One of the most common issues for people who are trying to recover from an anxiety problem is a sense of urgency to feel better. This makes sense. For many of these individuals, by the time they seek out help, they are in a great deal of discomfort relating to their anxious symptoms. This can lead anxious clients to quickly drop out from treatments that may help in the long run due to frustration or a feeling that they will never feel better. I call this “wanting to get better by yesterday.” Patience is a very difficult virtue to come by when you are feeling so uncomfortable.
If you are someone who is contemplating seeking out help for anxiety, be sure to give yourself and the treatment enough time to work. Communication is one of the keys to helping this process more rapidly succeed. Be sure to communicate the severity of your symptoms to your therapist. Thus, he/she can give you some quick advice as to how to deal with the most severe of symptoms. Techniques such as square breathing, centering, and grounding can help you deal with extreme levels of discomfort from anxiety. These techniques do not help to deal with the basis of the anxiety, but start by attacking it at its surface. This has its benefits. By treating anxiety in this way, you will progress through the first, difficult portion of therapy and work towards the long-lasting change that can result from changing your thinking. Thus, you will move beyond simple symptom management. You are then more likely to remain patient enough to see the slower progress of typical psychotherapy.
In order to know if your therapist will deal with your anxiety in such a way, ask if he/she has any training in Solution-Focused or Brief Therapy. These types of therapies offer better quick interventions that can help with symptoms. However, no matter what approach to therapy your therapist uses, it is imperative that you communicate through your treatment. Report what is working, and be extremely open and honest about what is not working. Many times clients want to report that they are feeling better, which does not help promote quick progress. If you are not feeling better, and you communicate this, your therapist will then likely tweak some of your current plan of treatment. With open communication on your part and sound symptom management from your therapist, you will likely be on your way to overcoming your anxiety problem.