Therapy for Anxiety

Anxiety is the feeling of fear, dread, or worry. It’s natural to experience occasional anxious thoughts.

But when those thoughts interfere with the way you want to work, relate to others, or live your life in general, you might need help learning skills to calm the anxiety and find a sense of normalcy and ease.

Common symptoms of chronic anxiety include:

  • A sense of restlessness
  • Lack of focus
  • Hypervigilance
  • Anxious/ruminating thoughts that are hard to control
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Bodily tension
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Unexpected changes in behavior (like avoiding things you normally do)

Like all humans, you need to occasionally feel anxious to navigate life. When faced with potentially harmful situations, your brain and nervous system work together to keep you safe.

But sometimes the anxiety shows up more than you’d like. Maybe you can’t stop looking at your phone when you’re with your partner or kids. Maybe you keep waking up at night with your mind churning about a difficult situation. Maybe you get overwhelmingly nervous in social situations and have trouble connecting with others. Maybe you’re having trouble performing at work because you’re worried about your boss’s opinions.

Where anxiety comes from

You might know exactly where your anxiety comes from. You might have rarely felt anxious until a particularly difficult event took place. Maybe you recently experienced violence or lost someone close to you. If you know where your anxiety comes from, I can help you process your feelings about what happened and find a sense of resolution and calm on the other side.

You might not know where your anxiety comes from. I will you help you investigate contributing factors, particularly early childhood experiences that shaped how your brain and nervous system cope with stress. We will work together to help you feel less confused about you anxiety and more empowered to do something about it.

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, figuring things out yourself and never asking 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 protect you. They don’t want you to feel negative feelings, such as shame, fear, or loneliness. They just have extreme ideas about how to do that.

In IFS, parts are internal subpersonalities (or inner voices) 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. For example, that people-pleaser part of you may have learned early in your life that it might be dangerous not to make sure your parents (or other caregivers) were happy. Today, in your adult life, it’s working extra hard doing what it thinks you need to do—people-please—to keep you safe.

We will work together to map your anxious parts, relationships between those parts, and how they get in the way of your true, authentic self—which is not anxious but calm, creative, and confident. You’ll learn how to help your parts release their childlike, extreme beliefs. With time, this can lead to less anxiety, more balance, and more choice and freedom throughout your life.

My goal is to help you get to know and even appreciate your parts. In my experience—just like children—when our parts feel seen, accepted, and appreciated, they tend to calm down and stop being so extreme.

FAQ about anxiety therapy

Isn’t anxiety a normal part of life?

Yes, anxiety a normal—and healthy—response to life’s inevitable difficulties. But too much anxiety can keep your nervous system in “fight or flight” mode, which can get in the way of experiencing joy, connection, and contentment. Too much anxiety for too long can even push your nervous system into “freeze” mode, which can cause feelings of hopelessness and despair. The goal of therapy isn’t to get rid of your anxiety altogether. It’s to give you more freedom and choice over what to worry about, so you don’t sweat the small stuff.

How will I know it’s working?

While you’ll likely feel some relief within a few sessions, long-lasting progress may take weeks, months, or even years—especially for chronic anxiety. This is because therapy not only treats symptoms, but it also addresses root causes. I will not only help you learn new ways to cope with anxiety, but I will also help you explore why it’s happening in the first place, which often takes time. Eventually, addressing the experiences and healing the trauma that laid the foundation for your anxiety may allow you to fully let go of the habits and patterns that stress you out.  

How often should I do therapy and for how long?

As the client, you always control the frequency and number of sessions. Typically, I recommend that we meet weekly, especially in the beginning. It takes commitment and consistency to build trust and rapport. But it’s ultimately your call. If you want to move to bi-weekly after a few months, that’s up to you.

For how long we work together is up to you as well. I might recommend continuing or ending therapy based on your progress and goals. But you decide when you don’t need more sessions. Some of my clients work with me for a few months as they navigate a difficult situation, while others have seen me as a helpful guide for years. Together, we will talk about what is most supportive to your ongoing growth and well-being.

How much does it cost?

My fee start for an online, individual session is $165. I accept credit card/debit card and HSA/FSA payments at the time of service.

I am considered “out-of-network” for all major insurance companies including Aetna, BlueCross, Cigna, Carefirst, and UHC.

That means you pay the full fee at the time of service and can then choose to submit to your insurance for reimbursement through your out-of-network benefits.

I provide a Statement for Reimbursement (“superbill”) through a secure online portal to submit to your insurance company if you choose to seek reimbursement. The majority of clients have some out-of-network benefits, and benefits often cover 50 percent or more of my fee. You should check with your insurance to confirm.

Scheduling therapy for anxiety

Click on the button below and fill out the form to set up a free 15-minute phone call to see if we’re a good fit to work together. I’ll answer any questions you have, and if I’m not the right fit, I’ll help you find a therapist who is.