Get Personalized Help in Finding the Right Counsellor for Anxiety and Stress in Vancouver, Kelowna or Victoria 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 Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna.  We also offer phone and video counselling wherever you are.  By filling out our counsellor matching form, 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.

All of our counsellors offer sessions by phone or online with a secure video link.

What is Anxiety and Stress?

Life can be stressful—you may feel stressed about performance at school, traumatic events (such as the pandemic, a natural disaster, or an act of violence), or a life change. Everyone feels stress from time to time.

What is stress? Stress is the physical or mental response to an external cause, such as having a lot of homework or having an illness. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time.

What is anxiety? Anxiety is your body’s reaction to stress and can occur even if there is no current threat.

If that anxiety doesn’t go away and begins to interfere with your life, it could affect your health. You could experience problems with sleeping, or with your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. You also may be at higher risk for developing a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression.

Why is it important to manage stress?

Everyone experiences stress, and sometimes that stress can feel overwhelming. You may be at risk for an anxiety disorder if it feels like you can’t manage the stress and if the symptoms of your stress:

  • Interfere with your everyday life.
  • Cause you to avoid doing things.
  • Seem to be always present.

How can I cope with anxiety and stress?

Learning what causes or triggers your stress and what coping techniques work for you can help reduce your anxiety and improve your daily life. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. Here are some activities you can try when you start to feel overwhelmed:

  • Keep a journal.
  • Download an app that provides relaxation exercises (such as deep breathing or visualization) or tips for practicing mindfulness, which is a psychological process of actively paying attention to the present moment.
  • Exercise, and make sure you are eating healthy, regular meals.
  • Stick to a sleep routine, and make sure you are getting enough sleep.
  • Avoid drinking excess caffeine such as soft drinks or coffee.
  • Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
  • Reach out to your friends or family members who help you cope in a positive way.

How is anxiety treated?

Some types of counselling along with certain medications, prescribed by a doctor, can be helpful in dealing with anxiety. Specifically, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is often the first choice for treatment. Medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be used in addition to therapy, if necessary.

What are self help tips to manage anxiety?

Take care of yourself:

  • Eat right, sleep right, move your body! Each of these healthy activities can help reduce anxiety and make a positive difference to your whole body/mind system.
  • Avoid alcohol and street drugs. These may seem like a way to make yourself feel better, but in the long run, they can make things a lot worse.
  • Become aware of what triggers your anxiety and reduce stress where and when you can.

Learn how to chill out:

  • This may sound simple but learning how to relax deeply can take time and practice. Techniques include deep breathing mindfulness meditation, yoga and tai chi. Each of these activities can help calm both body and mind. Courses may be available at school or a local recreation centre.  Some counsellors can also help you learn this skill.

Stay connected with friends and family:

  • Too much time alone can allow worries and anxieties to grow. Doing things with others can give you a break from your worries and offer you new, enjoyable experiences instead. Staying connected also means that others can be there for you, to listen to your concerns and provide support.

Spend time in nature:

  • Get outside and spend time in a natural setting, like a park or a forest walk. There’s more and more evidence that just being in nature is good for our mental health. And it’s a great place for exercise, relaxation or spending time with friends or family.

Recognize when you need more help

If you are struggling to cope, or the symptoms of your stress or anxiety won’t go away, it may be time to talk to a professional. Counselling and medication are the two main treatments for anxiety, and many people benefit from a combination of the two.

Does counselling for stress and anxiety work?

People with anxiety tend to become easily overwhelmed by their emotions, and they tend to have particularly negative reactions to those unpleasant feelings and situations.

Often, people try to cope with those negative reactions by avoiding situations or experiences that make them anxious. Unfortunately, avoidance can backfire and feed the anxiety making it worse.

Counsellors are trained to help people learn healthier, more effective ways to cope. A form of psychotherapy known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is highly effective at treating anxiety disorders. Through CBT, a person can learn to identify and manage the factors that contribute to their anxiety.

Through the cognitive component of therapy, patients learn to understand how their thoughts contribute to their anxiety symptoms. By learning to change those thought patterns, they can reduce the likelihood and intensity of their symptoms and begin to feel better.

With the behavioral component, patients learn techniques to reduce undesired behaviors associated with anxiety and stress such as avoiding others, repeating steps when leaving the house, and ruminating over thoughts when trying to sleep.

What to expect from counselling?

Counselling is a collaborative process, where therapists and patients work together to identify specific concerns and develop concrete skills and techniques for coping with stress and anxiety. Patients can expect to practice their new skills outside of sessions to manage anxiety in situations that might make them uncomfortable. Gradually, people begin to feel confident they have the skills they need to effectively confront their fears.

Anxiety is very treatable. Most people who suffer from anxiety can reduce or eliminate symptoms after entering counselling and many notice improvement after just a few sessions.

Where to get counselling for anxiety?

Finding the right counsellor is very important. The fit between a person and their counsellor is the most important factor in getting the right results quickly. At Waypoint Counselling Network, we have a team of strong therapists who all have expertise in helping clients manage anxiety and stress. But everyone is different and has their own histories and preferences. Reach out to us and we can help to match you with the strongest counsellor for your individual situation.

Alternatively, you can complete our online matching survey and a professional will be in touch with you about recommended counsellors.

Anxiety and Stress Counselling Counsellors