Anxiety Counselling Treatment and Therapy: A Case Study
Having an anxiety disorder can be a very serious and debilitating condition. For most of us, a touch of anxiety, or a little bit of nervousness or worry, particularly those triggered by stressful circumstances in our lives, is unavoidable and certainly not unfamiliar. However, many people suffer from chronic and unmanageable anxiety that can accompany them even when there are no external stressors in their lives. Because of the debilitating nature of this condition, it is important to enlist the help of a counsellor, psychologist or therapist, because they may be able to assist you in overcoming the disorder, or at least, reducing its stranglehold on your life and mental-scape. Anxiety can also have some very negative consequences on your interpersonal relationships, because others may not understand why you might be behaving the way you are. Thus, anxiety disorders can negatively impact not only your health and personal happiness but on every aspect of your life including work, study and your relationships with others. (This article is electronically protected - Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)
Jessie's Anxiety Story
Jessie was in his late 30s and attending TAFE to start a second career path as a computer programmer. He was passionate about working with computers, especially in programming for graphic games. However, Jessie developed a problem when he began to worry obsessively about things that might happen to him. When he went to bed, he found it difficult to fall asleep because he could not control all the mental chatter that was going on inside his head. He worried about whether he would ever succeed as a computer programmer, he worried about money and about the health of his parents, he was even beset with thoughts and images of terrible things that could happen while he was sleeping. He found that he worried about his siblings and close friends, whether they were making the right decisions in their lives, or whether they were going to have a car accident on their way to work. He worried and worried about almost everything.
Within months, Jessie was off track with his studies. Only 18 months from completing his diploma, he found himself frozen with fear about what might happen once he graduated. He found that he could not attend the classes he had registered for because he was now afraid that he had made the wrong choice. His anxiety had developed into such an extreme and chronic condition that Jessie felt practically frozen in his life. Everything seemed overwhelming to him.
Finally, after talking at length to his sister about his fears and anxiety, he made an appointment to see an anxiety counsellor. Jessie's psychologist, Karen, was an experienced counsellor who had been practicing for many years. She was happy to hear Jessie's worries and seemed to really understand how terrifying the world had become for Jessie. She agreed with him that it was difficult to be an adult and to be starting a new career in the difficult economic times they were in. However, she gently pointed out that the good thing about starting afresh was that there were new experiences waiting for him around the corner. (This article is electronically protected - Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)
Karen encouraged Jessie to talk about his past and try to remember when his tendency to worry first began. Jessie was startled to realise that he had been a worrier even when he was a child. As Karen and Jessie sat down and reflected on his family background, it became obvious that his parents were also worriers. They were over-protective, and constantly warned him to be careful of the world and the people in it.
With Karen's help, Jessie began to slowly look at how worry and anxiety affected his life. It was amazing to him that these feelings seemed to control everything he did. Even his choice of career path seemed to be governed by his anxiety. He had to admit, that although he loved programming games, he also had deliberately chosen a career in which he would not have to interact with many people and he could even work from his home and only teleconference with coworkers.
When Karen asked Jessie about world events, he had to admit that he had little control over what happened in other places in the world. In fact, he did not have much control over what other people did. The only person he could control was himself. With Karen's prompting he came to understand that although he could talk to his friends and family about his worries for them, it was up to them to live their lives however they chose. This was a huge realisation for Jessie. Letting go of his obsession with what others were doing and his concern for them was not an easy task, and he struggled with it for a number of months before he was able to admit to Karen that sometimes he felt like he knew better than his friends what was good for them. He was ashamed that he had these feelings, but at the same time, these feelings were how he validated his need to worry excessively about everyone in his life. (This article is electronically protected - Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)
Karen was also interested in what Jessie remembered about his childhood and early adulthood. She asked him to talk about his family and things he remembered. She also asked about his dreams and what he thought they meant. Jessie was surprised to discover that his most chaotic dreams often followed days when he worried the most or when he had been watching the news on TV, prior to going to bed. (This article is electronically protected - Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)
Over the course of a year, Jessie made many discoveries about himself and was gratified to find that he could control his impulses to worry about everyone and everything. Counselling taught him coping strategies to help him manage his anxiety and soon he was able to return to his studies.
How Counselling Helped Jessie Contain His Anxious Thoughts
Jessie's feelings of anxiety were so overwhelming that he was unable to function in his everyday life. His fear of what might happen debilitated him to such an extent that he was no longer able to carry on with important tasks, like going to class. When Jessie sought counselling for his anxiety, he was looking for a way to understand why he was having problems and how he could overcome them. With Karen's help, he was able to delve into the reasons why he thought how he thought. Once he understood the reasons for his way of thinking, he was then able, with his counsellor's help, to gain control over the nervous impulses that were controlling his life. (This article is electronically protected - Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)
Seeking Help & Counselling for Anxiety Problems
If you or someone you care about is struggling with anxiety issues, panic or generalised fears, you or they may benefit from talking with a qualified professional counsellor, therapist or psychologist. If you would like more information or would like to receive more information, please contact Associated Counselors & Psychologists Sydney.
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