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What Are Anxiety Disorders? Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term for a group of disorders that all share anxiety-related symptoms. Each individual anxiety disorder refers to a subset of anxiety symptoms and specific anxiety triggers. A person with social anxiety for example may experience blushing, increased heart-rate, and a sense of panic and inferiority when around other people. All anxiety disorders share a common symptom, which is an excessive worry about something that most people wouldn’t be that concerned about. Anxiety itself is natural and actually quite helpful when experienced in appropriate contexts and intensities. Someone experiencing panic and anxiety is feeling the effects of the ‘fight or flight’ response. Which is our body’s natural response to a perceived danger. When it is activated, hormones are released into the body to enable us to either deal with or escape from the threat. The actual cause of the anxiety itself can often be quite complex and unclear, as it usually arises from a combination of a persons’ psychological history, environmental factors, and genetic pre-disposition. At an underlying neurological and physiological level, the various anxiety disorders function in much the same way. The real difference lies at the level of the thought processes, which are what trigger and maintain the anxiety. This is why psychotherapy, which aims to help a person alter their thought processes, is one of the most effective long-term solution. People suffering from a variety of anxiety symptoms often think it is important to have a name or label for their condition, but this is often hard to achieve, as many people won’t fit neatly into the category of any one single anxiety disorder. There is a large spectrum of symptoms which anxiety sufferers can experience, with the cross over from one disorder to another, sometimes making it difficult to apply a single label to a patient presenting with a broad selection of anxiety-related symptoms. Fortunately a psychotherapist is trained to look beyond these simplistic ways of looking at anxiety, and instead treats the person as a whole, working flexibly with whatever symptoms, thoughts, behaviours and emotions the individual brings to the therapy process without the need to resort to labeling. A List of Common Anxiety Disorders: Panic Disorder Is literally the fear of having a panic attack, and this fear can be so intense that it actually causes a panic attack. It is a good example of the cyclical nature of many anxieties in which the symptoms also become the cause. The panic attack can produce extremely unpleasant physical and mental symptoms with many people believing that they are having a heart attack and/or are going to die or are going insane. Generalised Anxiety Disorder A persistent and excessive anxiety or worry about past, current or future events or activities which may or may not happen. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Can include repetitive behaviours such as cleaning, hand washing, checking, counting, or repeating words silently. The person will experience unwanted obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviours. Social Anxiety The experience of fear, anxiety or panic in social situations. People may fear embarrassing themselves or making a fool of themselves in some way. Specific Phobias Are an excessive fear about a specific thing (animals, heights, flying, blood etc.) The object or situation is avoided or provokes extreme anxiety. People with an anxiety disorder can also experience a number of different symptoms as a result of their disorder. Somatoform Disorder Often more commonly referred to as Hypochondria. It is an excessive worry about your health and in particular about having an undiagnosed health issue. Often accompanied by frequent checking of bodily sensations, and doubts relating to medical diagnosis and test results. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) The experience, or witness of, or confrontation with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death, or serious injury, or threat of physical injury of self or others. The major feature of PTSD is the reliving of the event through dreams, nightmares or flashbacks. Commonly treated examples of anxiety People frequently seek help from counsellors and psychotherapists for the following anxieties: •public speaking anxiety •performance anxiety •social anxiety •blushing •interview anxiety •exam nerves •health anxiety •fear of flying •financial and economic worries •driving anxiety •specific phobias What Are Anxiety Disorders? By Nigel Magowan
What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)? Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is an well understood and common issue, with its characteristic indicator of persistent daily anxiety without any obvious cause. Sometimes known as free floating anxiety or chronic worry. Around 1 in every 20 adults in Britain suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety is a natural part of day-to-day living and may occur in any part of our life. At low levels, anxiety is in fact very important and helpful as it keeps us safe by helping us avoid potential threats and mistakes, it can motivate us, and it ensures we think things through thoroughly before doing them. For example it is anxiety that ensures we have prepared for important exams and presentations. Depending on how we evaluate them, worrying events can have the power to actually strengthen us and build our confidence and self esteem as it can broaden our comfort zones, and encourage us to take action to overcome misunderstandings and improve our relationships with others. For many people however, the intensity of the anxiety can become so intense that it overwhelms them and interferes with their everyday activities. The cause of Generalised Anxiety Disorder is not simple and can be attributed to multiple factors. Environmental factors can contribute to high degrees of stress and anxiety. Long-term or unusually high amounts of emotional distress from life events such as relationship break ups, bereavement, job loss, financial problems, illness, work stress, and absence of support networks may contribute to the creation of anxiety disorders. Genetic susceptibility might additionally mean some people are much more vulnerable to stress and anxiety than others. Typical Symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder Generalised Anxiety can impair you both physically and psychologically. Psychological signs of Generalised Anxiety Disorder could be: uneasyness a feeling of fear or dread feeling constantly “on edge” problem concentrating irritability rashness being easily sidetracked The physical signs of Generalised Anxiety can feature: lightheadedness drowsiness and tiredness pins and needles irregular heartbeat (palpitations) muscular tissue aches and tension dry mouth too much sweating lack of breath stomach ache nausea diarrhea frustration thirstiness frequent urinating painful or missed periods trouble dropping or remaining asleep (insomnia and sleep disorders) Treatment for Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Generalised anxiety disorder treatment in more acute cases will require professional help. It is necessary to first rule out any possible physical cause for your anxiety, so explore your symptoms with your GP first. Supportive talk therapies such as counselling, psychotherapy, NLP and clinical hypnotherapy are of immense value in the treatment of Generalised Anxiety Disorder. In some cases however the anxiety may be so intense initially that your doctor will prescribe medication to reduce the anxiety symptoms to a level where you can more effectively engage in psychological therapy. Brief Therapies that make use of cognitive and behavioral strategies such as CBT and NLP can be an effective therapy for the various anxiety disorders. With these therapies you are shown ways to recognise and change the thought patterns, behaviours, and resulting emotional responses that are causing your anxiety, and ways to perceive each anxiety attack differently and more realistically, so you realise that it is your own mind and not the situation itself that is causing your anxiety. Also learning to experience your fears and tackle them aids in expanding your comfort zones and can build your confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes having an explanation of what is taking place in your body when you feel nervous, and a discussion about any worrying physical symptoms, generally helps reduce the anxiety by helping you realise that you do not have a serious physical issue. Uncertainty worsens stress and anxiety so having an understanding of them and a clear procedure for dealing with it often helps. Learning ways to literally manage the physical symptoms of your anxiousness using breathing techniques, awareness exercises, and muscle relaxation, will permit you to manage your bodily responses when you start to feel anxious. A well qualified and experienced therapist will be able to help you to explore your thought process, behaviours and emotions, and aid you in finding the solutions you need. Self-help for Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) There are many effective ways to help yourself manage GAD and other anxiety disorders. However if you have severe anxiety then you should also seek professional assistance. Action or acceptance: The vast majority of what we worry about will never actually occur. Also for a large percentage of the things we worry about, we actually have absolutely no control or influence over it. So notice what you are worrying about, and ask yourself, do you personally have any direct control or influence over what you are worrying about? If the answer is yes, make an action plan and begin to take steps to change the situation so that it no longer worries you. Taking action, even if it is just small steps often helps alleviate stress and anxiety. If instead you realise you actually don’t have any control over the thing you are worrying about then finding a way to think differently about and accept what is happening is going to be much more beneficial and healthy. In fact the less anxious you are the more resourceful you’ll be, and the better able to cope and deal with whatever life actually throws at you. Lifestyle changes: Particular lifestyle activities can cause anxiety, or make existing anxiety even worse, such as drinking too much caffeine, an unhealthy diet, inadequate sleep routines, use of recreational drugs, lack of exercise, and social seclusion to name a few. Start by drinking less caffeine, develop a well balanced healthy diet and regular workout regimen, establish a healthy sleep routine, reduce your alcohol intake, and seek the company and support of your friends and family. Relaxation: An easy and remarkably effective anxiety disorder treatment is deep relaxation. This has been shown to be as effective as anxiolytic drugs when practiced once or twice daily. Any form of relaxation is going to be helpful, but relaxation procedures that supply both mental and deep muscle relaxation will be the most beneficial. Routine use of relaxation procedures such as progressive muscle relaxation, breathing technique, meditation, biofeedback, mindfulness, yoga, and self-hypnosis have all been shown to be valuable. About the Author Nigel Magowan is based in Manchester, England, and is a professional and experienced Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner and Life Coach. He is also a fully Accredited Psychotherapist. He has been in full-time private practice since 2002 and uses a flexible integrative cognitive behavioural approach which combines all his training, skills and experience to produce a Brief Therapy treatment that is customised to your unique personal needs. Over the years he has increasingly specialised in treating the various anxiety disorders such as generalised anxiety at his Manchester practice. He is also an Approved Anxiety UK Therapist in Manchester. As someone who has previously suffered from anxiety, he is able to bring his own personal understanding into his anxiety related work with his clients. His Manchester Hypnotherapy, NLP, and psychotherapy practice in Chorlton, South Manchester is near to Streford, Didsbury, Withington, Stockport, Altrincham, Cheadle, Salford, Macclesfield, Worsley. Call him on 0161 881 4333 to make an enquiry or book an initial appointment now.
The Beneficial Effects of Ecotherapy More recently researchers have begun to understand what lots of people have known on an instinctive level for millennia: that the natural world can be a very beneficial aid to recovery for our psychological health. Healers have actually long made use of a therapeutic connection with nature in order to treat a large selection of mental and physical conditions. These ancient practices are actually now being rediscovered and have been given the collective name ‘Ecotherapy‘. Ecotherapy is a collective term for various nature-based treatments which use an experiential connection with nature. It’s a relatively new field, but one which has numerous ancient roots, drawing its ideas from both modern and ancient practices, including contemporary psychotherapy, counselling, nature-awareness, mindfulness, meditation, clinical hypnotherapy, NLP, shamanism, and bushcraft to name a few. The term Ecotherapy refers to many different nature-based therapies such as wilderness therapy, equine assisted therapy, pet therapy, horticultural therapy, walking therapy, natural awareness therapy. Our forefathers would have seen very little or no difference between the natural world and themselves; making use of nature to recover and sustain, physically, mentally and spiritually. The sad thing is, contemporary society has become more and more detached from nature. For millennia we existed in a close relationship with the natural world, and were intrinsically connected to the rhythms of our natural environment, a lot so that our demand for a relationship with nature need to live in our extremely genes. It would seem that, in spite of our technological innovations, we are still genetically hard-wired to need to be close to nature and living things. Most people are already familiar with the advantageous mental impacts of just being on a beach, paddling in a stream, or walking in woodlands or mountains. When taking our vacations, this might be why we are commonly drawn to locations of natural beauty. Mankind’s use of nature to enhance physical, spiritual and psychological well-being has been around most likely as long as humans have existed. Numerous researchers now think that psychological problems can emerge due to our disconnection from the natural environment. Our in-built need for a relationship with nature has become interfered with, leaving us unbalanced and open to a range of psychological and emotional troubles. It would appear that there is a strong need for us to re-integrate nature back into our lives to redress the balance. Research has actually shown that just being in green spaces can have considerable advantages on psychological well-being. This can be as simple as spending time gardening, sitting in a neighborhood park, or walking in the countryside. Ecotherapy takes this concept of being in green space further by actively developing and using this instinctive connection, and combining it with contemporary psychotherapeutic processes. Compared with many standard talking therapies, Ecotherapy is typically focused on experiential learning. Participants learn by means of engagement and immersing themselves in the environment and tasks, as well as by talking about and sharing their insights and experiences, thus personal growth can frequently occur without the lengthy conversation frequently associated with many talking therapies. More and more research is now showing that Ecotherapy has a powerful effect on many psychological conditions, including, anxiety, stress, anger, obsession, and depression. It can build self-esteem, inspiration, self-confidence, and improve communication and relationship skills. It can help put your life into perspective, establish self-reliance and imagination, and help you to discover that you can achieve things you never thought feasible. Ecotherapy Related Blog Nigel Magowan Presents His Research into the Potential Effectiveness of Ecotherapy as a Treatment for Anxiety, at the UKCP Research Conference at Regents College, London About the Author Nigel Magowan is a Manchester, UK based Ecotherapist, Accredited Psychotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner and Life Coach. With over 11 years’ experience practicing psychotherapy, NLP and Hypnotherapy in Manchester and Harley Street. He is one of the first few people in the UK to provide Ecotherapy, which is provided either in weekly sessions, as part of an on-going regular open groups, or as weekend retreats and workshops. Nigel offers outdoor nature-based therapy and coaching for individuals, organizations, and business groups.
All you need is your anxiety and a tennis or juggling ball. Brain scan studies have demonstrated that anxiety only occurs in one hemisphere of the brain. If you force both hemispheres of the brain to communicate with some physical actions that involve both sides of the body then the anxiety state can be quickly diminished. Here’s what you do: 1. Conjure up the state of anxiety (if you are troubled by anxiety you may not need to do much conjuring). 2. Holding your hands out in front of you, elbows bent as if you were holding a tray. Toss the ball back and forth between your hands. The ball must cross in front of you as you catch and throw. As you do this you will find your anxiety level beginning to diminish. 3. After a while stop ‘juggling’ to gauge your level of anxiety. Typically it will be reduced. 4. Continue juggling and checking until the anxiety is reduced to zero. You can use this process when the anxiety arises or imagine an anxiety provoking situation and reduce the anticipated anxiety. Here’s a video explanation and demonstration of this approach by Andy Austin on YouTube. — Reproduced with permission from the author Andrew Austin . If you wish to reproduce this article on your own website or blog, please contact the author. You must include the author details and ensure any web links remain active and unchanged. The copyright remains with the author.
Today the Inner Changes Psychotherapy, NLP and Hypnotherapy practice in Manchester celebrates its 11th anniversary. When I first opened the doors of my Manchester Psychotherapy practice to clients 11 years ago, I held brand new professional qualifications in NLP and Clinical Hypnotherapy and had read countless books on both subjects, but it very quickly became apparent to me that I had only just begun the real learning process. There is no substitute for real life practical experience: the day-to-day interaction with people; no two of whom are the same. There is no magic template or technique you can apply as a one size fits all. Every person who walks through my door is unique. Accordingly, the treatment for every client has to be individually tailored and fluid, adjusting from moment to moment within every session. This is one of the main reasons why I threw the standard pre-written hypnotherapy scripts used by many hypnotherapists in the bin in the first few weeks of practicing, and adopted a flexible, tailored and ultimately more effective approach. Over the years many people have asked me why I became a therapist. There are many reasons, but my greatest motivation has always been to help people realise their potential, both personally and professionally. It’s so common to be prevented from achieving your dreams because of treatable conditions like phobias, addictions, anxiety or stress, and once you banish those to the past you can go forward and become the person you want to be. I think what helps me guide others is my own personal experience of anxiety and panic attacks which held me back when I was younger. Having had run-ins myself with these all-too-common limiting conditions gives me a depth of understanding of them, coupled with a strong sense of empathy for the person sitting with me in my consulting room. In eleven years of full-time practice, I have conducted literally thousands of therapy sessions and treated more conditions than I have room to list in this blog entry, but there are certain psychological issues in which I have gained particularly strong expertise, such as generalised anxiety, panic attacks, depression, insomnia, fear of public speaking, social anxiety, addictions, OCD, confidence building, relationship issues, and stress. I have gone on to obtain specialist training in other areas and now hold certificates in Stress Management, Anger Management, Working with Shame, Treating Insomnia and Sleep Disorders, Working with Addictions, Treating IBS, Human Development, Psychopathology and Ethical Practice. I also embarked on a formal UKCP accredited training programme in Psychotherapy in 2006, obtaining an Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy, allowing me to become a UKCP Registered Psychotherapist. This qualification has significantly increased my breadth of knowledge and skills, and my ability to work effectively with difficult and complex cases. I believe strongly that it’s very important to keep learning and progressing, and my professional evolution reflects that, with an expansion in 2010 into a practice in London’s Harley Street, and being taken on by the National phobic organisation Anxiety UK as an approved therapist. More than a decade running my clinic has also given me the time to add many other strings to my bow in terms of additional fields of therapy, so that now I can honestly say I offer a fully integrative approach, which now draws on many therapeutic approaches including Contemporary Psychotherapy, Gestalt Therapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Systemic NLP, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Ericksonian Hypno-Psychotherapy, Self-Relations Psychotherapy, Mindfulness, Counselling, and Family Systems Therapy. Combined I think they help me offer a holistic and individually-tailored approach to each person I work with. It would appear that I have managed to strike the right balance, as a significant number of clients return for treatment of conditions in addition to the one they initially consulted on. I also receive a lot of new clients who have come to me via recommendations from past or current existing clients. There is no doubt that my training and experience has added depth, knowledge, understanding, flexibility and adaptability to my approach, and as I enter my twelfth year of practice, I intend building upon that even more. I am genuinely excited about what the coming year holds for Inner Changes. In addition to my more conventional psychotherapy practice, based in a traditional consulting room, I will be expanding upon my work in Ecotherapy. This relatively new form of therapy moves the client into a natural setting, delivering treatment via workshops, one-to-one sessions, exercises and guided meditations, all of which are conducted in the countryside, utilising Nature itself as part of the healing process. This is a relatively new area of discovery in therapeutic terms, so in many ways, I will actually be contributing to the field as I explore it. This could be daunting for some, but as I often say to my clients, it’s beneficial to keep changing, evolving and moving forward. It’s great looking back today at how far I have come, but it’s equally fantastic to be looking ahead and embracing the challenges of tomorrow. Article: Today the Inner Changes Psychotherapy, NLP and Hypnotherapy practice in Manchester celebrates its 11th anniversary. By Rachael Magowan Blog researched and written by Rowan Creative Copywriting Service Manchester
Inner Changes – near Fallowfield Advanced Hypnotherapy, NLP, Psychotherapy, Life Coaching, and Stress Management If you would like help to do any of the following… Overcome Anxiety and Panic Attacks Control Your Weight and Eating Habits in a natural healthy way Relax and manage your stress levels Rid yourself of a Fear or Phobia Improve your confidence and self esteem Treat your Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Stop Smoking Change a habit Solve emotional problems Make positive changes in your life Resolve unwanted issues Deal with relationship issues Manage and control pain Overcome depression Enhance your memory and study habits Enhance a skill you already possess more… …then I may be able to help you. Click Here to bookmark this site Just how much is your health and well-being worth to you? I specialise in anxiety and panic attacks, weight control, stress management, smoking cessation, changing habits, removing fears and phobias, overcoming depression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), relationship issues, memory and study habits, and improving confidence and self esteem. if you don’t see what you are looking for, then do get in touch to discuss your requirements. My years of experience and extensive training has given me the knowledge and flexibility to help you deal with most psychological issues. As a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner and life coach, my services can more effectively treat many of the things that you might consider visiting a counsellor for, and a lot more besides. It is also my aim to help you resolve your issues as quickly as possible and by using the incredible power of your own mind, enable you to achieve the life you want. Many specific issues can be very quickly dealt with in around 4 to 8 sessions, for more deep rooted or complex issues, more sessions will be required. However as we are all unique individuals, you decide when you have reached resolution. I am a full-time professional, qualified and experienced Manchester Hypnotherapist, Solution-Focused Integrative Psychotherapist, Life Coach and a Licensed NLP Master Practitioner. I have trained with some of the best psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and NLP trainers, including Paul McKenna, and by Dr Richard Bandler – the creator of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). I have received training in both Ericksonian and traditional hypnotherapy, and combine all my skills and experience to produce a treatment that is tailored to your exact needs. So that together we can work to help you to change in the quickest and most effortless ways possible. By using a solution focused approach, results can be achieved in a much shorter time than when using traditional counselling or psychoanalysis. I offer an 60 minute Initial Consultation/Assessment Session which gives us the chance to begin to explore your issues further. I will give you honest answers to any questions you might have and give you a realistic estimate of the number of sessions you may require. I practice from a consulting room in my home, located in Chorlton in South Manchester, near Fallowfield, close to junction 7 & 8 of the M60 and the end of the M56. My services can be combined and tailored to your individual or company needs, and range from one to one private therapy or coaching sessions through to group training and workshops. When you are committed to making the inner changes you need, to achieve the life you want, simply phone me on 0161 881 4333 or to make an appointment now.
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