Do you or others close to you see you as a chronic worrier?
Do you spend hours ruminating about past mistakes or future challenges?
Are you suffering from insomnia as anxiety holds you even at night?
Do you find yourself repeating certain rituals or insisting on a set order of proceeding through many of your routines?
Is perfectionism slowing you down or preventing you from completing tasks?
We live in a high-paced, stressful society and everyone experiences anxiety now and then. Some level of anxiety is useful as it helps to motivate and energize us to accomplish important tasks. However, excessive or chronic anxiety can become overwhelming to experience. Over time it also takes a toll on your health. In the short run, it can cause shakiness, shortness of breath, and even palpitations which people sometimes mistake for a heart attack. Long term effects of chronic anxiety may include headaches, GI issues, and even your immune system. It also has a negative impact on relationships with others and on your capacity to enjoy your life.
Anxiety disorders are very common, affecting as many as 18% of the US population annually according the National Institute of Health. Sometimes anxiety presents itself as specific fear or phobia. Some people experience extreme distress in social situations to the point that they begin to avoid them altogher or rely heavily on alcohol or drugs to lessen their keen discomfort. Others develop rituals or obsessive thoughts to avoid feelings of anxiety but these preoccupations often make life increasingly difficult.
Insomnia often accompanies anxiety but presents a unique and sometimes debilitating set of challenges. Symptoms include difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, early morning awakening, all of which cause distress during daily functioning. In order to be considered a disorder, these symptoms need to be present for a minimum of 3 nights per week for at least a month’s duration. Many who suffer from insomnia drag through their days, limit or stop certain activities for fear of being too fatigued to function, and lay in bed clock-watching for hours on end.
Whether you are challenged by anxiety, insomnia or both, psychotherapy can help you find relief.
If I’ve always been anxious how can therapy help?
Therapy can reduce the distressing sensations, thoughts and feelings that accompany anxiety. You can discover ways to increase your capacity to experience sensations and emotions of relaxation and calm, important antidotes to anxiety. Within the peacefulness of my office and with my guidance and support, you can explore the situations and thoughts that trigger your anxiety and develop resources to manage these experiences with confidence and success. I do this by offering strategies from cognitive-behavioral therapy along with mindfulness practices and interventions that support feelings of well-being and peacefulness.
If you are battling anxiety, I start by helping you determine when anxiety is helpful or commonplace versus harmful and rare. I also aim to give you tools for self-regulation and calming and to empower you to manage anxious states rather than experiencing yourself at their mercy. Breathing techniques, mindfulness practice, new cognitions such as distress tolerance are practiced in session and often assigned as homework in order to build healthy habits
My job/family situation/home life is very stressful so how much can actually improve?
Over the years I have worked with clients who have greatly rduced their symptoms of anxiety. My training in Mindfulness and in Somatic Experiencing Therapy has been particularly useful as I have many resources I am able to share that help clients rediscover or perhaps learn for the first time how to feel more at ease and emotionally stable. Also, therapy provides a supportive environment that encourages some clients to address more effectively and assertively their difficult circumstances.
My doctor has prescribed anti-anxiety (or sedating) medication for me. Isn’t that enough?
Some clients who wish to reduce their anxiety combine psychotherapy with anti-anxiety medication as complementary treatment approaches. Many people suffering from insomnia discover that changing habits and beliefs about sleep eliminate their problem without the need for medication. If you are already on medication, I will gladly collaborate with your physician. If you are someone considering medication, we can explore this option further.
Why choose your practice?
I have nearly thirty years of experience helping people with anxiety gain relief and increase their wellbeing. First, I help you to feel supported and safe as you face into exploring the types of fears and anxiety. I also help you to draw on the strengths you already possess while empowering you with new skills and emotional and cognitive experiences. At the same time, I support you to challenge yourself to expand your capacity to feel more fully and enter into difficulty as I combine my background in depth psychology with my specialized training in mindfulness and Somatic Experiencing therapies.
If you still have questions or are ready to give therapy a go, call me at (914) 764-5582 or email me. If I’m not available, I’ll get back to you promptly and we can discuss your particular concerns and questions about therapy and my practice. Following the first appointment, you are welcome to go online and schedule your appointment yourself.