Yes, I speak anxiety

    A person called me recently and asked  if I worked with anxious clients and if I was familiar with cognitive behavioral therapy. She read on the Internet that CBT is the go-to method for anxiety reduction.  Here is some information to learn more about CBT.

    I am fluent in anxiety, both as an individual and as a therapist.  It’s literally in my DNA. Anxiety problems can have a genetic predisposition, waiting for some triggering event.   My event occurred when I was a small child.  I aspirated a peanut when I was two and a half.  Like any other child, I did not have the vocabulary to express my feelings, but I felt sheer panic.

    Forty years later  I faced some medical challenges and the feelings I had as a small child reemerged. This time around, I was able articulate the terror I experienced then and in the moment.  It was a breakthrough moment for me and I learned when I am encountering medical challenges, I could ask questions, ask for help, and accept that sometimes there are no answers…all concepts that my two and half year old self could not understand.   

    Anxiety is not a pleasant feeling.  No one chooses to be anxious, and learning coping techniques to navigate through an anxious time can be priceless.  Not judging yourself for being anxious is a gift I came to recently.   Anxiety is involuntary.  How your body responds to it, the physiological responses, can be moderated by exercise, belly breathing, and other techniques.  The anxious brain can be comforted by rational thoughts, reaching out to supportive friends, and a myriad of other techniques.  Observing yourself without judgment while anxious is the ultimate goal.

    My answer to the caller mentioned above was: Yes,  I work with anxious clients and use CBT, as well as  other strategies.