Counseling via Skype for Anxiety Disorders
Greetings! My name is Peter Strong, and I am a professional therapist based in Boulder, Colorado. Besides seeing clients in-person, I also provide online counseling over Skype. Skype Therapy, as it's commonly called, is becoming increasingly popular. It's so convenient for people. It means that you're able to schedule your sessions during your work day without having to leave home or leave your office. Skype Therapy is definitely very convenient. With Skype, you are able to see the other person as well as talk to
them. It is really no different than being in an office with the therapist, or seeing the therapist in person. It's the same quality of the one-on-one counseling that you would receive in an office, but with the added convenience, as I say.
Many people like Skype therapy because it allows you to find the right kind of therapist to work with, someone that you feel comfortable with. This is extremely important. Good quality psychotherapy depends on having the right kind of relationship with your therapist. It has to feel good for you as the client. Also, I find that the online format of Skype Therapy works extremely well with the form of therapy that I specialize in, which is called Mindfulness Therapy; and which I talk about in my book, 'The Path of Mindfulness Meditation'.
Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy has grown tremendously in popularity in the last 5 to 10 years now. Our understanding of what mindfulness is and how to use it to work effectively with emotional suffering has grown tremendously.
It is really very, very well worth while exploring mindfulness in detail. What is mindfulness? Basically, it is a form of awareness that we can define as non-reactive in nature. That means that you're able to literally sit with your emotions. but without becoming overwhelmed by them, without becoming reactive. This is extremely important to facilitate transformation and healing. The only way that your anxiety or panic attacks or depression will eventually subside is if you can sit with those emotions without feeding them with further reactivity, particularly of course, reactive thinking, avoidance behaviors, or any of these other forms of reactivity that tend to become habits. Mindfulness Therapy is an excellent choice for doing just this.
Peter Strong, PhD is a scientist, author of 'The Path of Mindfulness Meditation', teacher of mindfulness meditation and Buddhist Psychotherapist, based in Boulder, Colorado, USA. He specializes in the study of mindfulness and its application in Mindfulness Psychotherapy for transforming the underlying causes of anxiety, depression and traumatic stress as well as for the effective treatment for addictions and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Besides in-person psychotherapy, Dr. Strong also provides Online Mindfulness Meditation Therapy via Skype for people who prefer the convenience of online counseling.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ONLINE THERAPY WITH A PSYCHOTHERAPIST VIA SKYPE
You might also like to watch this introductory video about Skype counseling online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6ifh2q7eEM.
Go to my YouTube Channel to watch more videos about Online Counseling via Skype: https://www.youtube.com/user/pdmstrong. Your emails are most welcome.
In essence recurrent anxiety is a form of an extensive selection of situations or intense worrying about health, work, fear of the future which will occur in the future that creates an astounding amount of suffering that is mental. So what can we do to restrain our stress levels?
It is necessary to understand that anxiety, like most emotional reactions, has a structure. Associated Emotional Feeling Energy but is produced by the combination of two elements: Thought structures, although it is not a process that is random.
We are all knowledgeable about the patterns of recurring negative thinking: the consideration loops that amplify and preserve worry and tension. This inner conversation sometimes strikes us in the early hours of the morning, if we could sleep whatsoever and may be persistent! This negative thinking tends to solidify into generalized beliefs concerning the long run, about ourselves and others that takes on a life of their very own. We become consumed about things that will never occur. In reality the reactive thinking makes us less able to survive, leaves us feeling confused and drained.
Certainly, the path to controlling stress must involve changing beliefs and these internal negative thought loops. However, most people find this incredibly difficult to do. They understand in a conceptual level that the worry is not helpful and irrational and is causing them to become sick, but no quantity of self -chat seems to change the anxiety. This really is because there's another element that's really far more important compared to the content of beliefs and the negative ideas: Mental Feeling Energy. This is what gives power and significance to our notions, as well as in anxiety formations, big concentrations of mental energy become attached to beliefs or the words. In time it's going to fade away, but without the emotional investment, it's nowhere to go although the negative notion may arise out of custom.
On releasing the stuck, frozen emotional energy which has become attached to habitual thinking, focusing is one of the primary focuses of Mindfulness Therapy. That is most significant, because we cannot change what we can't see. Therefore, we ought to make our reactions visible by paying really close attention to catch them as and when they arise. But we shift our attention away from narrative or the content that forms the cognitive structure of the anxiety reaction to the emotional feeling quality that gives power to it. This really is called "sitting with all the emotion." We learn to sit with our nervousness, without thinking and becoming caught up in reactivity that is further, or in trying to attack the negative ideas. We're, in fact, learning how to turn our focus towards the reaction, and this alters everything.
Jeff, an effective software engineer, suffered from crippling social anxiety and suffered from panic responses; fearing that he'd freeze up when requested to speak about his work at conferences or even in group meetings at work. His heart racing would be noticed by him and he was obsessed that he'd faint right there in the middle of presentation or the function. He was very afraid of any new situation and despised leaving house, hated traveling.
In a session of Mindfulness Therapy, Jeff learned to identify these habitual patterns of tension-producing thoughts and then learned to sit with all the feeling energy that encompassed the ideas 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. As he did this, he began to discover details about the inner arrangement of the feeling energy. This surprises most people when they start mindfulness treatment. They will have never really looked into their feelings before. Ideas about them for hours; suffered at their hands; but never really sat down and looked at what this "feeling" actually is.
What Jeff found is that the concerned feeling was certainly associated with vibrant colors, with intense red and orange, and these shades felt hot. He also seen how the color appeared to take the form of a fuzzy cloud, a fog that surrounded his whole body.
This type of experiential and sensory detail is essential since they are real, and Jeff definitely felt that these shades resonated together with his stress feeling. The power that leads to transformation is obviously in the details, not the intangible ideas or notions about an emotion. When a man says, "I am apprehensive" they are merely experiencing a trivial amount of the emotion and this really is very difficult to alter because it is so intangible. We can experiment with making subtle alterations to the color and kind of the emotion and track how this changes things. In Jeff's case, he discovered that when he visualized encompassing the hot red feelings that were colored together with the vastness of the night skies the amount of his nervousness fell from an 8 to a 4 on a scale of 10. The anxiety dropped to a 2, when he pictured looking at the feelings that were red as if it were a star.
This simple change in his inner imagery enabled the level of anxiety to change drastically, and this was followed by an important shift in his perception of the situation and in his beliefs and self confidence. The mental transformations followed this fundamental change at the feeling level, since the beliefs rely on feeling energy to give them significance and power, and this can be very typical. As the imagery changes you shift the feeling, so that as the feeling energy is released the beliefs and cognition change in direct proportion.
The other exciting feature of Mindfulness Therapy is the fact that it not only eases the resolution and transformation of enduring, such as stress or depression or anger, but nonetheless, 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 nighttime skies rather than as the hot spot of stress: He starts to see himself as the vast broad presence of the awareness instead of the contracted state of psychological reactions. Everything changes when you learn how to do this.
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