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Overcoming Anxiety with ISTDP Therapy


If you suffer from anxiety, you are certainly not alone.


Anxiety problems are one of the most common mental health difficulties in the world, affecting millions of people.


If left untreated, anxiety can have a serious impact on your quality of life, making it difficult to perform even the most basic tasks.


Fortunately, there are effective therapies available that can help you manage your anxiety and reclaim your life. One such therapy is ISTDP.


This article will explore what anxiety is and how ISTPD may be able to help you overcome your anxiety difficulties,



Understanding Anxiety





Anxiety is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people around the world.


It is characterized by feelings of fear, worry, and nervousness that can interfere with a person's daily life.


While anxiety is a normal human experience that helps us stay alert in stressful situations and become aware of when we are facing some form of risk, it becomes a problem when it occurs frequently and uncontrollably.

Anxiety can manifest in different ways, including panic attacks, phobias, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder.


Panic attacks are sudden and intense episodes of fear and physical symptoms, while phobias involve irrational fears of specific things or situations.


Social anxiety is a fear of social situations, and generalized anxiety disorder is a persistent feeling of worry and fear that can affect different areas of life.

If left untreated, anxiety problems can lead to physical and emotional symptoms, including headaches, muscle tension, digestive problems, insomnia, and depression.


How Does ISTDP Work with anxiety?

ISTDP therapy works by addressing the underlying emotional conflicts that trigger anxiety in the first place.



Anxiety is our 'threat response system', its hardwired to try and keep us safe, in an evolutionary sense, if we were under attack from a predator we need the adrenaline rush to keep us safe from the threat.

However our 'threat system' can also be triggered by internal experiences too. if we are dealing with an internal conflict, or unprocessed emotions, that were not safe to process when they were first experienced, then it may lead to a rise in anxiety, due to it triggering our internal threat system. ISTDP works on not only helping you to regulate your anxiety, but it also works to resolve the underlying issues that are causing the anxiety to be triggered in the first place.


Once they have been resolved then there is no need for the anxiety to be triggered and therefore the anxiety will reduce or resolve.


An example of anxiety being worked with in an ISTDP session:


Patient: My boss is really critical of me, She tends to point out that I'm not doing well enough, but she does it in an unfair way, whenever she points out I'm not doing well enough then it makes me really on edge.


Therapist: Do you notice that as you tell me this you're starting to experience a rise in anxiety? (Therapist notices that the patient's speech has become quicker and they have started to fidget, which are signs of an increase in anxiety)


Patient: I didn't notice it at all, I'm used to just trying to ignore my anxiety when it happens.


Therapist: When you ignore your anxiety it means you have no control over it, can we try something different right now and pay careful attention to the anxiety in your body to see if we can help you regulate it.


(Therapist and patient look closely at the client's anxiety in their body and begin to regulate the anxiety, therapist then brings the attention back to the cause of the patient's rise in anxiety).


Therapist: Now did you notice that when you were talking about the criticism you received from your boss that's what triggered your anxiety?


Patient: Yes, now come to think of it, this is a pretty common pattern that happens for me.


Therapist: Okay, so can we take a look at the feelings you have towards your boss for being so critical of you?


In this example the patient had a difficulty in acknowledging he own feelings of anger when she is criticised, therefore instead of being able to experience her anger and assert herself in situation's where people are critical of her, she instead saw a rise in anxiety and would avoid any situation where she was likely to get criticised.


The work the patient did with the therapist allowed her to acknowledge the underlying feelings she had, which in turn, alleviated her anxiety.

During an ISTDP session, your therapist will encourage you to explore your emotions and confront the unconscious conflicts that are holding you back.


By examining your emotional patterns and past experiences, you will be able to better understand your anxiety triggers and develop healthier coping mechanisms and resolve the anxiety problems you are experiencing.

If you want help to overcome your anxiety problems then get in touch and see how I can help you.

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