to “get rid” of your anxiety before you can enjoy the holidays, this blog will teach you how to “bring your anxiety along with you,” allowing you to enjoy the holidays in spite of your anxiety. Continue reading
Unified Protocol: An Evidenced Based Treatment for Emotional Disorders
What are Emotional Disorders?
Emotional disorders include anxiety and mood disorders (i.e. depression) that have one major feature in common: a lack of emotion regulation skills. Individuals who experience emotional disorders use certain strategies to deal with their symptoms that typically involve avoiding uncomfortable emotions as much as possible. Yet, avoidance maintains these uncomfortable symptoms longer, and often exacerbates them.
One evidence-based treatment for emotional disorders is Unified Protocol (UP). UP is a treatment that teaches you to better understand your emotional experiences, helps you to understand how the way you behave or think may unintentionally contribute to your symptoms, and offers you skills to help you to manage these symptoms when they arise. Continue reading
Identifying an Effective Treatment for Panic Disorder
If you have been diagnosed with a panic disorder, or if you think you might be struggling with panic attacks, therapy can be a helpful way of getting relief and finding ways to cope with future anxiety. Deciding on the right treatment for you can feel overwhelming, particularly if you have never been in therapy before. Fortunately, standards for evidence-based practices have been established to help you determine exactly what treatment will be most helpful in treating your panic. According to the best practice guidelines, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the treatment with the most evidence for its efficacy of the treatment of panic disorder. Below we will take a look at the common components of CBT treatment for panic. Continue reading
The “ARC” of Emotions
Do you ever feel like your anxiety “comes out of nowhere?” Do you ever get mad at yourself for feeling anxious for “no reason?” People often experience confusion about their current emotional state, which can lead to emotions becoming more intense and uncomfortable. Frustrating, right?