Are you feeling overwhelmed, afraid, or frustrated?

Do you feel as though you worry too much but find it difficult to stop? Do you constantly make lists in your head but still wonder if you are forgetting something?   Perhaps you think so much about what might happen in the future that it is hard to make decisions or enjoy the present. It may be difficult to stop thinking negatively about things you’ve said or done.  Maybe you feel trapped in thoughts and behaviors that are unsatisfying, self-defeating, or painful but are difficult to change?    You may feel that life is passing you by because you are afraid to try new things or don’t have the energy to start—or even know what you would do.

Even if you recognize that something is wrong, you won’t necessarily know what it is or how to fix it. It could be that a change in your life, even a positive change, overburdened an already overstressed system.  Possibly there has been an event that you just can’t seem to get over.  Maybe you have always been tense or worried or you may have started feeling anxious recently when something in your life changed unexpectedly. However, seemingly obvious solutions to calming anxiety often make the situation worse. Worrying about being anxious only increases the anxiety.  Avoiding any possible trigger for anxiety only diminishes and constricts your activities. Behaviors such as hair pulling or internet addiction may have begun to escape painful feelings but then become problems themselves.


Many people have struggled with anxiety and depression

Almost everyone goes through times of increased stress, anxiety, and depression. Sometimes, though, people experience these feelings daily for no apparent reason.  It is not uncommon for someone suffering from anxiety to also experience depression. Many who visit doctors do so in the hope of getting relief from anxiety/depression symptoms that mimic physical illness.

Managing life today can be difficult.  It is not unusual to get overwhelmed when coping abilities get stretched too thin.  Anxiety is a normal feeling and serves an important function in our lives.  However, if there is too much of it, you lose the healthy balance among the different parts of your life.  Patterns may develop that seem helpful at the time but keep you thinking and behaving in ways that are ultimately self- defeating. It may seem that anxiety, depression, or repetitive behaviors dominate your life.  You may wish to break free of these thoughts, feelings, and behaviors but not know how.  When negative feelings are intense, it is difficult to identify the feeling and know what to do to feel better.  You might have found that learning to manage anxiety on your own is challenging.  Resources such as self-help materials and the support of friends and family are helpful but often not enough.  If you have not made progress you may have become discouraged and afraid that change is not possible.

However, anxiety is very treatable and change is possible.  If your efforts haven’t been successful, you may have been trying the wrong things.  Effective coping skills help you manage anxiety rather than avoid it.   Specific types of therapy and strategies can help you to feel better and worry less.  You will have the ability to recover when you have knowledge, skills, and structure.  There is help here that is effective and practical.




Although anxiety is difficult to overcome working on your own, it is highly responsive to psychotherapy.  I have specialized in working with anxiety for many years. Positive outcomes are common; the treatment of anxiety is the main reason I see people.  Counseling involves the use of specific types of therapy that have been proven to be effective. Generally I use solution focused and practical psychotherapy techniques to create lasting change. Drawing on my training and years of experience I will help you assess your particular situation and create an effective and understandable treatment plan.  I have found several methods are the most successful.


Cognitive behavioral psychotherapy

Research shows that one treatment modality, cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, is quite effective in overcoming anxiety.  Your thoughts and behaviors affect your feelings and may predispose you to anxiety or prevent improvement.  Becoming aware of thought processes and learning to change nonproductive thinking patterns is an important part of the therapy. It is also common to change thoughts and feelings by first changing the behavior.


Biofeedback and relaxation training

Biofeedback training, breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and stress management give you concrete tools to work with your anxiety.  Biofeedback training gives you information about the ways stress manifests in your body and helps you learn to change habitual physical responses.  Relaxation skills and breathing exercises give you ways to calm yourself during anxious times; this helps decrease the escalation and avoidance which are commonly seen with anxiety.


Mindfulness and ACT

Mindfulness has emerged as a powerful, evidenced based tool for enhancing psychological health. Mindfulness is a state of awareness, focus, and openness to present experience feelings.  It has been clinically proven to be effective in a wide range of disorders, including anxiety and depression. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a mindfulness based version of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy.  The emphasis is on direct contact with the present moment, without judgment, rather than preoccupation with various thoughts.  Attention is also given to discovering important values and living in accordance with them.




I’ve tried counseling in the past but it didn’t work

Sometimes people have sought counseling but didn’t get the relief they were hoping for.  Usually the problem is that the therapist wasn’t a specialist in treating anxiety and wasn’t able to offer effective strategies for change.  It only makes sense to see a specialist for the best possible care.


I’m too afraid or depressed to come in

It does take courage to see a counselor to confront your problems.  However, people often remark on how much better they feel for having taken the first step.  I know the right questions to ask to help you address your concerns. I will listen carefully to your answers and will work with you, at your own pace, to develop the most useful strategies to reach your goals.


I’m worried about the cost

Learning to manage anxiety is an investment in physical and emotional wellness.  Anxiety based symptoms often result in doctor visits; the drugs prescribed are costly, may have side effects, and don’t address the main issue.  Anxiety and depression also take their toll in terms of missed opportunities and lost possibilities.  The skills you will learn in counseling will be with you for the rest of your life.