Stress and Anxiety Counselling

Get Personalized Help in Finding the Right Counsellor for Stress and Anxiety in BC

Waypoint Counselling offers personalized help in finding the right counsellor to meet your unique needs.  We know that the client-counsellor “fit” is critical to good outcomes in addressing anxiety and improving your life.  We have a number of experienced counsellors in the Greater Victoria and Vancouver area.  By contacting us, we can help you sort out which counsellor is right for you.  Our Clinical Director will get an understanding of the style that will work best for you and will match you with a counsellor on our network.  You can then meet with that therapist to see if the “fit” feels right.  We will follow-up with you to make sure you have the right counsellor for anxiety and stress. For more information, see Match me to a Therapist.

Why is the Right Counsellor for Anxiety Important?

It is well known that counselling can really help a person deal better with feelings with anxiety.  But here’s the thing – it is the “fit” between the counsellor and the client that makes the biggest difference. It has been found to be more important than the counselling method used or the educational background of the therapist.  If there isn’t a good “fit” between the client and the therapist, then the counselling might take a long time to reach the results desired.

Counselling is a highly personal process.  And because we all interact with our world in our unique ways, how we respond to a specific counsellor is highly individualistic.  So, finding the right therapist to help with stress and anxiety can be difficult.  But that choice is so important – as it can either lead to a great connection, or a waste of time and money.

Below is some additional information on anxiety and how it can be better managed.

Is Anxiety Normal?

Anxiety can be described as a combination of unpleasant physical feelings and thoughts that are typically linked with uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry. Anxiety is normal – everyone experiences anxiety at times. For example, it is normal to feel anxious when on a roller coaster or before a job interview.

Anxiety can become a problem when we react as if there is danger when there is no real danger. It’s like having an overly sensitive smoke alarm system in your body.  We do not want to get rid of the alarm because it protects us from danger. We want to learn how to better manage the anxiety so it works properly for us!

Most people do not recognize their anxiety for what it is, and instead think there is something “wrong” with them. However, counselling can turn that around and give a person tools to better respond to the stress in our lives.

Is stress and anxiety counselling effective?

Waypoint counsellors can help you identify your problems and set goals to help you deal with your challenges.  We see counselling and therapy as working in partnership to get to solutions.  We will work with your physician, if you provide us with permission, to make sure your treatment lines up with their approach.  Our counsellors can use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is a proven approach to help you change negative thinking and patterns.

How does anxiety work?

Anxiety affects your body, thoughts and behaviours. Therefore, there are three parts to anxiety:

  1. physical symptoms; how our body responds
  2. thoughts; what we say to ourselves
  3. behaviours; what we do or our actions

What are the physical symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety can cause many different feelings in your body. These sensations are part of the “alarm reaction” when the body thinks it needs to take action.  Common physical symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and stomach upset
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Tight or painful chest
  • Numbness and tingling sensations
  • Unreality or bright vision
  • Legs feel heavy

You can learn to identify the physical signs of anxiety by asking yourself: “What happens when I’m anxious? Where do I feel the anxiety or stress in my body?” For example, when you feel anxious, you may get butterflies in your stomach, sweat a lot, breathe heavily, and feel dizzy or lightheaded.

How can I recognize anxious thoughts?

Anxiety also affects how we think.  Often these thoughts involve a fear of something bad happening.

The first step to learning how to manage negative emotions is to first identify when negative thoughts are happening.  The next step is to start replacing the negative emotions with thoughts that are more realistic. Our thoughts can have a big impact on how we feel.  Changing our unhelpful thoughts to be more balanced is a key to feeling better. “Realistic thinking” means looking at yourself, others, and the world in a balanced and fair way, without being overly negative or positive.

What are anxious behaviours?

Anxiety feels very uncomfortable. We might think we are in danger. Because of these strong feelings, we tend to avoid situations and people that result in those feelings.  Needless to say, this can really lead to negative impact on our lives.

It is important to identify situations that you avoid in order to avoid stress and anxiety. To do this, answer the following:

  • If you wake up tomorrow morning and all your anxiety had magically disappeared, what would you do?
  • How would you act?
  • How would someone close to you know you weren’t anxious?

Finish the following sentences:

  • My anxiety stops me from …
  • When I am not anxious, I will be able to …

Once you are able to understand and recognize anxiety, you will be better prepared to start to manage the anxiety.

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