Houston Anxiety Therapist
Everyone feels anxious from time to time. However, if constant worry leaves you preoccupied and tense, you may be dealing with something deeper. Thankfully, anxiety is highly treatable. By connecting with an anxiety therapist in Houston, you can learn new coping skills to help calm your thoughts and feel more grounded in your day to day life.
Have you felt nervous around people? Is it difficult to fall or stay asleep? Are you worried about the past or future? If you have answered "yes" to one of these questions, you may have experienced anxiety.
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, fear and uneasiness. Our anxiety can show up in many different ways such as having trouble relaxing, becoming easily annoyed, excessive worrying, obsessive thoughts, racing thoughts, fear of the worst happening and feeling out of control.
We can also have physical symptoms of anxiety like numbness, feeling hot, lightheaded, feeling of choking, stomach pain, chest pain, hands trembling, wobbliness in legs, difficulty breathing, heart racing, face flushed and hot/cold sweats.
When we experience physical symptoms of anxiety, our body is telling us "Hey pay attention to me" and if we want to feel better, we must pay attention.
It's okay to have anxious feelings, it's how we cope with these anxious feelings that matters so we don't have this overwhelming anxiety that takes over our lives. When we visit with a mental health professional, we will learn coping skills to manage our anxiety issues so that we can enjoy life.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is an emotion described by feelings of worry, fear and uneasiness that can vary from mild to severe.
Anxious feelings are normal and natural responses that often times helps us survive our environment. For example, if you are standing at the edge of a cliff, you may begin to feel anxious and your heart rate might increase, and this is your body telling you "watch out, be careful" so you step onto safer grounds as a result. Anxiety just helped save your life!
It is also normal to experience occasional anxiety with life stressors such as health problems, family problems, and finances. However, if these anxious feelings do not seem to go away, you may have an anxiety disorder. Fortunately, there are highly trained mental health professionals offering effective treatment options so you can find one that suites your daily life.
Anxiety is a common mental illness that interferes with daily life and we see the negative effects on our health, relationships, school work, and performance. About 31% of adults in the US experience an anxiety disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder. Knowing which disorder you have will help you follow an effective treatment plan.
Types of anxiety disorders
In the newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), there are several anxiety disorders and learning about them will help us build greater awareness of symptoms and anxiety treatment options. It is possible to have more than one anxiety disorder and here we will discuss three of the most common:
General anxiety disorder (GAD)
GAD is a persistent feeling of anxiety or dread, which can interfere with daily life (NIMH). It differs than typical anxiety that can occur with worry about stressful events. Individuals with general anxiety disorder experience anxiety for months, maybe even years.
It is a severe anxiety that feels out of control and out of proportion to the situation and often comes with symptoms of feeling restless, easily fatigue, easily irritable, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, difficulty controlling nerves and worry and cannot stop worrying about different things.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
SAD (used to be called social phobia) is when someone has extreme anxiety in social situations and attempts to avoid social situations due to feeling self-conscious, embarrassed and having "an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others" (NIMH).
If this you, you may have the following symptoms when you experience anxiety; feeling blushed, sweaty, trembling, and sick, avoiding eye contact, and panicking.
Panic disorder (PD)
PD is diagnosed when someone has frequent sudden episodes of intense anxiety with fear and terror that reaches a peak in minutes that causes a panic. "Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear, discomfort, or sense of losing control even when there is no clear danger or trigger" (NIMH).
Symptoms of panic disorder include sweating, trembling, chest pain, shortness of breath, racing heart, feelings of imminent doom and feeling out of control. If you have a panic disorder you may try to avid people, places and situations that you associate with panic attacks. It is important to note that not everyone who has panic attacks has panic disorder.
Anxiety disorders may negatively impact your self-esteem and make it more difficult to form richer connection with friends and family. These disorders can also lead to unhealthy habits without treatment.
These unhealthy habits can include hair pulling, skin picking, substance abuse, and chronic illness, which could be comorbid with other disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). OCD and PTSD are not classified as anxiety disorder anymore but they are important to still mention as they can both first present themselves as anxiety.
How do I know if I need anxiety treatment in Houston?
Anxiety is common, we all feel worried and nervous sometimes. If you feel that your anxiety is affecting your sleep, your eating, your relationships, or your work, then anxiety treatment is for you. You don't need to have an anxiety disorder to get anxiety treatment.
Anxiety treatment can help you learn why you feel anxious and how your body reacts to your anxiety. This will help you manage your anxiety better and find coping skills that work for you. What can a therapists in Houston TX will do for you?
Underlying causes of worry, fear and uneasiness
Licensed therapists will first want to know your mental health history and how have you coped with anxiety in the past so we can keep the healthy habits that have worked for you and replace the unhealthy habits.
Understanding your anxiety
Anxiety affects our mental health in different ways and a therapist will help you discover how anxiety affects you. This is the first step to managing your anxiety.
Once you understand your anxiety, you will notice how it plays a role in your life and how you can address it. It is important to not that anxiety is not bad, not understanding your anxiety is bad because it can manifest in unhealthy ways through your life.
Licensed therapists will teach you the skills that you need to manage, reduce and cope with your anxiety so you do not feel like you're suffering but on the contrary you're taking control of your life. These skills may include problem-solving skills, relaxation skills, communication skills, and building self-esteem skills.
Individualized treatment plan
When you work with therapists, they will give you an assessment to learn more about your history, signs and symptoms, and other factors that can influence your anxiety. Then, your therapist will create an individualized treatment plan for you that will include the best type of therapy to fit your needs, goals and objectives, and the recommended frequency of therapy.
My approach to anxiety therapy in Houston
When we talk about anxiety therapy, there are different types of anxiety therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectal behavior therapy (DBT). All of these therapies treat more than just the symptoms of anxiety, they teach how to cope with your anxiety so that it will improve your overall mental health and transform your life in a positive way.
At Advanced Bilingual Counseling in Houston TX, we choose the type of therapy depending on how your mind and body processes information. We have found success in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and dialectal behavior therapy (DBT) with many clients experiencing anxiety.
We are unique in our therapeutic approach because we will pull skills from different types of therapies as needed. We also work one-on-one with our clients on our treatment plans so we encourage and reflect on what is working and what is not working so you are always an active member of your anxiety therapy.
Let's talk about the types of anxiety therapy we do:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT is the most common talk therapy for anxiety and it focuses on how our thought patterns affect how we think, feel, and behave.
With CBT, we will help you identify unhealthy thought patterns that impact your feelings and behavior and then work together to use healthier thought patterns. Some CBT skills that you will learn include cognitive restructuring, exposure and response prevention, and progressive muscle relaxation.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
ACT is from CBT but focuses more on accepting inner emotions rather than avoiding and denying. With ACT, we will learn to accept thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories while moving forward in our lives.
ACT skills will teach you to engage in meaningful life activities by discovering your life values, actively accepting, defusing from thoughts, separating your thoughts and actions, being present and committing to changing your behavior.
Dialectal behavior therapy (DBT)
DBT acknowledges that life is complex and focuses on emotion regulation skills to manage intense emotions. With DBT, we will also teach skills such as distress tolerance and mindfulness to help navigate interpersonal relationships and painful emotions.
Distress tolerance helps us tolerate emotions that we do not like rather than ignoring and escaping them. Mindfulness helps us be present in the moment and recognize our emotions are temporary.
Benefits of working with a Houston anxiety therapist
Anxiety is the most common mental illness and recognizing the impact it has on our mental health is an important step to addressing our anxiety issues. Here are some benefits on how therapy can help your anxiety:
Working on self-regulation means understanding and monitoring our thoughts, emotional states and reactions to what is happening internally and externally. Self-awareness is the first step towards self-regulation because we need to be able to observe our thoughts and feelings in different situations to know how to self-regulate.
For example, when we're aware that we feel stress or anxious, then we can react by using a self-regulation technique such as mindfulness to calm our bodies and complete the task ahead. Learning self-regulation can decrease anxiety and lead to living a happier life.
Develop helpful coping skills
Most of our mental health challenges such as anxiety can be managed with learning helpful coping skills. We develop different coping skills as we grow-up and many times these skills are modeled to us from adults in our lives like parents, coaches and teachers.
As children, our coping skills helped use feel less stress and pain in the moment, but then we grow-up and life changes so these coping skills might no longer serve us. We are then left with suppressed feelings and negative thoughts which causes anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression can lead to using unhelpful coping skills such as substance abuse, just to name one. This is really hard for many of us and we feel lost. The good news is that therapy can help you find yourself again and learn new helpful coping skills to manage your anxiety and/or depression so you can live your best life.
Improve relationship skills
Good communication is an important skill for positive relationships. There are three types of communication styles; passive, aggressive and assertive communication. Assertive commutation is the one we want!
Therapy can help you become aware of your communication style and work on practicing assertive communication so that both your needs and the other person's needs are met in your relationship. This will help decrease your social anxiety. When we have positive relationships in our lives, we experience richer connection and more joy.
Develop problem-solving skills
Many times there is more than one way to solve a problem and our anxiety can get us stuck on finding the "perfect" or "right" solution. Therapy can help open ourselves up to more ideas and perspectives to cope with present problems and future problems. Problem-solving skills can help us achieve goals and live a more fulfilling life.
Find more peace in your life with the help of an anxiety therapist in Houston
Anxiety is highly treatable and connecting with a therapist in Houston TX is the first step towards understanding and coping with your anxiety.
There are different ways to treat anxiety and at Advanced Bilingual Counseling (ABC) in Houston TX, we we believe therapy is not a one size fits all so we use different therapeutic approaches called CBT, ACT and DBT to fit your needs and goals.
Everyone comes to anxiety therapy with their own story, challenges and perspectives. For some of us, therapy has not been a positive experience in the past and we hope to change that for you.
If therapy has been a positive experience for you in the past, we encourage you to share with us what has worked for you in therapy so we can build from this foundation.
Together we will create an individualized treatment plan that addresses what is working and what is not working for you when it comes to self-regulation skills, coping skills, relationship skills and problem-solving skills so that what you can manage you anxiety and become the best you.
At ABC, we offer a free 10 minute consultation call (832-463-1228) to discuss how we can specifically help you.
We also offer in-person therapy for clients located in 11999 Katy Fwy Houston TX 77079 or surrounding Houston areas such as Sugar Land or Pearland, and online therapy for clients unable to travel to our Houston TX office.
You don't need to have it all figured out to move forward. Just take the next step by giving us a call and we will walk with you on this journey to happier life.