Anxiety Disorders have a very broad spectrum and the many variations appear at all points of that range. Whether it’s Social Anxiety, General Anxiety, PTSD, Phobias, Compulsive Disorders or Panic, there are varying degrees of complexity in each category.
In my practice I’ve found that for some clients the resolution comes very fast, the all-important shift occurs and they feel empowered as though they are standing on firmer ground able to see life from a calmer perspective; for others the degree of complexity is higher and therefore the solution may be concealed beneath several layers. In these cases it sometimes may feel like two steps forward, one back initially until that shift happens and the momentum to move forward is strong enough to withstand the perception of slipping backwards.
I will very often use the analogy that the brain is like a computer. I find this the most straightforward way to explain my understanding of the processes that are taking place when Anxiety is being resolved. Excessive Anxiety is like a software program that has been installed, sometimes it’s saved correctly into its appropriate folder so it’s easy to locate and delete; sometimes however it’s saved into the computers core process folder, this means that the computer will have protections in place to interfere with a straightforward delete. All computer are set to protect their core processes (which keep it alive and functioning) from accidental deletion. Therefore it takes a little more time, skill and knowledge to uninstall items that have been installed in error, as the computer will actively put obstacles in the way of this process to safeguard itself.
For this reason committing to a program of change is so critical for people with complex anxiety, and this is why there is sometimes a sense of setback at some point in the program, because the survival centre of your brain is working hard to protect what it believes to be a critical survival process; what it doesn’t realise is that the trigger has been misfiled, instead of being filed under mild discomfort it’s gone into the acute fight, flight freeze folder and therefore been upgraded to a critical process rather than a low level everyday experience response. Very anxious people will therefore occasionally have an overwhelming physical sense that the treatment is not progressing fast enough, that they’re doing it wrong, and even that they are making no progress at all, they then drop out and genuinely being to slip back into their old patterns. This is why it’s important to commit to a program, so that the therapist can gather a lot of information at the offset and to use a scale to measure and demonstrate the progress being made. A lot of clients that I see have tried a number of treatments but have dropped out after one or two sessions; this can lead to a feeling of hopelessness. I believe a structured program designed for the individual client is the best way to ensure the optimum result.
In therapy we are retraining the brain, providing and teaching new skills and techniques to manage and defuse anxiety throughout life so that no matter the circumstance the level of anxiety will be in proportion to the level of actual threat. In training any part of the body it’s unrealistic to expect immediate or magical results, but on the positive side with consistency and commitment the results are awesome!
If you’d like help getting in control of excessive anxiety whether it’s social anxiety, general anxiety, phobia, panic attack or compulsive disorder please feel free to give me a call on 0435 923 817 or use the contact form linked to here. I specialise in helping people overcome anxiety and get back on track to living a fuller less restricted life.
For more information on Anxiety please refer to the anxiety section of this blog and to this page on my website.
If you have anything you’d like to add on the subject of anxiety please feel free to comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
Georgina Mitchell was born in Ireland, moving to Australia in 1989. Georgina spent many years working in senior management in the Corporate world, before leaving to pursue her passion to become a Therapist.
Melbourne Hypnotherapy Blog
Please note as with all therapies, Results for Therapies delivered by Hypfocus may vary from person to person