What is anxiety?
Anxiety is the feeling of fear, dread, or worry. It’s natural to experience occasional anxious thoughts. But when those thoughts interfere with our daily functioning, we might need help learning ways to calm the anxiety and find a sense of normalcy and ease.
Common symptoms of chronic anxiety:
- A sense of restlessness
- Bodily tension
- Rapid heartbeat
- Anxious/ruminating thoughts that are hard to control
- Unexpected changes in behavior (like avoiding things you normally do)
How I treat anxiety
I will start by identifying the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. We will also identify the situations and circumstances (“triggers”) that cause these symptoms. I will teach you practices to address anxiety as it arises in the moment, like mindfulness meditation. We will also discuss potential changes at your workplace, at home, and other areas of your life.
Using Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, we will identify the “parts” of you that are contributing to your anxiety. For example, you may have a part of you that thinks you should always be in control, figure things out yourself, and never ask for help. Or you might have a people-pleasing part that thinks you should stay quiet and keep everyone else happy.
I will help you see that these parts are actually trying to help and protect you. They don’t want you to feel negative feelings, such as shame or loneliness. They just have extreme ideas about how to do that.
In IFS, parts are internal subpersonalities we developed as children. They get “frozen in time … and keep doing whatever extreme things they did to protect [us] when [we] were young,” says Richard Schwartz, the therapist who developed IFS.
We will get to know your parts and help them release their childlike, extreme beliefs about how you need to be. With time, this can lead to less anxiety and more choice and freedom in how you show up at work, in relationships, and throughout your life.