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Anxiety Counseling
Richmond, Virginia

It's Easy to Schedule an Anxiety Counseling Session with Me

Hi, I am Brian Mayer and I am ready to help you manage your Anxiety and get your life back.  We can do this in 1 hour counseling sessions where I will give you tools to become aware of negative thought patterns, regulate your emotions, and make small but powerful changes in your actions.  

 

You don't even have to talk to me to get scheduled, just use my online scheduler to meet in person or virtually.  There is no pressure here.  Come for a session and see if it helps.  You'll see I am collaborative and not high pressure. 

 

  

My Approach to Anxiety Counseling in Richmond, Virginia

If you are like me you may have come to a page like this already frustrated at the process of looking for counseling services.  You might also not be fully trusting of sharing the issues you are having and your life story with someone you don't know.  You wonder if the therapist you are working with will be empathetic and caring toward what you are going through.  

I have been in your shoes wondering about those very same things when I have looked for therapists in the past.  But man, when you find someone that is not only available, educated about Anxiety, but is also creates a safe space to explore that is gold.  

I would like to hope that have all of those qualities and that I would be a good fit to be the Anxiety Therapist locally in Richmond, Virginia that you have been searching for.  

All that being said, I so appreciate that you are not giving up.  

I understand Anxiety 

 

Anxiety Counseling here in Richmond, Virginia is one of my specialties.  The nice thing about Anxiety is that it is probably the most well understood and well researched of the mental health disorders.  This is indeed a big help to both you and me, because there is lots I can teach you and help you put into practice.  

Focus on Education, Thoughts, Feelings, Behaviors

 

The Anxiety Counseling approach I use, is to do a combination of education around how your mind and body works, understanding and changing thoughts, understanding and regulating emotions, and finally practicing new behaviors.  Additionally while we are working to make changes, we also work to come to more of an acceptance of ourselves in spite of the Anxiety.  

Homework to Reinforce What You Learn in Sessions

 

I like to not only talk about the situation and issues around the anxiety, I would say that Anxiety Counseling is also about doing which means homework.  I will give you lots to do in between our sessions.  

What's Next?

If you are ready to enter into Anxiety Counseling with me, the easiest way to do that is to click the Book Session button right here to get started.  

The rest of this page is much more education around anxiety and while I have a lot on medication, of course if you can avoid that great but I get that sometimes it is needed to help get you over the hump.  I do not have the ability to prescribe or recommend, so just understand that the information provided is for your education only and what your prescribing provider tells you and recommends will always take authority over the information contained here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural response to stress or a perceived threat. It is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Anxiety is a normal part of the human experience, and it can actually be helpful in certain situations, as it can motivate people to take action and avoid danger.

However, when anxiety becomes persistent and intense, it can be classified as an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions that are characterized by excessive and persistent feelings of anxiety or fear. These disorders can interfere with a person's daily life, making it difficult to perform routine tasks and interact with others.

Symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person, but common physical symptoms may include sweating, shaking, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath. Emotional symptoms can include feelings of nervousness, restlessness, and a sense of impending doom or danger.

Treatment for anxiety can involve therapy, medication, or a combination of both, and can be very effective in managing and reducing symptoms. It's important to seek help if anxiety is interfering with your daily life, as it is a treatable condition.

How Does Worry and Stress Affect The Mind and Body?

Worry and stress can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health. Here are some ways that worry and stress can affect you:

  1. Mental Health: Worry and stress can lead to negative thoughts and feelings, such as anxiety and depression. It can also make it difficult to concentrate and can impair your ability to make decisions.

  2. Physical Health: Chronic stress can cause physical health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and chronic pain. Stress can also weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness and infections.

  3. Sleep: Worry and stress can interfere with sleep, causing insomnia and other sleep disorders. Lack of sleep can then exacerbate mental and physical health problems, creating a vicious cycle.

  4. Relationships: Stress can impact your relationships, causing you to be irritable or withdrawn, which can lead to conflicts and misunderstandings.

  5. Lifestyle: Chronic worry and stress can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as overeating, substance abuse, and other risky behaviors.

It's important to recognize the signs of worry and stress and take steps to manage them. This can include practicing relaxation techniques, seeking professional help, and making lifestyle changes such as exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough sleep.

How Do I Know if I Have Anxiety?

Anxiety can manifest in many different ways, and the symptoms can vary from person to person. However, there are some common signs and symptoms of anxiety that you can look out for. These include:

  1. Excessive Worrying: This can include persistent thoughts or fears that are difficult to control.

  2. Physical Symptoms: Anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as a racing heartbeat, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, and gastrointestinal problems.

  3. Avoidance Behaviors: People with anxiety may avoid situations that trigger their anxiety, which can interfere with their daily lives.

  4. Irritability: Anxiety can make people feel irritable and easily agitated.

  5. Sleep Problems: Anxiety can cause difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early.

  6. Difficulty Concentrating: Anxiety can make it difficult to concentrate or focus on tasks.

If you are experiencing these symptoms and they are interfering with your daily life, it may be helpful to seek the advice of a mental health professional. A mental health professional can evaluate your symptoms and help determine if you have an anxiety disorder. They can also develop a treatment plan that may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both to help manage and reduce symptoms.

What are the Different Kinds of Anxiety?

There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Each type is characterized by specific symptoms, and each may require different treatments. Here are some of the most common types of anxiety disorders:

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): This is a common type of anxiety disorder in which a person experiences excessive and persistent worry and anxiety about everyday events or activities.

  2. Panic Disorder: Panic disorder is characterized by sudden, unexpected panic attacks. During these attacks, a person may experience intense fear or discomfort, along with physical symptoms such as chest pain, sweating, and trembling.

  3. Social Anxiety Disorder: Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is characterized by intense anxiety and self-consciousness in social situations.

  4. Specific Phobias: Specific phobias are characterized by intense fear and avoidance of a particular object or situation, such as heights, flying, or spiders.

  5. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD is characterized by intrusive, unwanted thoughts or obsessions, along with compulsive behaviors or rituals that a person feels compelled to perform in order to relieve their anxiety.

  6. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD can occur after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety.

  7. Separation Anxiety Disorder: Separation anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive anxiety about being separated from a person or place that provides comfort, such as a parent or home.

If you think you may have an anxiety disorder, it's important to seek help from a mental health professional who can evaluate your symptoms and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Anxiety Counseling Methods I Use

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety

 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that is often used to treat anxiety disorders. CBT is a short-term, goal-oriented therapy that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that can contribute to anxiety.

Here's how CBT for anxiety typically works:

  1. Identify Negative Thoughts: The first step in CBT is to identify negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to anxiety. This can involve keeping a journal of your thoughts and emotions or working with a therapist to identify thought patterns.

  2. Challenge Negative Thoughts: Once negative thoughts are identified, the next step is to challenge them. A therapist can help you evaluate whether these thoughts are accurate or realistic, and can teach you techniques for replacing negative thoughts with more positive and realistic ones.

  3. Exposure Therapy: Exposure therapy is a type of CBT that involves gradually exposing a person to the situations or objects that trigger their anxiety. This can help desensitize a person to the anxiety and teach them that the situation or object is not as threatening as they had believed.

  4. Skills Training: CBT can also involve skills training, such as relaxation techniques or problem-solving skills, to help a person better cope with anxiety and stress.

  5. Homework: CBT is typically structured, with specific goals and homework assignments. This can involve practicing new skills and techniques between therapy sessions.

CBT is often a highly effective treatment for anxiety disorders, and can be used alone or in combination with medication. It's important to work with a qualified mental health professional who can tailor the therapy to your specific needs and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) for Anxiety

Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) is a type of therapy that is often used to help people focus on the present and future, and find practical solutions to their problems. SFBT is usually a short-term therapy, lasting between 5 and 10 sessions, and is goal-oriented.

Here's how SFBT typically works:

  1. Identify Goals: The first step in SFBT is to identify the person's goals for therapy. This can involve exploring what they hope to achieve and what changes they would like to see in their life.

  2. Explore Strengths and Resources: Rather than focusing on problems and difficulties, SFBT explores a person's strengths and resources that they can draw on to achieve their goals. This can involve exploring past successes and skills, as well as supportive relationships.

  3. Explore Exceptions: SFBT looks for exceptions to a person's problems, or times when the problem was less severe or not present at all. This can help identify strategies that have worked in the past and can be used in the future.

  4. Develop a Plan: Once goals, strengths, and exceptions have been identified, SFBT focuses on developing a plan for achieving the person's goals. This can involve exploring small, practical steps that can be taken to move towards the person's preferred future.

  5. Follow-Up: SFBT often involves follow-up sessions to check on progress and adjust the plan if necessary.

SFBT can be used to treat a range of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. It is often used as a brief therapy, but can also be used in conjunction with other treatments. SFBT is often an effective therapy for people who are looking for practical solutions to their problems and prefer a short-term, goal-oriented approach.

Emotional Freedom Technique for Anxiety

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a type of alternative therapy that is sometimes used to treat anxiety. EFT is also sometimes called "tapping therapy," as it involves tapping on specific points on the body while focusing on a specific issue or emotion.

Here's how EFT typically works for anxiety:

  1. Identify the Issue: The first step in EFT is to identify the specific issue or emotion that is causing anxiety. This can involve exploring the physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions associated with the anxiety.

  2. Develop a Setup Statement: Once the issue has been identified, a setup statement is developed. This involves acknowledging the issue or emotion, and accepting yourself despite it. For example, a setup statement might be, "Even though I feel anxious about speaking in public, I deeply and completely accept myself."

  3. Tapping Sequence: After the setup statement, the person then taps on specific points on the body while focusing on the issue or emotion. The tapping points include the side of the hand, eyebrow, side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, chin, collarbone, and under the arm.

  4. Repeat and Reassess: After completing the tapping sequence, the person then repeats the setup statement and the tapping sequence. This is typically done three times. After the third round, the person reassesses the level of anxiety and any changes that have occurred.

EFT is often used as a complementary therapy for anxiety, and can be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as medication or therapy. While there is some evidence to suggest that EFT may be effective for reducing anxiety, more research is needed to fully understand its effectiveness and how it works. It's important to work with a qualified EFT practitioner if you are interested in exploring this approach.

Recommended Lifestyle Changes to Decrease Anxiety:

In addition to medication and therapy, there are several lifestyle changes that can be helpful in reducing anxiety. Here are some recommended lifestyle changes that can be helpful:

  1. Regular exercise: Exercise can help to reduce anxiety by releasing endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the body that improve mood and reduce stress. Exercise can also help to improve sleep and increase energy levels.

  2. Healthy diet: Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help to support overall health and reduce anxiety.

  3. Adequate sleep: Getting enough sleep is important for overall health, and can also help to reduce anxiety. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and practice good sleep hygiene by keeping a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing sleep environment.

  4. Stress management techniques: Practices such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and tai chi can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

  5. Limiting caffeine and alcohol: Caffeine and alcohol can both increase anxiety, so it is important to limit consumption of these substances.

  6. Social support: Spending time with supportive friends and family members can help to reduce stress and promote feelings of connection and well-being.

Remember, it is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for anxiety, which may include a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.

Natural Remedies To Reduce Anxiety

There are several natural remedies that can be helpful in reducing anxiety. While these remedies may not replace medication or therapy for more severe anxiety disorders, they can be a helpful addition to a comprehensive treatment plan. Here are some natural remedies for anxiety:

  1. Relaxation techniques: Practices such as meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

  2. Herbal supplements: Some herbs, such as valerian root, passionflower, and chamomile, have been shown to have a calming effect and may be helpful in reducing anxiety. However, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplements, as they may interact with other medications or have side effects.

  3. Aromatherapy: Essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, and bergamot can be helpful in promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. These oils can be used in a diffuser, added to bath water, or applied to the skin (diluted with a carrier oil).

  4. Exercise: Regular exercise, such as walking, running, or yoga, can help to reduce anxiety by releasing endorphins and promoting relaxation.

  5. Diet: Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help to support overall health and reduce anxiety.

  6. Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness, which involves being fully present in the moment and non-judgmentally observing one's thoughts and feelings, can help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Remember, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider before starting any natural remedies, as they may interact with other medications or have side effects.

 

Ready to Start Anxiety Counseling

Feeling overwhelmed by anxiety? Don't worry, you're not alone! Anxiety is something that so many people deal with, and I'm here to help you navigate through it. As a mental health counselor, I specialize in providing support and guidance for individuals just like you who are struggling with anxiety.

 

My approach combines a casual and informal atmosphere with evidence-based techniques to create a comfortable space where we can work together towards finding relief. Through a mix of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), we'll tackle those negative thought patterns, identify triggers, and find practical solutions to conquer your worries and stress. You deserve to experience peace and control in your life, and I'm here to help you make that happen.

 

Let's work together to rewrite your story and create a future filled with calm and confidence. Take the first step towards a better tomorrow and schedule an appointment with me today. You deserve it!

 

If you are ready to start Anxiety Therapy in Richmond, VA with me Brian Mayer LCSW, the simplest and easiest way is use the "Book Session" button on this page.  I can’t wait to meet you and get started.

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