Berkshire Counselling and Psychotherapy Services

Counselling for Anxiety, Phobias and Panic Attacks.

We all have felt anxious and fearful of social situations or news abot plane crash or crimes. But we find it difficult to relate to people who complain about these same fears and carry on living with anxiety over those fears for several or else they are letting those fears control their lives and choices e.g. not going out, not driving, not flying on holidays or just not confident enough to go shopping on their own.That is because these people are suffering from anxiety as a mental health condition whereas the general population talks about anxious feelings! anxious feelings can fade out soon enough whereas anxiety is a state of being that changes our mindset, or behavioural choices on a daily basis. Anxiety as a condition needing help becomes pressing when it affects our school, college or work performance or our family is suffering because of our anxiety attacks and fears.

A client will call and say ''I am standing in a queue at a supermarket and my heart is pounding and I feel I am going to pass out! It does not make sense how can I feel so panicky among so many people?''

Another client will call and say ''I know the chances of a plane crashing is lesser to car accidents but I am happy driving my car but I will just not get on the plane; my family has had no holidays in the last ten years because of my fear of flying!''

Fear of sickness, flying, presentations, and anxiety over exams, heights, interviews or else panic attacks in trains, lifts, and closed spaces are all very common in my counselling practice over the last 18 years of practice; the sufferers usually are silently suffering because they feel ashamed of talking about it because it does not make sense to the logical mind. Reading and Wokingham Counselling services has been working with anxiety and fears for eighteen years now and clients come from all ages and all walks of life.In the same day I can be seeing a adolescent of 15 yrs suffering from school anxiety, an adult fearing spiders, another having social anxiety and isolating herself for several years and by the end of the day, I could be working with a child suffering from fear of the dark that is stopping him and his family sleeping well.

Make no mistake: phobias, fears, anxiety and panic attacks are felt by very intelligent, capable and efficient people as well as by single mothers or adolescents etc. there is no age or IQ that differentiate fear in one against another.Counselling for Anxiety, panic or fears is effective because the client has already tried self help for several years, the client has tried logical rationalisation and found that the part of the brain that triggers the anxiety is just not responding. Anxious clients are very commited and eager to work in counselling and I often see a high rate of success with anxiety simply because the clients have had enough of the anxiety or fears alienating them from life.

What does differentiate a normal fear from a phobia, a normal feeling of panic over a marriage to a full blown panic attacks at the alter, a normal anxiety over exams to running out of the exams room out of an anxiety attacks is simply this:

Because fear triggers are normal in the brain and are triggered by the Amygdala, from the Limbic System and its main function in the brain is protection. So if you walking alone at night it is aware of the potential sounds and dangers around as well as carrying on walking; if you suddenly are tapped by somebody from behind the jerky reaction is often a reaction of the limbic system checking if you are okay; once you smile and relax when you recognise the person the brain tells the amygdala to relax and go to sleep. but if you tense even further maybe because you are not sure of the closeness of a stranger tapping you on the shoulder it will stay on and keep sending danger signals until you have put enough distance or else you have found a safe state maybe in the way of someone else walking by or the stranger explaining their behaviour and making you safe.

The same amygdala when it perceives danger from our right brain will trigger the same fear response and unfortunately anxious people are big worriers and over thinkers and their thoughts and images are constantly keeping the limbic system into a "flight or fight" tendency. Over the years it becomes a habit for anxious people to live like that but that dies not necessarily feels better. Usually after they are faced with a major challenge that demands more resources than they have e.g. a new job, marriage, holidays etc..that anxious people will decide to dos something about it; before that they just adapt by avoiding anything or anyone that would remind them of the anxiety!

How does Reading and Wokingham Counselling Services work with anxiety?
Reading and Wokingham Counselling services aims to work in a solution focused way to help the client bridge the gap between their mind saying they "should" be happy and enjoying their life and choices and their right brain shouting "run" whenever in public e.g. pub, party, shopping mall (social anxiety), thinking of speaking in meetings (performance anxiety) or else fearing they would look stupid if spoke their mind (self-image anxiety)...

Amreeta Chapman has eighteen years of experience working with depression, PND, Anxiety, GAD(Generalized Anxiety Disorder), OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Panic Disorder and they are known as the Mood Disorders for the simple reason that they affect the mood and emotions mainly where the person "feels" nothing will change, their day is going to fail, they are worthless and helpless etc...they try controlling their symptoms via their logic and medications (which is needed when severe symptoms and functionality get affected) but counselling offers them an additional benchmark for helping them take control of those overwhelming emotions that seem to be controlling their lives.

Reading and Wokingham Counselling works within 10-12 sessions of counselling to help clients reach their goals of emotional regulation, fear management. Counselling stays targeted and goal oriented and although is known as "talking therapy" Amreeta Chapman brings with her experience as clinical Psychologist, Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Psycho-traumatologist, tools and techniques which aims to help client make long term recovery in their self belief, self confidence, self regulation of their moods and emotions. As a Psychotherapist working online via Zoom or F2F in Woodley and Reading, Amreeta also work with long term anxiety, where the clients are exhibiting anxiety as a comorbid or corollary condition due to PTSD, or childhood traumas of emotional neglect, sexual assault/abuse, or domestic violence. In such cases, more sessions are needed because emotional regulation only help manage the anxiety but not address the belief system, self esteem or other fears of the client, like unworthiness feelings or feelings of not belonging anywhere. For more information or questions call Amreeta on 0118 926 9978 or 0786 129 3634. You can also email her your questions by clicking here. Please note that she may be with clients so do leave a message as she aims to answer you within two to three hours. Amreeta understands you are making a huge step ahead by contacting her and she will definitely answer you by call or mail whichever you prefer!

Practices in Reading/Caversham, Wokingham/Bracknell, Woodley/Twyford, Windsor/Slough, covering Berkshire.

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