Anxiety Counselling

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is used to describe feelings of worry, fear and unease.

Typically, it incorporates both the emotional and physical sensations we experience when worried or nervous.  Anxiety is related to the ‘fight', 'flight’ or 'freeze' responses and, while unpleasant, this is a normal reaction when our body perceives a threat.

We will all feel anxious at some time and it’s very common to feel tense or unsure about a potentially stressful situation, such as an exam, starting a new job, or moving home. However, some of us will be affected more than others.

Despite being a normal experience, if these feelings are very strong or are lasting a long time, it can be overwhelming.  While some people will know what causes their anxiety; after experiencing a traumatic event, for example, others will not have such an identifiable reason.

What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety?

People often experience physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms when they feel anxious or stressed.

Some of the most common physical symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased muscle tension
  • “Jelly legs”
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Hyperventilation (over breathing)
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Wanting to use the toilet more often
  • Feeling sick
  • Tight band across the chest area
  • Tension headaches
  • Hot flushes
  • Increased perspiration
  • Dry mouth
  • Shaking
  • Choking sensations
  • Palpitations

Some of the most common psychological symptoms (the thoughts or altered perceptions we have) of anxiety are:

  • Thinking that you may lose control and/or go “mad”
  • Thinking that you might die
  • Thinking that you may have a heart attack/be sick/faint/have a brain tumour
  • Feeling that people are looking at you and observing your anxiety
  • Feeling as though things are speeding up/slowing down
  • Feeling detached from your environment and the people in it
  • Feeling like wanting to run away/escape from the situation
  • Feeling on edge and alert to everything around you
Common anxiety disorders include:

    Social Anxiety Disorder

    Social Anxiety Disorder involves intense fear of certain social situations; especially situations that are unfamiliar or in which you feel you’ll be watched or evaluated by others. These situations may be so frightening that you get anxious just thinking about them or go to great lengths to avoid them, disrupting your life in the process.

    Underlying social anxiety disorder is the fear of being scrutinized, judged, or embarrassed in public. You may be afraid that people will think badly of you or that you won’t measure up in comparison to others. And even though you probably realize that your fears of being judged are at least somewhat irrational and overblown, you still can’t help feeling anxious. But no matter how painfully shy you may be and no matter how bad the butterflies, you can learn to be comfortable in social situations and reclaim your life.

    Generalised Anxiety Disorder

    If you often feel anxious or fearful, but not anxious about a specific event or experience, you may be diagnosed with GAD. Typically, these feelings are related to everyday tasks, such as stress at home or work, but other times you may not know why you are feeling anxious.


    A phobia is an intense fear of something - no matter how dangerous or threatening it may be to you. Coming into close contact with the feared situation may cause you to feel anxious. In some cases, even the thought of said situation can trigger anxiety.

    Panic Disorder

    If you experience seemingly unpredictable panic attacks, and are unable to identify a trigger, you may be diagnosed with panic disorder. Symptoms include shortness of breath, feeling faint and trembling.

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

    OCD comprises of obsessional thoughts followed by compulsive urges. The obsessions are recurring urges, thoughts or images that can cause you to feel anxious. Compulsions are the actions or thoughts that you feel the need to do or repeat. Compulsions are typically a response to ease the anxiety of an obsession.

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    After experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, and are experiencing flashbacks or nightmares, you may be diagnosed with PTSD. These reactions can make you feel like you’re reliving the fear and anxiety over and over again.

    How I Can Help You With Anxiety

    By utilising a variety of therapeutic approaches, I can help you to talk about your life and anything that may be confusing, painful or uncomfortable; all within a safe and confidential place.

    I can help you to explore your anxiety, what effects you, and bring understanding to the causes of your anxiety.  I can also help you with negative and intrusive thoughts, feelings of discomfort, and to take control of your situation.

    I offer face to face counselling sessions in Ipswich, Suffolk, on a regular basis; short term or long term, and online counselling via video call.

    How long will it take to see results?

    It normally takes a few sessions for you to become aware of changes and improvements in your life.  Everybody is different and will have different goals depending on their situation.  We generally recommend booking a block of six sessions with a review during the fourth, before deciding on any further help.

    How often can we meet?

    You can decide how often you meet.  Generally, individuals will meet on a weekly or fortnightly basis for the first few sessions, and then once a month as you start to feeling more able to cope.

    What are your prices?

    My prices are outlined here