• Anxiety

  • Anxiety in its general form can include excessive worry, rumination, insomnia, muscle tension, and agitation.  Some common associated problems with general anxiety are: (a) specific phobias or fears of things like snakes or spiders; (b) social phobias (fear of judgment, shame or embarrassment); or (c) panic attacks, which are episodes in which the body’s fight or flight mechanisms get miss-triggered.  These episodes are incredibly common, with around half of people having at least one in their lifetime, and about 10% having repeated attacks that interfere with life satisfaction. Yet, they are almost never spoken mentioned to others, in part because they are so incredibly uncomfortable and distressing.  Anxiety can be associated with many other specific difficulties as well.  

    Altogether, the “Anxiety Disorders” are the most common mental health problem people deal with, impacting about 15% of us at any given point in time, and up to 40% of us at some time in our lives.   Fortunately, anxiety is one of the simplest problems to correct with a variety of scientifically validated psychotherapeutic techniques. Positive outcomes for clinical anxiety are around 75%, and treatment can usually be brief:  around 12 sessions of psychotherapy on average. Unfortunately, stigma and other factors that limit access to good treatment information lead to massive problems in people seeking psychotherapy, with only around 25% of people who would benefit ever seeking treatment.  

    Treatment almost always focuses on decreasing one’s over-reliance on avoidance as a primary means of coping with distress, and intentionally employing a flexible array of other means of coping.  Treatment may also involve increasing ones emotional flexibility, increasing ones access to internal resources, improving ones social relationships, or working through negative developmental experiences from one’s childhood.