Anxiety Clinic – Sydney

Anxiety Counselling & Treatment

Feeling anxious, panicky, or tense?

Expert Anxiety Counselling

We’ve all experienced a dangerous or stressful situation that provoked feelings of panic, anxiety, and fear in us. These feelings are completely natural and usually don’t occur often.

Anxiety can also produce unpleasant side-effects like sweating, tension, and avoidant behaviour, and if left unattended can impact your personal and work relationships, and impair your ability to lead a normal life.

If this sounds like your experience, you’re not alone; anxiety is one of the most common reasons people seek therapy.

Our anxiety clinic offers evidence-based therapies in an integrative approach to treating your anxiety with the aim of restoring your overall health and mental well-being.

When should you get help for anxiety?

If you’re not sure whether your anxiety is normal or an anxiety disorder, it may help to ask yourself these questions to get a clearer picture.

  • Are you regularly worried, tense and irritable, or always on edge?
  • Is your anxiety affecting your work or relationships?
  • Do you suffer from irrational fears that just won’t go away or sense danger and catastrophe around every corner?
  • Do you feel that something bad will happen if you don’t do certain things in a particular way?
  • Do you routinely avoid everyday situations because you feel anxious about them?
  • Do you suffer from panic attacks with real physical symptoms such as chest pains, shortness of breath, nausea, or stomach pains?
  • Do you drink more or use drugs to cope with your anxieties?

If you are experiencing any of these anxiety symptoms it’s probably time to seek professional anxiety treatment.  Don’t worry because anxiety is a treatable condition, so there’s no reason why you should suffer in silence.

Why not make an appointment with an anxiety therapist at CBT Counselling to see how we can help?

There are 6 commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders our clinic specialises in treating:

+ General Anxiety

General anxiety in most cases is a normal reaction to stressful and uncertain situations. It’s your body telling you to stay alert and protect yourself. It is distinct from Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – symptoms of which include chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry, and fear even when there may be little or no apparent cause.

+ Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder, as distinct from a panic attack, is characterised as unpredictable and repeated periods of intense fear, often accompanied by physical symptoms such as chest pain, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or stomach pains. A panic attack triggering intense feelings of anxiety can last from a few minutes to an hour.

+ Obsessive Compulsions

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a condition characterised as having recurrent unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or behaviours (compulsions) that are often performed repeatedly but only provide temporary relief; i.e., having a tendency towards excessive orderliness, cleanliness, perfectionism, etc.

+ Social Anxiety

Social anxiety (SAD) is a particularly prevalent and specific type of anxiety. It is anxiety that is driven by one’s fear of being embarrassed, humiliated, rejected, or looked down on in social interactions. Social anxiety disorder is different from ordinary nervousness in social settings. It is a chronic mental health condition that can disrupt one’s life.

+ Phobias

Phobias are one of the most common mental disorders. There are many types of phobias. Generally, a phobia can be characterised as having a persistent, excessive, and unrealistic fear of an object, person, animal, activity, or situation. Phobias can be deeply ingrained in one’s psyche and triggered by certain objects or situations.

+ Post Traumatic Stress

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder that typically manifests after experiencing a traumatic event. PTSD might not manifest immediately i.e., the effects of a traumatic childhood might manifest many years later in adulthood. PTSD can be extremely damaging to one’s overall mental & physical wellbeing.

Anxiety Treatment

Feeling anxious panicky or tense

Medication is usually only required for the most severe forms of anxiety disorders.

For most forms of anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, the most effective treatments are psychological, and the approaches with the best evidence of effectiveness are acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Read more >

The emphasis on these therapies is on the individual’s thinking and how this influences and triggers their experiences of anxiety, behaviours that might maintain anxiety, and the acquisition of new skills including mindfulness so as to overcome or at least effectively manage their anxiety. We should not forget anxiety is a fundamental human emotion. It’s the regulation of this emotion that is key to effective anxiety treatment.

Note: Where necessary, anxiety can be regulated through medication. If you require pharmacological treatment for your anxiety, it will be necessary for an assessment for a psychiatric review. A referral from a medical practitioner to a psychiatrist is usually the first step. You may be provided a mental health treatment plan.

Above all, it’s important to let a mental health professional evaluate your anxiety symptoms to determine if you have an anxiety disorder, and if so, the type of anxiety disorder so that an effective anxiety treatment plan can be established for you. Read more about anxiety symptoms >

Take control of your anxiety

The good thing is that by finding this page you have already started to deal with your anxiety by simply exploring what help might be available. While it is never too late to seek professional help, the sooner you do the better the possibility of assisting you to identify and alleviate the anxiety symptoms affecting you. Our clinic’s aim is to help you attain:

  • Reduced anxiety symptoms;
  • Increased feelings of calm and security about the future;
  • Reduced fear reaction when exposed to the object of your anxiety;
  • New coping strategies to help you manage your anxiety symptoms in your day to day life;
  • Better sleep, increased physical health, and more energy;
  • A better sense of control over your life and your circumstances;
  • The ability to think more positively and identify when you are thinking irrational or unhelpful thoughts;
  • Increased confidence to live the life you want to.

Our anxiety clinic is a specialist area of our clinical counselling & psychotherapeutic practice. Our focus is on providing a range of anxiety treatments using the best anxiety psychology-based therapies. Our clinic is conveniently located in Sydney’s central business district (CBD) close to Wynyard Station. We also provide online (telehealth) psychology-based counselling services. Read more >

Supporting a healthy approach to life’s challenges through counselling.

Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.

― C. H. Spurgeon

Free 10min Phone Consultation

Free 10min Preliminary Consultation

To help you decide if you are ready to begin therapy, we offer a free 10-minute phone consultation in which we can discuss the problems you are experiencing and how counselling and anxiety-focused psychotherapy might benefit you.

Of course, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have, and together we can decide whether ours is the best counselling and therapy service for you.

To book an appointment or to claim your free phone consultation, please click on the buttons below or phone us.

Facts About Anxiety

Anxiety Feelings

What anxiety feels like:

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense;
  • Having a sense of impending catastrophe, panic or doom;
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
  • Experiencing an increased heart rate;
  • Rapid breathing, breathlessness (hyperventilation);
  • Sweating for no apparent reason;
  • Trembling, shaking, or quivering;
  • Feeling weak or tired;
  • Having trouble sleeping, insomnia;
  • Difficulty rationalising and controlling worry;
  • Panicking about something that might trigger anxiety resulting in avoidant behaviour (agoraphobia being an example, fear of leaving one’s home should something happen to them).

Our anxiety clinic can assist you in developing specific strategies within an integrative approach in an anxiety treatment plan to help you manage your anxiety and control your physical symptoms.

Anxiety Management

Learning to manage your anxiety in gradual stages is key to overcoming the symptoms of anxiety you are suffering. As you become more confident that you can rein in your anxiety, you will be able to go about your daily life breathing easier. Our anxiety clinic offers a range of evidence based therapies to assist you in that purpose. While medication can be an effective anxiety treatment (generally only for the most severe anxiety disorders), cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the best techniques for managing anxiety and feelings of panic. It involves recognising that the anxiety-producing process is fuelled by future-oriented, catastrophic thinking. People with a generalised anxiety disorder have to become aware that their thoughts trigger a physical reaction, which results in extreme anxiety feelings. Read more about CBT >

In developing an anxiety treatment strategy it is important not to confuse or conflate your anxiety with other stressor factors. This is the first step our anxiety clinic takes in assessing your anxiety levels. We examine the following symptoms which might be causing your feelings of anxiety:

Anxiety vs Stress

Stress is usually triggered as a direct response to a threat in a given situation. It is a normal human response. Anxiety, on the other hand, is a sustained condition manifesting on a stress trigger. If the anxiety is severe and prolonged, the anxiety may likely be diagnosed as an anxiety disorder. Anxiety as such doesn’t fade away once the threat is resolved or mediated whereas stress usually will.

Anxiety vs Fear

In general, fear is seen as a reaction to a specific, observable danger, while anxiety is seen as a diffuse, a kind of unfocused, objectless, future-oriented fear. Thus, fear is anxiety that is attached to a specific thing or circumstance. Although both are alerting signals, they appear to prepare the body for different actions. Thus, anxiety is a generalised response to an unknown threat or internal conflict, whereas fear is focused on known external danger. Read more >

Anxiety vs ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often misdiagnosed as anxiety and vice versa. This is because the symptoms of anxiety can sometimes be masked by the symptoms of ADHD. And although both anxiety disorders and ADHD manifest similar symptoms of inattention, there are important distinctions to be made between these two disorders, especially in regards to providing effective treatment for symptoms. For example, if you have anxiety, you may be unable to concentrate in situations that cause you to feel anxious, whereas, if you have ADHD, you’ll find it difficult to concentrate most of the time, in any type of situation. Our anxiety clinic will study your particular symptoms so as to determine which disorder you are likely suffering so as to develop an effective treatment.

Anxiety vs Depression

While depression and anxiety are two different medical conditions, their symptoms, causes, and treatments can often overlap. This because many people with depression may experience what is known as ‘anxious distress’ in addition to their low mood. A key difference between depression and anxiety is that depression is essentially one condition, although it has lots of different symptoms and may feel very different to different people. Anxiety, on the other hand, is an umbrella term that covers a range of more specific conditions such as described above. As they are different disorders and conditions, it is important that a correct diagnosis is made so as to ensure any treatment is effective.

Anxiety vs Panic Attack

Panic attacks come on fairly suddenly and can last anywhere between a few minutes to an hour. Panic attacks can often be caused by stress. But they can also be associated with a family history of panic attacks, drug and alcohol use, and certain medical conditions. During a panic attack, the body’s autonomous fight-or-flight response takes over. Physical symptoms are often more intense than symptoms of anxiety. While anxiety can build gradually, panic attacks usually come on abruptly. Most people have suffered a panic attack to some degree or another. Thankfully, panic attacks are few and far between for most people and are of only moderate intensity. During a panic attack, the body’s autonomous fight-or-flight response takes over. Physical symptoms are often more intense than symptoms of anxiety. Some symptoms of a panic attack can include:

  • feeling like you’re choking;
  • feeling like you’re having a heart attack;
  • uncontrollable sweating and shaking
  • a racing heart;
  • shortness of breath;
  • nausea and butterflies or pains in the stomach;
  • feeling dizzy, lightheaded or faint;
  • feeling tingly or numb;

Frequently Asked Questions About Anxiety

Is anxiety curable?

Anxiety is a normally experienced emotion across most life forms. Thus, as a fundamental life emotion, it is not curable, because it is not in itself a disorder. Where anxiety becomes a disorder is when anxiety manifests beyond normal parameters, and/or where the sufferer experiences repeated or unceasing moderate to severe anxiety symptoms. Indeed, we all function within a spectrum of humanistic behavioural confines and cultural norms. This engages some objective and subjective assessment in order to understand what triggers have provoked, and stoke, a person’s anxiety symptoms. What seems normal to one person, might seem obscure and unimportant to another. This is why it is important to have an experienced psychotherapist at an anxiety clinic such as ours identify the cause of your anxiety so as to ensure a particular anxiety treatment has the best chance of being effective. As mentioned, in severe cases of anxiety, people are often prescribed medication that can dull their anxiety symptoms, giving the sufferer an opportunity to learn appropriate anxiety management techniques.

Is anxiety genetic?

Clinic studies have shown that generalised anxiety disorder GAD is a heritable condition with a moderate genetic risk (heritability of approximately 30%). Within the anxiety spectrum, it is closely related to childhood separation anxiety, social phobia, and panic related experiences. In most cases, the younger the person is when they get anxiety (or depression), the more likely it is to be hereditary. Anxiety and depression can still be genetic if they show up in older family members. But often, new conditions in people that are over the age of 20 are linked to painful or stressful life events. Most researchers conclude that GAD is genetically influenced, but can also be influenced by environmental factors. In other words, it’s possible to have anxiety without it running in your family. Notwithstanding, there is a lot about the link between genes and anxiety disorders that we don’t understand.

Is Anxiety Fatigue Real?

Yes, it is real. Anxiety is physically and emotionally exhausting, and may also lead to issues like insomnia, which contribute to even further tiredness. Indeed, anxiety exhaustion can be like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Our head is foggy; our thoughts never quite finishing themselves, our breathing can feel laboured and taking a full, deep breath can feel heavy and almost painful; and each of our limbs feels as though our bloodstream has been replaced with lead. Anxiety can also lead to adrenal fatigue, which creates feelings of intense tiredness even when otherwise perfectly rested. Not surprisingly anxiety can cause headaches, and severe anxiety could make you think you’re having a heart attack – am I having an anxiety or heart attack is a question that goes through one’s head when suffering an intense and severe bout of anxiety. Furthermore, our natural tendency in such circumstances is to drift into a lethargy that promulgates anxiety-induced fatigue. Regular moderate exercise is an important part of an effective anxiety treatment plan.

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