Article Archive

June 2018 (2)

May 2018 (9)

April 2018 (3)

March 2018 (4)

February 2018 (2)

January 2018 (7)

December 2017 (1)

November 2017 (9)

October 2017 (7)

September 2017 (4)

August 2017 (5)

July 2017 (4)

June 2017 (1)

May 2017 (3)

April 2017 (4)

March 2017 (1)

February 2017 (2)

January 2017 (1)

December 2016 (5)

November 2016 (3)

October 2016 (5)

September 2016 (8)

August 2016 (6)

July 2016 (2)

June 2016 (1)

May 2016 (3)

April 2016 (9)

March 2016 (20)

February 2016 (2)

January 2016 (20)

December 2015 (8)

November 2015 (35)

October 2015 (49)

September 2015 (44)

August 2015 (38)

July 2015 (63)

This Week's Top Stories

  1. Changing on the Inside to Improve the Outside
  2. The secret to sensitivity - let's begin by creating greater self awareness
  3. Anxiety, Panic & Claustrophobia: Case Study, Alison
  4. Self Prescribing Homeopathy for children
  5. Managing Asthma in Children
  6. A simple and effective technique that you can do very easily to help relieve stress & anxiety
  7. Dealing with uncertainty - what you need to know
  8. Successful Return to work after an assault and stopping it happening again - Havening Techniques® Therapy in Action
  9. From Pain to Hope!
  10. Living Life Anxious How Psychotherapy and Counselling Can Help with Anxiety

Living Life Anxious How Psychotherapy and Counselling Can Help with Anxiety

Posted by Elizabeth Jeffries

539 Days Ago


Being Anxious

Being anxious can be described in many different ways: as tension, feeling on edge, nervous, insecure, or worried. Other words used to describe anxiety include uncertainty, vulnerability, and feeling apprehensive, scared or insecure.

Describing the experience of anxiety, a fairly common expression is “Anxiety is an inevitable part of life”. Or, there might even be some comfort taken from a diagnosis  of anxiety. A feeling of reassurance may be provided by a certainty of having an  “anxiety disorder”

 

Yet, there might also be a normality to being anxious. Erich Fromm, for example says that: The experience of separateness arouses anxiety; it is, indeed, the source of all anxiety.

The Emergence of Anxiety

Taking Fromm’s view, we might consider how feeling anxious can begin at birth with an experience of a primal separation from our mother. Being attached to her feels safe and secure, and separated from her as danger and threat.

Later in life, the polarities between separation and attachment, and being at risk, insecure, or under threat may lead to a constant sense of danger. But danger of what exactly? Melanie Klein, according to this line of thought, considers that anxiety signals danger in the relationship with our internal maternal object (the internalised image of mother). The loss of this object, this image, or relationship is feared.

Perhaps there is also fear of a more generalised loss – loss of control, of all relationships, of identity. Fear of a ripping apart, perhaps, because while anxiety may begin at birth it also may have many triggers, arising not only from internal sources, but external ones too – our own neurobiological makeup on the one hand and our life experiences on the other.

So, we might say that anxiety reflects our state of self, the extent of development of our internal structure, the state of our relationships, and our sense of security and satisfaction. Perhaps when anxiety is present and overwhelming there may be deficiency in one of these areas.

Yet, anxiety is not simply a thing that exists. It is dynamic – both a signal of danger and an initiator of a defensive response. It may signal danger to our sense of self, of wholeness, or of completion. We may fear destruction, engulfment or fragmentation and we may seek to control or to avoid a range of circumstances or situations.

Psychotherapy for Anxiety

The good news is that psychotherapy can help.

It can do so by, first of all, by understanding the individual history of each person’s anxiety. If we take the view that who we are, and who we are becoming, emerges from our anxieties, then the first task is to understand each person’s history of anxiety.  Then, acknowledging and understanding the protective role of anxiety may be important. To see anxiety as the best strategy for coping with what has been felt as scary or uncertain. Then, perhaps to work through, or re-work through early relational histories, and the insecurities (feelings of not being safe) that may have emerged in these. All of this  is possible when the therapeutic environment is felt as safe, and is experienced as a place for curiosity and exploration. A space can then emerge for new feelings, new reactions and responses, and a reframing of the lens through which life is experienced. It may not then be one of psychological danger, but instead one of safety and security.

Elizabeth Jeffries

Article written by Elizabeth Jeffries - Manchester

I provide psychotherapy and couples to individuals and couples, face-to-face and online. I am based in Chorlton in South Manchester. I offer short-term and longer-term, or open-ended therapy which can focus on symptom relief (for example from anxiety or depression), resolving difficult circumstances (such as in a relationship or at work)... [read more]

Counselling
Psychotherapy
Relationship Therapy

View Profile


Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

© Find a Private Tutor Ltd, 2014 / View our Privacy Policy / Website by Simon Hix.