ONLINE MINDFULNESS THERAPY VIA SKYPE


Online Therapy via Skype

Talk to a therapist online via Skype

Welcome! My name is Peter Strong, PhD; I am a Professional ONLINE THERAPIST and I offer online therapy via Skype for the treatment of anxiety, depression, addictions, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Anger Management Online, Stress Management and treatment for PTSD and any other emotional problems that you may be struggling with. During these online therapy sessions I will teach you effective methods for working with your emotions and patterns of reactive-compulsive thinking using the well-established techniques of Mindfulness Therapy and Online Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I specialize in Mindfulness Therapy, which is particularly effective for anxiety and depression and you can learn more about this style of psychotherapy by reading the many articles on this site ONLINE THERAPY and by watching the videos on my main online therapy site and on my YouTube Online Therapy Video channel.

Here is an introductory video about online Skype therapy:



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7/20/10

Overcoming Anxiety with Mindfulness Therapy

online therapy - talk to an online therapist via skype for anxiety

ONLINE COUNSELING FOR ANXIETY

Using Skype, it is now possible to have online counseling for anxiety. The Mindfulness Therapy approach for overcoming anxiety is very effective because it focuses on changing the process that creates anxiety rather than just treating symptoms.





General Anxiety Disorder is a very common condition that affects many of us at some time in our lives. At any one time it is estimated that least 10 million people in the US have been diagnosed with GAD and are actively seeking treatment through medication or some form of cognitive therapy.

In essence recurrent anxiety is a form of intense worrying about health, work, fear of the future or a wide range of situations that may occur in the future that creates an immense amount of emotional suffering. So what can we do to control our anxiety levels?

It is important to understand that anxiety, like most emotional reactions, has a structure. It is not a random process but is produced by the combination of two components: Thought structures, and associated Emotional Feeling Energy.

We are all familiar with the patterns of recurring negative thinking: the thought loops that maintain and amplify worry and anxiety. This internal dialogue can be relentless and often hits us in the early hours of the morning, if we can sleep at all! This negative thinking tends to solidify into generalized beliefs about the future, about ourselves and other people that takes on a life of their own. We become consumed by worry about things that may never happen. But, most importantly, the worry thinking does not in any way help us deal with the objective reality of things that need our attention. In fact the reactive thinking makes us less able to cope, leaves us feeling drained and confused.

Clearly, the path to controlling anxiety must involve changing these internal negative thought loops and beliefs. However, most people find this extremely hard to do. They know at a conceptual level that the worry is irrational and not helpful and is causing them to become ill, but no amount of self-talk seems to change the anxiety. This is because there is another component that is actually much more important than the content of the negative thoughts and beliefs: Emotional Feeling Energy. This is what gives meaning and power to our thoughts, and in anxiety formations, large concentrations of emotional energy become attached to the words or beliefs. With this understanding, we see that if we can find a way to release this trapped energy, then the thoughts and beliefs will lose their power and compulsive domination of our thinking and will tend to be replaced by more appropriate thoughts. The negative thought may still arise out of habit, but without the emotional investment, it has nowhere to go and in time it will fade away.

Focusing on releasing the trapped, frozen emotional energy that has become attached to habitual thinking is one of the primary focuses of Online Mindfulness Therapy. First we train ourselves to identify these negative thought reactions. This is most important, because we cannot change what we cannot see. Therefore, we must make our reactions visible by paying very close attention to catch them as and when they arise. But after mastering this, we shift our attention away from the content or story that forms the cognitive structure of the anxiety reaction to the emotional feeling quality that gives it power. This is called “sitting with the emotion.” We learn to sit with our anxiety, without getting caught up in further reactivity and thinking, or in trying to attack the negative thoughts. We are, in fact, learning to turn our attention towards the reaction, and this changes everything.

Jeff, a successful software engineer, suffered from crippling social anxiety and suffered from panic reactions; fearing that he would freeze up when asked to talk about his work at conferences or even in group meetings at work. He would notice his heart racing and he was obsessed with worry that he would faint right there in the middle of the event or presentation. He hated leaving home, hated travelling and was very fearful of any new situation.
In a session of Online Mindfulness Therapy, Jeff learned to identify these habitual patterns of anxiety-producing thoughts and then learned to sit with the feeling energy that surrounded the thoughts at the heart of the emotional reaction. Rather than becoming consumed by the contents of the anxiety thinking, he learned to focus attention on the feeling itself. As he did this, he began to notice details about the internal structure of the feeling energy. This surprises most people when they start mindfulness therapy. They have never actually looked into their feelings before. Thoughts about them for hours; suffered at their hands; but never actually sat down and looked at what this “feeling” actually is.

What Jeff noticed is that the anxious feeling was clearly associated with bright colors, with intense red and orange, and that these colors felt hot. The more he looked at the feeling, the more he learned about its internal structure. He also noticed how the color seemed to take the form of a fuzzy cloud, a fog that surrounded his whole body.

This kind of sensory and experiential detail is very important because they are tangible, and Jeff clearly felt that these colors resonated with his anxiety feeling. The power that leads to transformation is always in the details, not the abstract ideas or thoughts about an emotion. When a person says, “I am anxious” they are only experiencing a superficial level of the emotion and this is very difficult to change because it is so abstract. Once a person gets down to the sensory details such as the color, shape and temperature of the emotion, or where it is located in the body, then they have something very specific to relate to and to change. We can experiment with making subtle adjustments to the color and form of the emotion and monitor how this changes things. In Jeff’s case, he found that when he imagined surrounding the hot red colored feelings with the vastness of the night sky the level of his anxiety dropped from an 8 to a 4 on a scale of 10. When he imagined looking at the red feelings as if it were a star, the anxiety dropped to a 2.

This simple change in his inner imagery allowed him to change the level of anxiety dramatically, and this was followed by a major shift in his perception of the situation and in his beliefs and self-confidence. The psychological transformations followed this fundamental change at the feeling level, and this is very typical because the beliefs depend on feeling energy to give them meaning and power. As you change the imagery you change the feeling, and as the feeling energy is released the beliefs and cognition change in direct proportion.

The other exciting aspect of Mindfulness Therapy is that it not only facilitates the resolution and transformation of suffering, such as anxiety or depression or anger, but it also brings about a fundamental shift in our identity as we start to break free from our habitual patterns of reactivity. Jeff started to experience himself more as the night sky rather than as the hot spot of anxiety: He begins to see himself as the vast spacious presence of the awareness rather than the contracted state of emotional reactions. This changes everything.

EXERCISE
1. Sit down and get comfortable. Close your eyes. Allow yourself to relax and practice basic mindfulness of breathing to steady the mind.
2. Open the field of your awareness until it feels like a large space.
3. Introduce an anxiety emotion into this space and experiment with just sitting with it as you would with a friend: looking and listening very carefully with interest and an open mind.
4. Find the color that best fits the feeling.
5. Experiment with surrounding that color with another color. Try the exact opposite color first and notice the shift in feeling intensity of the anxiety.
6. Develop this imagery and try other modifications in size, position and movement.
7. Continue monitoring the change in intensity on a 1-10 scale. When the anxiety has reduced by at least 50% open your eyes and take a break before returning for another round.
8. Repeat the whole process 5 to 10 times for 3 to 4 days. Notice how your perceptions change each day.

Now, of course it is easier to do this with a skilled mindfulness therapist, but you will probably be quite surprised at how quickly things change once you get down to the detailed sensory level, made possible through focused mindfulness.

If you notice some particularly dramatic effects that you would like to share, please email me and describe your findings. Besides working with a therapist you can also try this with a friend, if you can find someone willing to listen and provide that mindful presence that is so essential for this transformational process.



"Mindfulness Online Therapy: The Effective, Convenient and Affordable Choice for Anxiety Disorders."

Do you feel yourself to be a victim of your anxiety? Do you feel hostage to your emotions?

Do you feel that your anxiety is ruining your life and preventing you from doing the things that you want to do?

Do you feel that anxiety is preventing you from forming close personal relationships?

Are you afraid of having a panic attack and losing control?

Mindfulness Therapy, whether in-person or online via Skype, provides a particularly effective approach for healing anxiety disorders.


As a Mindfulness-based psychotherapist it never ceases to amaze me the extent of the problem of anxiety disorders, general anxiety (GAD) and panic attacks anxiety. At least 1 in 5 people will experience some form of panic anxiety attacks at some time in their lives, and it is particularly common in young people in their 20s-30s. In its most severe form, it leads to social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia, which can be extremely debilitating.
            Today, more and more people suffering from anxiety are taking matters into their own hands and seeking help to learn self-help strategies to better cope with their anxiety and better manage the stress and distress produced by anxiety and panic attacks. To address this growing need, I developed a system of cognitive therapy called Mindfulness Meditation Therapy (MMT), based on Buddhist Psychology, NLP and Experiential Psychotherapy. What I have discovered over the years is that MMT works very well for online counseling therapy through Skype-based video call sessions. Skype Therapy or Internet Therapy is gaining tremendous popularity and is so much more convenient and less intimidating than going to a therapist’s office. Now, there is a growing number of research studies that show Online Therapy to be just as effective as traditional office therapy.


One of the most important techniques to learn for managing anxiety attacks is called Reframing. This simply means that you teach yourself to see the anxiety emotion as an object that arises within the mind. This is the opposite to identifying with the anxiety or fear and then becoming swept up with catastrophic thinking, worrying and other forms of reactive thinking that simply make things worse. Instead of, “I am afraid!” we reframe that as “I notice the emotion of fear arising in me.” This simple action stops the mind contracting into the emotion and keeps the mind free to engage with the emotion as an object, and that is something totally and absolutely different. In a sense, you leave the “I” out of it altogether – something to be discovered at a later time. The main point of Reframing is that you learn how not to be overwhelmed by a panic thought when it arises and not to feed the emotion by becoming lost in thinking and reacting. With practice you become more and more familiar with the anxiety emotion as an object, a visitor and you find that you don’t need to react to it with fear or more anxiety.
            This form of retraining how we respond to our emotions develops a kind of immunity to the anxiety not unlike the immunity that the body develops to pathogens. Before immunity is established, we are at great risk from viruses and bacteria, but after we have developed an immune response, the same organisms are rendered completely harmless and incapable of causing suffering. It is the same when we develop mental immunity to our emotional pain. The panic anxiety may still arise out of habit, but we don’t react and therefore are immune to the suffering that we create when we react to emotional pain. Mindfulness is the tool that allows us to develop this mental immunity.
            When the mind is free from reacting to our emotional pain then it is put in an ideal state to allow the pain itself to begin to heal and lose intensity. When you learn how to sit with your pain without becoming reactive then you are creating the right inner conditions that allow beneficial change and that allow your innate intelligence and creativity to work on healing and resolving the pain.

The next factor that works to facilitate this new relationship with our panic anxiety is the immensely powerful factor of friendliness. Now that we are getting better at holding the panic anxiety as an object within our mind that we can relate to and look at, we take this relationship to a whole new level by welcoming the emotion. We actually train our self to greet is just as we would greet an old friend. Turn to the anxiety with warmth and friendliness instead of our habitual knee-jerk reaction of hatred and resistance and everything changes. Why? Because we actually create an inner space in which that anxiety emotion can exist unmolested and unharmed. This above anything else creates the best possible conditions in which the emotion can heal itself.

Try this for yourself: Practice Reframing followed by the Response of Friendliness. You may find this difficult to do at first, but it becomes increasingly easier with practice, especially when you begin to feel the benefits as the reactivity and the core panic anxiety begin to resolve themselves.

Peter Strong, PhD, is a Mindfulness Psychotherapist, Online Therapist, Spiritual Teacher, Medical Research Scientist and Author, based in Boulder, Colorado. He was born in the UK and educated at the University of Oxford.

Besides therapy sessions in his Boulder Office, Dr Strong provides an Online Counseling Service via Skype for anxiety (Online Anxiety Counseling), depression (Depression Therapy Online ) and mindfulness-based therapy for stress and PTSD (PTSD Therapy Online).
Email inquiries about Online Therapy and Online Counseling are most welcome. Request an Online Psychotherapy Skype session today and begin a course of Mindfulness Therapy for your Anxiety, Depression or Emotional Stress.


mindfulness meditation therapy



You can purchase a copy of Dr Strong’s book ‘The Path of Mindfulness Meditation’ at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk and Barnes&Noble.com. A Kindle edition is also available.