Anxiety Counselling

Anxiety Counselling - Melbourne Therapy and Counselling Centre

Anxiety is characterised by a sense of unease and heightened worry and concern. It can persistently linger in the background of your mind, sometimes overwhelming your senses with intense feelings of dread, fear, or panic.

When faced with a threat, pressure, or vulnerability, anxiety is a completely normal response to stress. Your body and mind often react automatically to challenging situations, causing your heart rate to increase, your breathing to quicken, and your sympathetic nervous system to release stress hormones. This is commonly known as the “fight, freeze, or flight” response, serving as a warning sign that something is not right. Once the stressful situation passes, physical symptoms of anxiety typically subside. However, for many individuals, anxiety persists long after it is necessary.

Prolonged and persistent anxiety can significantly disrupt and interfere your ability to function in daily life and have a negative impact on your relationships. Some describe anxiety as being trapped by their own mind, like a prisoner within their own body. Counselling can help you regain control by cultivating inner calmness and empowering you to live life on your own terms once again, allowing you to confidently reclaim your life.

Anxiety Counselling Areas of Focus

  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Social Anxiety Disorder

  • General Anxiety Disorder

  • Panic Attacks

  • Loneliness and Social Isolation

  • Postnatal and Perinatal Depression

  • Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence Issues

  • Identity and Body Image Issues

  • Finding Acceptance and Validation From Others

  • Family Rejection and Conflicts

  • Difficulty Dealing with Societal & Cultural Expectations

  • Fear of Losing Friends, Family or Job Opportunities

  • Adjustment to New or Difficult Life Events

  • Breakups, Separation and Divorce

  • Difficulties in Communication and Relationships

  • Difficulties in Forming Intimate Relationships

  • Victims of Crime

  • Attending Court and Associated Anxieties

  • Navigating The Justice System

  • Financial Anxiety and Money Worries

What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic?

Anxiety can arise as a general response to stress or be triggered by specific situations or events. Catastrophic thinking often accompanies anxiety, leaving you with a constant anticipation of something terrible happening or imagining the worst case scenarios in any given situation. You may find yourself preoccupied with everyday concerns such as finances, work, or relationships, and experience persistent worry and tension.

Anxiety intensifies emotions and is frequently accompanied by a somatic panic response. Panic attacks can occur suddenly, although they are often linked to a buildup of stress. Panic is an extreme form of anxiety that throws the body into a sudden, intense, and fearful state of hyper-arousal. People experiencing panic may fear they are having a heart attack, losing control of their bodily functions, or losing touch with reality. While the physical symptoms usually subside after a few minutes, the apprehension and fear associated with a panic attack may take much longer to fade away.

Man PTSD Trauma Looking Down Talking to Counsellor - Men's Counselling and Mental Health Therapy Support for PTSD and Trauma

Common physical symptoms of anxiety and panic include:

  • Muscle tension
  • Heightened startle response
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Increased breathing and heart rate
  • Hot flushes and/or cold chills
  • Trembling
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Excessive sweating
  • Chest and abdominal pain

Other symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Frequent feelings of tension and uneasiness
  • Feeling overwhelmed by thoughts and emotions
  • Excessive worry about feeling anxious (rumination)
  • Catastrophising about potential negative outcomes
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • A sense of dread and unease
  • Intrusive and unwanted thoughts and images
  • Fear of losing control, fainting, or dying

Generalised anxiety consistently interferes with your mood and stress levels, leading to intense emotional highs and lows. While it’s normal to feel tense or fearful on occasion, anxiety magnifies these feelings and prolongs them significantly. It can be challenging to explain how you’re feeling to others, often leading to social withdrawal and isolation if left untreated.

Woman Upset Talking with Counsellor - Women's Counselling and Mental Health Therapy Support for PTSD and Trauma

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is the most common form of anxiety, affecting 1 in 10 Australians at some point in their lives. It is an extremely debilitating form of anxiety that can overshadow your ability to enjoy life and interact with others due to the fear of embarrassing or humiliating yourself in public or online.

Common social anxiety/phobias include:

  • Public speaking
  • Performing
  • Eating and drinking in front of others
  • Using public restrooms
  • Dating
  • General social encounters

Symptoms commonly association with social anxiety include:

  • Hypervigilance: feeling constantly nervous and on high alert, unable to relax
  • Quick interpretation and reaction to social cues, often with a negative bias
  • Persistent worry about social interactions, such as conversations, meeting new people, or being in public
  • Avoidance of social situations, including taking time off from work or school
  • Intense self-consciousness and self-criticism
  • Preoccupation with how others perceive and judge you, heightened anxiety about being watched or criticised
  • Dislike and avoidance of communication with others, both in person and online
  • Apprehension about physical proximity to others, leading to avoidance of eye contact

Counselling for social anxiety can be highly effective in reducing feelings of self-consciousness, worry, and tension. Avoiding social events and interactions can greatly impact your well-being and ability to function in daily life. We can assist you in recovering from social anxiety and regaining a fulfilling life.

Young Woman with Social Anxiety

How Can Counselling Help With Anxiety?

Counselling has been extensively proven as an effective method for alleviating anxiety symptoms and enhancing overall quality of life. Anxiety often stems from an overactive amygdala, which is responsible for processing emotions and coordinating our response to perceived threats. However, in cases of anxiety, the amygdala may remain hyperactive, refusing to deactivate even in the absence of a present threat. This ongoing state of activation can result in significant mental and physical stress. Anxiety Counselling at Melbourne Therapy and Counselling Centre focuses on addressing and reframing the underlying thoughts that trigger anxiety, helping you anticipate and manage your brain’s response to perceived threats in your environment.

For more information about the therapies that we offer for anxiety and depression, please click here.

Anxiety and Depression Therapy

Anxiety Counselling

Anxiety can seriously interfere with your day-to-day function, and take a heavy toll on your personal relationships, career, and ability to enjoy life, if left untreated. Anxiety symptoms may also co-occur or lead to ongoing depression. Anxiety counselling at Melbourne Therapy and Counselling Centre can help you to identify your existing coping skills, and amplify their effectiveness via a toolkit of evidence-based, practical anxiety management strategies that are tailored to your unique situation and your unique needs.

Our specialist anxiety counselling has two core benefits – it can significantly reduce and resolve anxiety symptoms, and equip you with lifelong stress management skills to prevent symptoms of anxiety from reoccurring.

At Melbourne Therapy and Counselling Centre, our qualified, experienced and skilled counsellors can provide specialist anxiety counselling and the necessary support that you require to improve your mental health and well-being.

For appointments or inquiries please contact us or make an appointment directly via our booking portal.

We offer in-person anxiety counselling in Melbourne at our specialist anxiety centre in Murrumbeena, or via telehealth for online anxiety counselling Australia-wide.