6 Ways Counseling Can Help With Anxiety

6 Ways Counseling Can Help With Anxiety

People go to counseling for a variety of reasons, from trying to make a big decision to losing someone in the family. Counseling is meant to be a tool you can use to help yourself heal from something, whether it is a mental illness or a life dilemma.

Anxiety is very closely related to physical health, and it’s more common than you might think! In fact, 284 million people in the world experience anxiety. Of those people, 36% seek treatment. It’s time to change that.

Here are six ways counseling can help you heal your anxiety and get relief.

You Can Speak to Someone Who Doesn’t Judge You

The best thing about counseling is that your therapist cannot and will not judge you. Counseling is meant to be a kind and calming atmosphere where your therapist can guide you through the skills needed to support yourself and heal.

You can tell your therapist what you’re going through, and they will never report it to others in your life. A therapist can only speak to others about your session if they need to contact the authorities on your behalf if you’re planning to hurt yourself or others.

However, speaking to a therapist is highly beneficial for anxiety. For those who experience the condition, it can be hard to trust in our personal lives. Having one person you can tell anything to is so valuable.

You Can Learn New Coping Skills

A counselor knows a ton of new skills for you to try with your anxiety. You may have heard of deep breathing techniques or meditation. For some people, those skills just don’t work. Some patients have an active mind that can make them more stressed in quiet situations.

A counselor can tailor your care to something that works for you personally, which can be beneficial for people who aren’t finding relief from traditional coping skills.

Some skills you may try include:

  • DBT skills
  • New mindfulness practices
  • Naming your emotions and physical sensations
  • Art therapy
  • Going into the woods to scream
  • Singing loudly
  • Sensory toys/fidgets

There is a whole world of coping skills out there for those with anxiety (and any mental illness!). Even swimming in cold water can stop your panic attacks in their tracks.

BetterHelp has some great resources on why counseling helps for those looking for further support: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/counseling/.

You Can Find Medication That Helps

Although psychologists often cannot offer medication support, you can visit a counselor or therapist who also majored in psychiatry, or you can ask your counselor for a referral to a psychiatrist in your area.

Medication for anxiety works for some people and is especially effective in those with panic attacks or panic attack disorder. When your anxiety impacts your life to the point where you cannot work, think, or function, you may need medication until you can get it under control.

There is nothing shameful about taking medication for anxiety. Many people in the world take medication for their mental health conditions, which helps. That’s why it’s a resource that’s available for you. 

You may be able to get a prescription for an “as-needed” anxiety med, which you only have to take when you’re feeling extra anxious or having a panic attack. These medications have less of a chance of addiction and are quite safe and helpful tools.

You Can Practice Skills in a Safe and Personalized Environment

If you’re not comfortable or don’t know how to cope outside of therapy yet, that’s okay. Counseling exists to get you to a point where you don’t need it anymore. Even if you need it for a long time, that’s totally fine.

Therapy is on your schedule, and there is no pressure to complete it or be able to do something you’re not ready for. A counselor will give you a stress-free environment to practice what you learn about your anxiety. You’ll be able to talk through whatever you need or not talk much at all. It’s all about you.

You can structure your therapy sessions to fit your boundaries. For example, if you’re not ready to talk through deep subjects, you can see if your therapist has art supplies available to help you draw or express yourself through art.

If you can’t do that, therapists can sit with you and help you try some skills instead of speaking about what you’re anxious about.

You Will Find Validation

Validation is so important to every person. Being told that you are valid and that you make sense feels excellent. It’s important to remember that someone telling you that your fears are “valid” doesn’t mean they’re true. It simply means that what you are feeling makes sense and that you’re not alone in feeling it.

Every feeling and experience can be validated, even if it’s not healthy. As humans, we want to hear that everything is okay and that we are still important and valid people even when we’re struggling. You can be valid and be struggling. Your counselor will help you understand the difference between validity and what needs to change for you to get better.

Counseling is an extremely positive environment to learn about these skills.

You Can Do Therapy Online

If you’re not entirely comfortable seeing a therapist in person for any reason, you can see one online. Online counseling is becoming more and more available and popular for a multitude of reasons. You can chat with, email, and video chat with your therapist during their scheduled hours.

You can see your therapist as much as you wish throughout the week (in most cases), and you can have a more significant amount of support than you might find online. Online therapy is extremely valuable for this reason. It can sometimes be cheaper than traditional therapy, as well. 

Conclusion

Healing anxiety through counseling is absolutely possible. There are a multitude of benefits of seeing a counselor. You can start medication, learn new skills, and have a safe environment to discuss your feelings (or not!). It’s all up to you, and that’s what makes counseling great. Of course, if you need a more structured session, you can always let your counselor know that you’d like them to lead the discussion.



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