Is Life Stressing You Out?

Is anxiety getting in the way of your hopes and dreams? Do you find yourself obsessively worrying about the future? Are you struggling with fear of failure or low self-esteem?

Anxious young woman on a beach

Maybe you just moved out on your own and you’re overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed. Juggling, school, work, relationships, and everything else in your life puts enormous wear and tear on your mental health. You probably have a packed schedule and have little room for self-care. Perhaps you’re suffering from panic attacks, nausea, sleep troubles, and difficulty concentrating. Having to cope with the physical symptoms of anxiety just adds one more thing to worry about. You wish you could just catch a break!

Anxiety Can Keep You From Seizing New Opportunities

Anxiety causes you to avoid important things and to pass up new opportunities. Anxiety and panic attacks might cause you to skip classes, call out sick from work, or say no to social outings with friends. Even the fear of having a panic attack can be enough to stop you from doing things you used to enjoy. Anxiety can create a “worry domino effect.” You might ask yourself: If I can’t function well enough to put myself out there, how will I ever succeed in life? How will I ever make new friends, graduate, or get my dream job?

Anxiety doesn’t have to keep you from succeeding! Therapy can help you feel better and get your anxiety under control. Working together, I can help you press pause, refocus your brain, and learn new coping skills for managing your stress and decreasing your anxiety.

Anxiety Is A Normal Biological Response To Danger And Stress

woman sitting crosslegged on couch

Everyone has anxiety at times. It’s a normal biological response to threat. Anxiety alerts you to danger. If you’re running from a bear, you should feel anxious. Your “fight or flight” instinct can save your life.

Anxiety becomes a problem when your brain tells you that you’re in danger even when you’re not. It makes a date, a meeting at work, or a school presentation feel like a perilous situation. Over 40 million adults in the US suffer from an anxiety disorder, making it the most common mental health issue in existence.

The High-Pressure Environment Of The DC Area Fuels Anxiety

Here in the DC area, we have some of the greatest schools and jobs in the country. But the expectations put on students and young professionals to be successful are often excessively high. Many bright and talented people feel like they’re failing when they can’t maintain perfect GPAs and land the highest-paying jobs. Social media only makes matters worse, creating a comparison culture where people only see everyone’s highlight reels.

Considering all of these stressors, it’s no wonder that so many people struggle with anxiety. All the pressures coming from school, work, family, society, and social media can be overwhelming for anyone. Seeking therapy for anxiety is a chance to look beyond cultural expectations and develop a sense of self that is uniquely yours.

Therapy Provides A Safe And Empowering Place To Work Through Anxiety

Young woman sitting on the sand near the ocean

You have probably noticed that trying not to feel anxious often makes anxiety worse. Anxiety is an unconscious biological response, so you can’t turn it off at the flip of a switch. This is why telling yourself to relax and calm down doesn’t work. To get control of your anxiety, you have to understand the root of your stress and learn to challenge the unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that are driving it.

The therapeutic relationship is a safe, empowering, and accepting place to express your feelings and unpack the circumstances and expectations that contribute to your anxiety and fear. There is no judgment or shame here. I will accept you wholeheartedly and help you understand that you’re not alone, you’re not “losing your mind,” and your symptoms are an understandable and natural response to stressful life events. Most importantly, I will give you skills to combat anxiety and panic attacks, ensuring that treatment provides practical benefits for everyday stressors in your life.

What To Expect In Sessions

The first few counseling sessions involve educating you on anxiety and how it affects you. I will normalize anxiety and help you realize that it’s your brain’s way of protecting you and adapting to stress. Knowing this can go a long way toward helping you be more compassionate towards yourself. It is important to be kind to yourself as you heal. The goal is not to eliminate anxiety entirely, because it is your brain literally trying to keep you safe! Instead, the goal is to relieve your unpleasant physical symptoms, strike a healthier balance, and keep stress and anxiety from controlling your life.

Finally, I will help you get to the bottom of your anxiety and identify the negative core beliefs that reinforce it. Sometimes this means exploring past trauma and unhealed emotional wounds. We will look at the connection between negative core beliefs (such as “I’m not good enough” or “I’ll never be successful”) and the negative experiences that may have caused them.

Fine Tuning Your Anxiety Treatment Plan to Meet Your Needs

My approach to the healing process is warm, authentic, and genuine. I use CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) to explore how your thoughts, feelings, and actions all contribute to anxiety. For example, your anxiety might cause cognitive distortions like catastrophizing (“What if the worst happens?”) and black-and-white thinking (“Either I get a 5.0 GPA or I’ve failed”). Using CBT, you can gently challenge these unhelpful thought patterns and develop new ways of relating to yourself.

No matter how stressed out you feel right now, I am confident that you can decrease your anxiety, accomplish your goals, and live up to the potential that you know you hold within you. I want to help you unlock that potential and regain your joy and optimism along the way.

Common Questions And Concerns About Anxiety Counseling…

I’ve tried therapy before and it didn’t work.

One of the most important components of successfully treating anxiety is the therapist-client relationship. Everyone’s personality is different, so it’s important to find a therapeutic approach that works for you. I aim to provide a safe, empathetic space where you can freely voice your concerns and discuss what’s working and what’s not. Therapy is a partnership between therapist and client. If something isn’t working, let me know so that I can change my approach! This way, I can fine-tune tailor my interventions to better suit your needs.

Do I have to be on medication?

Whether you take anti-anxiety medication is your decision. Depending on your symptoms, however, I may recommend a medication consult with a psychiatrist, primary care physician, or nurse practitioner. Medication can be helpful when your anxiety is severe and prevents you from making progress in treatment. You and I can assess the severity of your anxiety and go over all your treatment options together.

Everyone has anxiety. Do I really need help?

It’s easy to get lost in comparisons. No matter how big or small you feel your struggles are, it is okay to ask for help. As a therapist, I understand that the cause of your anxiety may be specific to you, and that’s okay! We are all human. We all have different stress tolerance levels. What causes anxiety for you may not cause anxiety for another person. That’s to be expected. Regardless, reaching out to a therapist is an important step towards healing. You don’t have to fight anxiety alone. Be kind to yourself. You deserve care regardless of how your struggles stack up to the struggles of others.

Don’t Let Anxiety Hold You Back From Your True Potential

Fighting anxiety on your own is exhausting. You are not alone! When you’re ready, you can connect with me to begin the healing process by emailing me  or using the contact form.

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