Monday, November 30, 2015

Can Counseling Help People With Anxiety Disorders?

Woman fleeing in woods
Arthur Rackham for Undine
Counseling can work wonders for people with anxiety disorders. The tools a counselor can give people stricken with any of these disorders or even just occasional panic attacks, coupled with the ability to speak with an unbiased party about their issues can take the place of medicine for the treatment of panic disorders. However, several factors will determine how successful counseling will be for the treatment of panic disorders. Very often, it takes a combination of counseling, medication and personal effort to see big results.

For counseling to help with any kind of anxiety disorder, the sufferer has to be willing to try to make it work. If a counselor suggests something like exposure therapy, the sufferer has to trust their counselor and try not to let their fear get in the way of treatment. Oftentimes, counseling will fail in treating panic disorders because the sufferer can't or won't allow their counselor to help them.

In order for a counselor to help a panic disorder sufferer, it is best if the counselor is well suited to the counseled. If there is anything about the counselor that makes the sufferer uncomfortable or defensive, it will be difficult to get results. On the other hand, it does take time for a person to become comfortable with and begin trusting their counselor. Therefore, if you are just starting counseling, give it a while before you switch counselors. You may find that as you get to know your counselor, your treatment works better and better.

The intensity of the anxiety disorder will also have a lot to do with how well and how fast counseling will help. For example, if a sufferer cannot leave their house without having a panic attack, going to counseling is going to be hell for them. It will be awhile before that person is able to feel safe going to see their counselor. Furthermore, it is harder to break the cycle of a panic disorder when it has been festering for a long time and has had the chance to become severe. Panic attacks become like a habit for many people. Sufferers get so used to them that they expect to have one and subsequently do because of their negative thinking. Counseling can and does help people like this, but it takes patience on the part of both the counselor and counseled.

A good counselor will have great listening skills, be understanding and have a comprehensive knowledge of ways to treat panic without medicine (see a prescriber or psychiatrist for that). They may tell you to try to get regular exercise, eat healthy foods, try exposure therapy, keep a journal, etc. All of these things are small steps on the road to chipping away at panic disorders. However, with the right counselor, right advice and enough time, a sufferer cannot only lessen their panic, but they may see it go away altogether.