“Helping You Find Solutions”
Toronto Anxiety Psychotherapist
As a compassionate and experienced Toronto Anxiety Psychotherapist, my goal is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those I work with. Our work together will help inform you as to why your anxiety originated, what continually fuels it, and how to manage and dissolve symptoms.
Anxiety disorders can have severe consequences if left untreated. For example, some people who suffer from recurring panic attacks avoid at all costs putting themselves in a situation that they fear may trigger another panic attack. Such avoidance behavior may create problems by conflicting with job requirements, family obligations or other basic activities of daily living.
Many people who suffer from an untreated anxiety disorder are prone to other psychological disorders, such as depression and they have a greater tendency to abuse alcohol and other drugs. You may find that your relationships with family members, friends and coworkers may become very strained. Your job performance may falter.
The goal of psychotherapy is to help you change problematic thought patterns into healthier ways of thinking. We will look at ways to help you learn how to re-approach anxiety-inducing situations.
Toronto Psychotherapy for Anxiety
No one treatment plan works well for all. Treatment needs to be tailored to the specific needs of the individual and to the type of disorder, or disorders, from which the individual suffers. I use a combination of theoretical approaches. I feel that I can optimize psychotherapy treatment plans by using integrated therapeutic techniques.
I use therapeutic strategies such as cognitive restructuring, to help people turn their anxious thoughts, interpretations and predictions into thoughts which are more rational and less anxious. My goal with you in therapy is to assist you to regain control of your feelings and thoughts — and your life. I also have found that Emotion Regulation Therapy is extremely effective. Please read Emotional Regulation Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Knowledge is a very powerful tool. It is my intent to help you understand anxiety disorders which may include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia), specific phobias, panic disorder with and without agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and hypochondria (health anxiety).
Often physicians prescribe medications for their patients as they are the fastest method of treating anxiety disorders although they can have numerous severe side effects and consequences. Individuals can easily become dependent on tranquilizers and sedatives, such as the benzodiazepines. Psychotherapy is a very effective adjunct to pharmacotherapy if you are taking medications.
An important part of any intervention with a patient with an anxiety disorder is education. When it comes to treating anxiety disorders, research shows that therapy is usually the most effective option. That’s because anxiety therapy–unlike anxiety medication–treats more than just the symptoms of the problem.
Therapy can help you uncover the underlying causes of your worries and fears; teach you how to relax; look at situations in new, less frightening ways; and develop better coping and problem-solving skills. Psychotherapy gives you the tools to overcome anxiety and teaches you how to use them. The length of therapy will also depend on the type and severity of your anxiety disorder.
Toronto Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety
Cognitive behavioral therapy examines negative patterns and distortions in the way we look at the world and ourselves. One will also examine behaviours and how they react in situations that trigger anxiety. Please see information on behaviour, the brain, the mind, what is psychotherapy. Our thoughts–not external events–affect the way we feel.
There is no quick fix for anxiety. Overcoming an anxiety disorder takes time and commitment. Therapy involves facing your fears rather than avoiding them. Typically, emotions serve a very important function and are vital but if they are unnecessarily activated they can become very problematic and crippling.
Intense emotions may interfere with your motivation, decision-making, social events, activities, contentment, and comfort levels in non-threatening situations. Disordered emotional-regulation causes rigid behaviours promoting escape, avoidance, and inactivity. Understanding and restructuring your thinking patterns, and having the tools to emotionally regulate will allow you to navigate life very differently. Please read “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Anxiety”
Individuals with Anxiety and Panic Disorder often resort to worry, rumination, self-criticism, perfectionism, and shame to compensate for the failure to manage distressing emotions. Overtime one may develop a reduced clarity in appraising situations and optimally responding to them. Fear and panic will come to dominate other emotions particularly those related to happiness and reward.
Emotion Regulation Therapy is derived from the Affective and Behavioural Sciences. It is important to understand the role of emotion regulation in the origin and maintenance of your anxiety. The goal of our work would be targeted at modifying the quality, intensity and duration of an emotional response. You may find that you are experiencing emotions too quickly, frequently, easily, and with high intensity. Your emotional reactivity may have become difficult and complicated for you to identify and understand your emotions.
I incorporate many modalities to treat the various types of anxiety disorders. I utilize and integrate psychoanalytic, cognitive, behavioral, psychophysiological, and neural models to encourage change.