When your fears hold you back

You may be a naturally anxious person who worries about anything or everything, and curious to understand how other people can be so fearless. Or you may feel panic in certain situations and be struggling to understand how you can overcome this extreme and scary response. Anxiety may be preventing you from getting the most out of life. It doesn't have to be this way. Fear can be useful to us: in a life-threatening situation our fear stimulates strategies that can help us to survive. However, for many people, fears arise in a less rational way, and stop us from enjoying normal everyday activities. I have helped many people free themselves from the shackles of their over-anxious responses. Try psychotherapy with me - I can help you too. Here is a summary of my work with client, who I will call "Molly" (removing or changing any identifying details for the sake of confidentiality).

Whenever Molly felt that she was getting close to someone, she started to panic and believe that they would either leave her or become ill and die. In psychotherapy, she told me that while she was growing up her mother had a terminal illness. An older sister had been so concerned that Molly would react badly to the bereavement that she tried to stop her from being close to their mum. In psychotherapy, Molly needed to grieve for her mum, and to express the anger she felt toward her sister (which she did in a safe way in the therapy room using puppets). She learned how to tolerate a little anxiety, to do a reality check on her anxious thoughts and to keep her responses relevant to the present instead of re-living a destructive pattern from her childhood.  

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© Gill Sweeting