It is perfectly normal to feel a degree of anxiety. Indeed, a healthy dose of anxiety is necessary in order to navigate the world sensibly and safely. However, when anxiety becomes so heightened that it eclipses everything else and stops people from leading a normal and fulfilling life, then it is worth sorting the problem out. Anxiety is one of the most common problems that I encounter as a psychotherapist in Covent Garden and Waterloo (Southwark): These two areas of London, located on either side of Waterloo Bridge and adjacent to the City, are the workplace of thousands of people who find themselves under intense pressure and stress in their daily lives. A massive 37% of clients who presented at my practice during 2016 were suffering from anxiety problems of one sort or another.
Case study: I had a client, a barrister, whose anxiety had attained such levels that he could not get his 'mind to stop'. He felt dread all the time, and had constant worries about absolutely everything. He would drive his boyfriend to distraction by repeatedly checking that the doors and windows of their home were locked. He would stay up until 3am most weeknights beavering away on his cases - not because he was incapable or slow at his work, but because he unnecessarily forced himself to check everything three times over for fear that he might either be admonished by the judge, or be 'shouted at' by the solicitors for getting something wrong. He tried to avoid thinking about what might go wrong, but without success. After a while it felt to him as if the worry was uncontrollable and there was nothing he could do to stop it. Bad exzema erupted on his face, and he developed sleep bruxism. Cruelly, the worrying thoughts he constantly subjected himself to brought about the very thing he was trying to avoid as lack of sleep caused him to have difficulties concentrating and his mind 'went blank' several times in court. We worked together for 12 sessions in order to:
- Develop worry control strategies
- Learn and practise Mindfulness techniques to promote tolerance of uncertainty
- Build resilience to risk
- Equip him with the skills to self-soothe
- Replace unproductive anxiety and worry with confidence and resolve
- Engage in psycho-education about worry (ie the difference between productive and unproductive worry)
- Modify his negative core beliefs about catastrophe and replace them with more helpful ones
Anxiety problems present in different guises and have various headings, but the most common five that I encounter at my therapy practice in Waterloo and Covent Garden are:
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder
- Panic attacks
- Social Anxiety
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
All of the above types of anxiety, as well as others not listed here, interfere with people's ability to live fulfilled and balanced lives and achieve their potential. They can all be addressed in therapy.
Length of therapy for Anxiety: 12 to 24 appointments of fifty minutes each (depending upon the individual situation and levels of angst).
Fee: £75 per fifty minute appointment. Reduced fee slots are £45 but limited and based on demonstrated financial need.
Location: Southwark (Waterloo) and Covent Garden.