Psychotherapy works to help those who feel stuck or anxious, or who are experiencing an underlying sense of sadness about their lives.
Some of the common issues psychotherapy and counselling can help with are:
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Anxiety is often defined as fear without a specific object. This makes anxiety in many ways worse than fear because free-floating anxious feeling feeds off itself. Much like depression, anxiety can be experienced as an underlying feeling, gnawing away and unsettling every waking moment, as well as having the potential to suddenly unleash its full potential in the form of panic or angst.
Analytic psychotherapy does not rest satisfied with this definition of anxiety as fear without an object. Rather, the specificity of the feelings that the client is reporting, and the timing of particular episodes of anxiety are analysed in detail. Why did a particularly anxiety-provoking dream, for example, happen on that day rather than another? Why did a relatively innocuous incident provoke such feelings of upset, or misplaced sense of guilt? Interrogating the seemingly irrational or coincidental and insisting on specific underlying causes, psychotherapy works to uncover the hidden thoughts, ideas and fantasies that have given rise to the anxious feelings.
Common anxiety symptoms include: heightened fear, claustrophobic feelings, social phobia or over-concern with what people of think, fear of losing a loved one, about making a mistake, of losing control or depersonalisation/loss of reality.
Engaging directly with these symptoms of anxiety, the counselling process works to unfold the story behind the suffering. This entails the critical examination of often seemingly innocent details in one’s history or pre-history (parental story) in order to isolate the narrative strands that may be seen to link to the surface symptoms, with the aim of giving a name to what may be forgotten fears and concerns from the past, understandable now insofar as they resonate with current sources of the anxious feelings.