Anxiety Counselling

Anxiety Counselling

Anxiety Counselling helps individuals in Singapore investigate the root cause by using various types of therapy based on the situation to prevent anxiety from prevailing for an extended period.

Many of us experience anxiety and stress daily. While a healthy amount of anxiety and stress can motivate us to work harder and become more productive, feeling excessively anxious over an extended period of time can be detrimental to our mental and physical well-being. Feeling overly anxious and worried can affect our day-to-day functioning, strain relationships with loved ones, and reduce productivity and performance at school or work.

There is a fine line between normal and unhealthy anxiety. Normal anxiety is usually a typical and natural response to stressful life events. Sometimes, it can push us to be more resilient and enhance our self-regulating ability. However, this becomes unhealthy when it prevails for an extended period of time. Experiencing and managing unhealthy anxiety can damage our health as it is both mentally and physically draining, leaving our bodies with little energy left for other activities.

If you or someone you know is experiencing excessive anxiety and worry that gets hard to control, consult one of our mental health professionals as soon as possible. Then, book an appointment with us for an online or an in-person counselling session.

Types Of Anxiety Disorders

While anxiety can be defined as intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about day-to-day encounters, there are many types of anxiety disorders. Some of the more common ones include:

1) Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD typically involves excessive anxiety and worry or apprehensive expectations about different events or activities that are difficult to control and may interfere with daily life. This may include feeling overly anxious or worried about work or school performance.

2) Panic Disorder

Frequent and unexpected panic attacks categorise panic disorder. A panic attack refers to a sudden surge of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within a couple of minutes. The cue or trigger for these panic attacks may not always be obvious.

3) Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

Social anxiety disorder usually involves marked fear or anxiety about one or more social situations where there is an exposure to the possibility of being scrutinised by others. Some examples of such social situations include social interactions (e.g. having a conversation), being observed (e.g. eating or drinking), and performing in front of others (e.g. giving a speech).

4) Specific Phobia

A phobia is marked fear or anxiety regarding a particular object or situation. Some examples of phobia include flying, heights, animals, receiving an injection or seeing blood. Encountering these phobic objects or situations will immediately trigger heightened levels of fear and anxiety.

Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety

Though each of these anxiety disorders is different in many ways, some common symptoms overlap across all anxiety disorders, including:

  • Feeling intense fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation (phobic object or situation) that is difficult to control
  • Avoiding the phobic object or situation
  • Intrusive or obsessive thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling restless or frustrated
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or hypersomnia (sleeping excessively)
  • Trembling, sweating, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, chest pain, dizziness or nausea in the case of a panic attack
  • Persisting body aches or tense muscles, headaches or digestive problems

Causes Of Anxiety

Anxiety can be caused by the presence of a single factor or even a combination of several different factors, which may include:

1) Biological Factors

An excessive amount of certain chemicals in the body, like cortisol, a stress hormone, can cause increased anxiety levels. In addition, reduced activity levels and performance of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain that reduces anxiety, can also cause increased levels of fear and worry.

2) Medical Conditions

Anxiety can often be related to underlying medical conditions with similar symptoms and sensations, such as heart diseases, heart arrhythmia, thyroid problems or respiratory disorders. Sometimes, the drugs used for other medical conditions may also play a role in increasing levels of anxiety.

3) Life Events

Many things in life cause a great deal of stress and anxiety in our mind and body. Stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one, starting or ending a relationship, having a child, losing a job or starting a new one or financial difficulties, can cause increased levels of worry and anxiety.

Treatment For Anxiety

Our psychotherapists are highly trained and specialised in these therapeutic techniques to help you cope with anxiety. Some forms of treatment for anxiety, including and beyond therapy, include the following:

1) Therapy
a) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is one of the most effective forms of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. Generally, CBT focuses on teaching clients specific skills to improve their symptoms and slowly return to the activities that have been avoided due to anxiety.

CBT is effective because it is collaborative, pragmatic and highly structured. In CBT, clients will work with their therapist to identify the problems they are facing and explore solutions to overcome them by setting clear and achievable goals systematically.

The main goal of CBT is to stop negative cycles of thinking and behaving by slowly eliminating the things that make our clients feel bad, anxious or scared. As a result, CBT can help reduce clients’ negative thought patterns and better manage their difficulties. Eventually, CBT aims to train clients to be able to cope with and overcome their anxieties without the help of a therapist.

b) Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy, a form of CBT, is mainly used with clients who experience phobia-related anxieties. As the name suggests, exposure therapy exposes clients to items and situations that cause anxiety. However, they feel they can tolerate this anxiety. Generally, clients will be exposed to these anxiety-inducing objects or situations until they lose their power over the individual and therefore feel less anxious. Exposure therapy may take a few hours over several sessions.

c) Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

EMDR has also been used extensively in the treatment of anxiety disorders. By controlling eye movements, EMDR directly influences how the brain processes information (i.e. anxiety-inducing thoughts), reducing the intensity of those disturbing thoughts.

d) Acceptance And Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT emphasises acceptance as a strategy for clients to cope with negative thoughts, emotions, symptoms, or situations. ACT also encourages clients to commit more to healthy, constructive activities that uphold their values or goals.

A primary benefit of ACT is that it encourages clients to develop psychological flexibility – the ability to embrace thoughts and feelings when they are helpful and to set them aside when they are not. This will allow clients to react carefully to their thoughts and emotions and avoid engaging in impulsive actions.

e) Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT focuses on dialectical thinking. Dialectics refers to a philosophical stance in which two ideas or truths, seemingly opposing one another, can coexist.

DBT can help clients deal with difficult emotions and teach them how to live in the moment, manage their emotions, and develop healthy ways to cope with stress. Research suggests that DBT can help individuals deal with anxiety, stress, restlessness, irritability, fear, and excessive worry. Furthermore, DBT has been found to help clients improve their emotion regulation, mindfulness techniques, and decision-making and increase their distress tolerance.

2) Support Groups

In support groups, many people with similar goals and life experiences gather and create a healthy and positive environment for individuals to express their struggles and difficulties. A strong social support system is crucial for anxious individuals who may have trouble maintaining quality relationships with others. Support groups provide a safe space for interaction, and one gets to receive unbiased, helpful feedback. What is unique about support groups is the comfort in knowing that other people are going through the same thing, emphasising that you are never alone.

3) Medication

The medications prescribed for anxiety generally include:

a) Antidepressants
b) Anti-anxiety medication
c) Beta-blockers

How Anxiety Counselling Works

While the duration and frequency of the counselling sessions may vary based on the therapeutic intervention you and your therapist have decided to adopt, most of our clients start showing improvements within 8 to 10 counselling sessions. This may sound like a long process for treatment, but rest assured that our therapists at Incontact will be here with you every step of the way. As explained above, anxiety counselling can adopt various methods such as CBT, exposure therapy, EMDR, ACT and DBT.

At Incontact, our therapists and counsellors can help you tackle and manage your anxiety effectively by choosing the therapeutic intervention that is best suited to your needs and interests. Using a heterogenous approach, our therapists combine several different concepts and theories that can help you achieve your mental health goals and make each session meaningful.

We are a team of reputable, licensed therapists who are attuned to your specific needs and learning attitudes to help bring in permanent, long-term results and make an ever-changing impact on your life. Trained in forming good relationships, our therapists act as enablers in your journey of self-development and empower you to become your best self.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answer: If you are experiencing excessive anxiety that is disrupting your day-to-day functioning and making you feel like you are losing control, consult a mental health professional as soon as you can. Book an appointment with us for either an online or offline therapy/depression counselling session.

Answer: By adopting the treatment methods described above, anxiety counselling will be able to help you identify the sources of your anxiety and teach you ways to manage them. During counselling for anxiety, you and your therapist will work together to uncover the problems you are facing, explore solutions for them and set goals – all of which can significantly reduce anxiety.


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