Mindfulness Therapy Online for Panic Attacks
Learn How to Overcome Panic Attacks and Anxiety
Hello there! My name is Peter Strong of the Boulder Center for Mindfulness Therapy. Now, many of the people who seek my assistance here either in the office or online through Skype sessions come to me suffering from panic attacks and panic anxiety. This is by far the most common form of emotional suffering that people encounter in their lives.
Now, in the last few years or so more and more people have been seeking Mindfulness Therapy for their Panic Attacks and General Anxiety over the internet using Skype, as I say, which works extremely well, and there are many studies that show it to be equally effective to in-person therapy. And in some ways, it is even better than in-person therapy, because the client feels more empowered and in charge of the process.
Any how, I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to describe to you a little bit about what Mindfulness Therapy is and some of the essential principles of how to work with your anxiety, and particularly with your panic attacks. Panic attack anxiety is very, very painful. It is one of the most painful forms of emotions that a person can experience. I know this from personal experience as well as from working with people. It is very distressing. Out natural reaction to distressing emotions like this is, of course, to run away from them, or to avoid them, or to indulge in a whole range of secondary reactivity - Thinking about the fear, worrying about how you are going to cope if the panic attack should occur, what people are going to think about you, and so on - And this starts to spin out of control and people suffering panic attacks can literally just close down entirely.
When we work with panic anxiety here in the office or online through Skype sessions, the first and most essential principle of Mindfulness Therapy is learning how to sit with that emotion, with that feeling. The term, "sitting" is a very nice term and it describes the process very well. It's like sitting with a friend or a child who is in pain, in which you are basically there, being very present with an open mind and an open heart. The attitude of friendliness is absolutely essential.
So, when you are encountering panic anxiety, what really helps is if you can take a few minutes and start to explore how to sit with that feeling as you experience it in your body and in your mind as if it was a child in pain, crying for your attention. And in many ways, that is the function of mental pain or suffering. It is there to attract our attention. It's saying, "Look over here!" and the skillful response to anxiety of all kinds is to do just that. It is to take the time to look at the anxiety and sit with it without becoming reactive, without getting caught up in the story, the emotional drama, in all the secondary thinking about the pain that you are experiencing.
It is just to create a space inside in which you are sitting with that pain and being fully present. When you do this, you are creating the right internal conditions that allow that anxiety to begin to change itself. One of the second principles of Mindfulness Therapy is that we understand that our mind is more than capable of solving the problem of emotional anxiety. Our psyche has the skills, the intelligence, and all that it needs to heal emotional suffering, in the same way that our body has the skills and bodily intelligence it needs to heal a physical wound - a cut or a graze. However, in order for the psyche, that is the Big Mind, the intuitive mind, not the thinking mind, but the deeper intuitive aspect of our mind. In order for it to begin to start healing anxiety it has to have freedom; freedom in which to change. This freedom, which allows an emotion to begin its own transformation and healing is exactly what we are providing through mindfulness.
Mindfulness, as I define it in my book, 'The Path of Mindfulness Meditation' is engaged-presence, is that quality of being really, really interested and present for your experience, without getting caught up in reactivity and thinking about the experience, which is not the same as being present. So freedom to change equals presence equals mindfulness. It's hard, it's a hard process, to literally learn how to face your emotions and your suffering in this way. It is hard, but it is possible. It is a process that is guaranteed to lead to beneficial change. So, I invite you to experiment with this by yourself. Learning bit by bit how to sit with your pain and create the right inner conditions that will allow that pain to undergo transformation and healing. If you would like more information or if you would like to talk to me about your panic anxiety, or other forms of anxiety, please send me an email. Visit my website, CounselingTherapyOnline.com. Thank you!
|Online therapy for panic attacks and anxiety via Skype|
Mindfulness Therapy incorporates Cognitive Therapy (CBT) but focuses more on the underlying core emotion of anxiety-fear that fuels the reactive thinking, the cognitive "what if" and negative thinking that feeds the core emotion. It is a vicious cycle, of course, where the emotion fuels the reactive thinking, which then feeds the core emotion. The product of the cycle of reactivity is the emotional suffering we experience as panic attack anxiety.
Mindfulness is not simply awareness, but the combination of awareness and compassion, or friendliness. It is often described as loving-presence, a genuine friendliness and acceptance of the emotion. You should think of the emotion as if it were a child in pain. The child needs you to be accepting and not to react with aversion, judgement or avoidance. We need to adopt this same attitude towards our panic anxiety - it is literally the scared and frightened child within. It needs our loving-presence to heal...