Psychologist Questions Anxiety

What can a psychologist do for anxiety?

I'm 32 years old, and I have an anxiety attack almost every day, since I started my job last month. I want to see a psychologist for treatment. What will be the approach in treating me?

8 Answers

Job transitions and changes can be very stressful. A psychologist will help you come up with strategies that can be used during an actual anxiety attack, but also help you set up a self-care plan that will help gradually reduce the anxiety that you are feeling. Therapy may include cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, or a combination of several approaches
You were not born with anxiety. Anxiety is from repressed fear that has become generalized to your life experience. First you need to figure out from what experience the anxiety stems. Usually it comes from early childhood separation anxiety, especially when your parent(s) left you with someone else at an early age (before age 3 or 4). If something like that happened, you should know it is terrifying to a small child who doesn't get why parents left. They could think, I'm not lovable. How can I take care of myself? As an example, that would have terrified you. You wouldn't have understood why you were left.

So, after you figure out what buried fear you have, the next thing is to get that fear out of your body. If you were not free to express your fear as an infant/toddler, you need to get it out now. Sometimes that means you need to scream (maybe in your car into a pillow). The problem is, you may have learned a tendency to repress your feelings. So, next you need help getting in touch with old feelings that need to be released. Of course, this adventure requires some trust and safety that your psychologist needs to create. It takes a little time to create comfort. A fair warning, not all therapists know how to help a person process anxiety. You might want to ask them in advance how they help you process repressed feelings. Some will say they make a referral for medication. That is a last resort, because it is temporary and sometimes the side effects are worse than the problem. Learning to express your feelings is important. There is no healthy person who successfully buries fear, anger or emotional pain.

Dr. Faye
S. Faye Snyder, PsyD
PSY 24806 & MFT 29816
15650 Devonshire Street, Suite 212
Granada Hills, CA 91344
(661) 476-9076=20
I treat patients with anxiety daily. I use an integrative psychodynamic approach where I teach the patient a handful of skills (coming from CBT, ACT, EFT, mindfulness, etc.) and provide
psychoeducation - all necessary to be able to calm your body down. Then I use some psychoanalytic approach to find the origin and maintenance of the anxiety. This treatment is not too long, but very effective.

Be well,

Dr. Rosana Marzullo-Dove
People who suffer from anxiety are unconsciously very fearful of the future--ie what will happen (the new job) and thus need to control whatever goes on in their lives at all times. Perhaps the patient does not need to know how are will be treated but rather, have faith in the therapist. CBT is probably most popular but viewing anxiety as a symptom and hence discovering its underlying root causes is a sound approach as well.
Most practitioners are likely to use a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation training and helping you learn what to do if you have a panic attack. Cognitive behavioral therapy will look at the connections between thoughts, feelings and actions. The focus will be to change negative and detrimental thought patterns and thus decrease anxiety and panic attacks. Therapy would also need to look at what factors in this job are causing you anxiety and help you learn ways to manage these anxiety producing factors. In other words, it will need to identify specific triggers for your attacks. You want a therapist who has worked with anxiety before and is well versed in CBT and in teaching relaxation. It is difficult to cover everything in a short response, but I hope this is helpful.
It's fantastic that you've taken a positive step toward healing yourself. The standard treatment for anxiety and panic attacks is a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Mindfulness Training. You will learn to identify your thoughts that trigger and sustain your anxiety, and to nudge your mind toward more ease. You will also learn how to physiologically "downshift" and regulate your symptoms, e.g. your breathing and awareness/focus. This explanation might seem abstract, but when you go to therapy and begin practicing, it will become clear. For a more detailed explanation of anxiety, please see my article here:
A psychologist will diagnose you and come up with a treatment plan and start treatment. They will discuss this with you and let you know how they will do it if you ask. Every therapist may have their own technique so I cannot describe their procedures
A good resource is the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Bourne, sixth edition. Psychologists are well-trained to help you.