Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and Stress are separate but related conditions, which frequently occur together. An easy way to think about it is that anxiety takes place in the mind, in the form of worry, apprehension, fearfulness, and sometimes panic. Stress on the other hand, occurs within the body in reaction to external circumstances. We refer to stress and anxiety together as the combined mental and physical reactions to external and internal factors. For instance, feeling pressure to meet a deadline is an external stressor that causes a reaction within the body, and potentially anxiety within the mind in the form of worry over completing the task on time. Clinically diagnosable anxiety disorders depend upon the prominence of symptoms (their disruptive effect on life), and the symptoms’ length of time.
Treatment of stress and anxiety includes a combination of traditional psychodynamic therapy and cognitive behavioral therapies. What this means is that through and exploration of a client’s history, origins of troubling issues are revealed and through gaining insight, resulting internal conflicts are eased. Once the sources of harmful behaviors are identified and begin to ease, further work is done to specifically change behavior in the present through directed planning and focused exercises. A particular focus is given to coping strategies to assist with reducing anxiety in the present moment. An emphasis is placed on maintaining balance in order to tolerate stresses that come with everyday life.