Anxiety Counseling

Anxiety Disorders are common, impacting approximately 40 million adults per year.

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful circumstances, such as feeling anxious about a test or feeling nervous about an issue at work. However, anxiety levels can become excessively high or last much longer than would be expected, causing difficulties in daily life and functioning. When anxiety problems rise to this level, it may have progressed into an Anxiety Disorder.

Anxiety Disorders are treatable and often respond very well to counseling. At Star Meadow Counseling, we specialize in treating the following anxiety conditions:


Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
: GAD is characterized by chronic anxiety and exaggerated worry, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it. Generalized Anxiety can also impact sleep and concentration, while increasing irritability and muscle tension.

Panic Disorder (Panic Attacks): Panic Disorder (Panic Attacks) is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include shortness of breath, chest pain, racing heartbeat, dizziness, or nausea. Some people fear they are dying or having a heart attack during episodes of panic, which can add to their distress.

Social Phobia (or social anxiety disorder): Social Phobia is characterized by overwhelming anxiety and fear of being judged in social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one social context such as a fear of speaking in front of others or can be so broad as to include any situation when other people are around. Selective Mutism is a variation of social anxiety disorder, where a person consistently does not speak unless in comfortable, secure environments.

Obessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD is characterized by repetitive, undesired, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and/or strong, irrational, seemingly irresistible urges to do certain illogical behaviors (compulsions). People with OCD may try not to think the intrusive thoughts or follow the behavioral urge, but find themselves feeling anxious in its absence. They may feel forced to comply with the thought/behavior in order to find relief from the anxiety.

 

FAQ about Anxiety Therapy

Will counseling be helpful even if I have anxiety about being in therapy?
Yes, in fact most clients experience anxiety about starting the therapy process. Some report feeling nauseous, jittery, dizzy, breathless, or panicked. That’s okay! The counseling office is the best place to come feeling NOT okay. Your counselor is trained in helping clients calm their anxious states. Many clients notice their anxiety level deflate 10-15 minutes into their first appointment with a therapist when they find their counselor to be warm, non-threatening, gracious, knowledgeable, and supportive.
I've tried counseling before and all I learned from my therapist was deep breathing. What do you do differently?
Our therapist are trained in a variety of evidenced-based treatments for anxiety. Your therapist might utilize Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness, meditation, relaxation skill training, DBT Therapy, systematic desensitization, and/or EMDR. Our therapy approach is customized to each person.
Should I start with group or individual counseling for anxiety treatment?
At Star Meadow Counseling, we offer both individual and group therapy for anxiety treatment. Group therapy is a research-proven treatment of choice for social anxiety disorders, in particular. Many clients sign up for our anxiety support group only to back out prior to their start date. If this happens to you, take it as a sign that individual therapy should happen first. A one-on-one therapist can help you gradually work up to this level of social interaction. Those with a more general form of anxiety (minus the social phobia) may benefit from either individual or group counseling. Group counseling may be indicated if additional social support is desired.
How can I tell the difference between anxiety and a serious medical condition?
If you are concerned about a serious medical condition and have not yet been evaluated by a physician, please schedule an appointment with your primary care provider. Many clients seek mental health counseling after a trip to the Emergency Room, where a doctor informs them that their chest pain is best accounted for by a panic attack. In a study of people with chest pain, a sign of heart disease, 43% were found to have a panic disorder, not a heart-related condition.
What sets clients up for success in their anxiety recovery?

We’ve found the following commonalities in people that are resilient when faced with extreme stress:

  • A positive, yet realistic, outlook on life
  • Willingness to confront fears
  • Strong internal moral compass
  • Finding support from personal faith or spirituality
  • Seeking purpose, meaning, and learning experiences in the midst of suffering
  • Pursuit of physical fitness
  • A social support  network
  • Willingness to accept what cannot be changed

Resources for Anxiety Management

Anxiety Therapy Services in Vancouver WA

 

ANXIETY & PANIC ATTACKS


SOCIAL ANXIETY

  • Social Anxiety Forum: Connect socially with other social anxiety sufferers in a safe, non-judgmental forum.
  • National Social Anxiety Center: Read educational resources, take a self-assessment questionnaire, and learn about social anxiety treatment strategies.


OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD)


SELECTIVE MUTISM

  • Selective Mutism Group: View recommended reading lists, learn about upcoming events, and participate in chats with selective mutism experts.
  • Selective Mutism Foundation: Read educational material about selective mutism and gain tips for advocating for a child within the school system.

Helpful Apps

1.  Stop Panic & Anxiety Self-Help (guides you through a panic attack)

Cost: Free

This app is most useful for those who have come to fear having panic attacks. It includes  audio training  based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), coaching you in the midst of an acute anxiety episode. It also features relaxation audio recordings, an anxiety diary, and resource articles about panic disorder and anxiety.

2. Breathe2Relax (guided breathing exercises and stress management tool)

Cost: Free

Breathe2Relax teaches users how to use diaphragmatic breathing effectively to decrease stress and flip off the body’s internal fight/flight response. This app is highly visual, helping users easily focus on the guided breathing exercises.

3. Calm (guided meditation)

Cost: Free (in-app upgrades available at cost)

This app includes 7 guided meditation sessions (2-30 minutes in length), 16 music meditation tracks, 10 amazing and immersive nature scenes, and a step-by-step meditation training program. Their website (www.calm.com) also provides samples on their homepage. “Calm” is an amazing resource for anxiety reduction!

 

Ready for Help?

 

Individual Counseling: Our team of licensed counselors is ready to help you on your journey toward anxiety recovery. Read the profiles of our staff members and select the counselor that seems to be the best fit for you.

Anxiety Support Group: In addition to individual therapy, we offer an anxiety group that meets every-other-week on Wednesday evenings. This group is for adults (18+) suffering from high anxiety. Many in the group may also experience social anxiety, panic attacks, frequent worries, and fears of being judged by others. In addition to being a support group, we also explore a variety of effective coping techniques. You are not alone with your anxiety! Please email us to RSVP or ask any questions. Cost is $40 per session. Insurance is accepted.

If you are one of the 40 million people per year who suffer from anxiety disorders, don’t wait another day to get help.

Schedule an appointment with us online, email at info@starmeadowcounseling.com, or call (360) 952-3070.

Star Meadow Counseling

Provides Therapy Services to:
Vancouver WA | Salmon Creek WA | Ridgefield WA | Woodland WA | Battle Ground WA