This article will explore whether there are still advantages in working with a local anxiety therapist. The pandemic has pushed people online. Therefore many anxiety therapists are also working virtually. This means clients and therapists no longer need to be in the same area, however does this impact on the quality of the anxiety therapy?
If you are seeing a therapist through the use of the internet you can put your client through a faster, more effective therapy and avoid the stress that can occur during a waiting list. Most anxiety therapy clients are also dealing with a pandemic or have experienced something like it. You can also see your clients in a more relaxed setting without the need for ‘pressure’ like traffic, crowded train carriages etc.
Some therapists have websites or ICS as their main business. They may also be part of another therapy practice. Therefore it may be a good idea to limit the number of therapists you see if you are in a vulnerable position and can’t afford a more expensive therapist. Online therapy means you don’t have to be in the same area as your clients and if you are not in a vulnerable situation then you can see clients who need your help. In this way it may be a good solution for people who can’t afford a therapist.
Finding an anxiety therapist is often difficult. A good anxiety therapist will have a good knowledge of the treatments for various anxiety types. You will also find it beneficial to work with a different therapist for each anxiety type. You need to find someone who has dealt with the various anxiety types you deal with. You may find that this is a harder task to do than you might expect. When you are starting out you should find a good therapist and build up trust in them. As you progress in your therapy you can build trust in different therapists.
When you look for an anxiety therapist you will need to check for the following:
– Have they tried a therapy for my type of anxiety? If they haven’t then you need to ask them to try it with you and if they do then it will be worth looking at.
– Are they part of another therapy practice? If they aren’t part of it and are honest about it then you need to take them seriously. If they aren’t open about it then it may not be worth working with them.
A good anxiety therapist will have a decent website. A decent website will have information on the therapy, common issues, their credentials, fees etc.
The anxiety therapist will also have a brief assessment or interview session which they will take very seriously. This is to make sure that they are a good fit for you. This will also give them a chance to explain their approach to you. If they don’t do this then you will have no opportunity to make your case to them. If you are not satisfied with the way that the assessment is conducted then seek another anxiety therapist. It’s not worth risking the time and your fees in the hope of a good session.
The anxiety therapist can guide you on what you can do to make your therapy sessions more effective. This can include doing breathing exercises or trying to make your session more cognitive based. These are all aimed at helping you to focus. You should be offered cognitive techniques as part of your therapy, but if not then it may not be worth working with. But if you do want to explore some cognitive based therapies then you should see a good anxiety therapist. They should take you seriously and should make sure that you understand that you are taking a risk. If you understand that you are taking a risk then you should be open to working with them. A good anxiety therapist should be able to help you be successful. If you feel that they are not taking you seriously then it may not be worth your time.
- Should have a high level of empathy – In today’s world many of our problems are exacerbated by our reliance on technology. Anxiety therapists should be able to demonstrate an understanding of this and have empathy for what you are going through. An anxiety therapist should understand that there is a need to practice better communication skills and be more aware of their actions.
- Should understand that anxiety is a normal response to anxiety – That is what we are dealing with. They should be able to give you rationalisations and explanations for what you are feeling. This is all a rationalisation. They should understand that you need to learn to cope with your anxiety and should help you learn practical ways to do so. This will not make you feel good but you will be better able to cope with it.
- Should know that you have a brain that can suffer from anxiety – That is the law of internal logic. Anxiety is caused by the thought process that causes you to feel anxious. If you accept that this is the case then you can cope with your anxiety.
- Should be able to identify specific causes of your anxiety
- Should be able to suggest practical actions that can help you cope with your anxiety
How should this be assessed?
Anxiety is subjective, which means that each individual will assess their own symptoms and their symptoms are not necessarily the same. That means that there will be variance in the assessment. However, if everyone’s symptoms are in the same range then that is a good indicator that the assessment is reasonable.
That is because it is unlikely that you will have a range of symptoms that vary in intensity and therefore also unlikely that the assessment will be subjective.
However, if you have a wide range of symptoms that vary in intensity then you may have to use a subjective assessment. However, this is because you have identified the causes of your anxiety and that is a good indication that the assessment is reasonable.
Can this help in diagnosing?
There is no diagnostic test that can be used for diagnosing anxiety. What you are looking for is that the assessment is a reliable indicator of the causes of your anxiety. This will help you in diagnosing your symptoms.
So how can this be determined?
When diagnosing, you will have to go back over your symptoms. You will be looking for the common factors and you will be assessing the severity of each of those factors. If you see that they are common factors, then the assessment is reliable. If they are not common factors then that may be because the cause is something else.
For example, anxiety can cause you to think repeatedly of a place that brings you distress. You would want to ask yourself why you are thinking of that place and what purpose does it serve to you? A person who is worried about the presence of small rodents in their home is likely suffering from anxiety. If they tell themselves that the rats are going to crawl in their living room cupboard, that is likely not anxiety. A person who thinks about a rat might have a fear of the small rodents. This person may have a fear of rats but that is not anxiety. Anxiety cannot be triggered by tiny rodents but this person would have a fear of the small rodents. Anxiety cannot be triggered by fear of the dark but this person would have a fear of the dark. These three scenarios illustrate the common factors. If you see common factors, then the assessment is reliable.
The assessment will give you clues as to the cause of your anxiety and the effectiveness of your treatment. Do you feel less anxious if you do not think of a place about which you have a strong fear? How about your partner? Your boss? Your dog? The assessment will help you understand the effectiveness of your treatment.
If you see that your treatment is effective then you can relax more and move on to the next phase.
If you see that your treatment is not effective then you can move on to the next phase and try a new treatment or the next phase and move back to the community to see if things have improved.
As part of the assessment your clinician will work with you and your other health professional(s) to come up with a treatment plan that will work for you and your partner. You have a choice as to which health professional(s) you work with. Your clinician may recommend a third party health professional to help you complete the assessment. You have a choice as to who you work with but you also need to keep them informed of your progress. Your primary care clinician or your mental health clinician should also be informed of your progress and should be involved in the planning and implementation of your treatment.
Your treatment plan will be designed to your level of communication. You do not need a doctor. You will need to make decisions about what to include in your treatment plan. You may wish to work with your health professional(s) to tailor a treatment plan to your level of progress.
Do not assume that your mental health clinician can manage your treatment. Your mental health clinician will manage your assessment and treatment. Your mental health clinician will be available by phone should you need assistance or supervision.
What happens if I take too much medication?
If you take too much medication for an extended period of time or for longer periods of time than your health professional recommends your safety is compromised. If you exceed the recommended dosage or exceed the recommended duration of taking medications, this may interfere with your treatment. Your health professional will work with you to reduce or avoid the risk of this occurring.
If you fail to take your medication, or if your medication dose is outside of the guidelines set by your health professional your safety is compromised. If you fail to adhere to your treatment plan your mental health clinic may decide that a reduction in your medication dosage is necessary. Your mental health clinic may decide to stop providing treatment entirely.