Anxiety Disorders Treatment Category

Motivated by Fear

In the thick of experiencing severe anxiety and panic attacks, it can seem like they are your biggest problem. This is natural, your body is in survival mode, it can only focus on what’s happening to it in the moment, like a pounding heart, feeling nauseated, feeling scared and hopeless. However, that anxiety and the uncomfortable sensations that accompany it are usually just the tip of the iceberg, meaning the anxiety is often a symptom of a bigger issue(s). Common bigger issues include low self-esteem, a need for control, fear of dying, etc. Sometimes it’s just one big issue, other times it’s a combination of several smaller issues, and unfortunately for some of us, these issues manifest in the form of anxiety and/or panic attacks because our bodies can only handle so much fear and stress before its tries to tell us “ENOUGH!”

If anxiety and panic attacks are present within you, it’s important to ask yourself: “Am I motivated by fear?” I...

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Art therapy with Autistic kids

Recent studies on children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have revealed that seventy percent of children with ASD between the ages of 10 and 14 have also been diagnosed with another disorder, anxiety related disorders are named as the most common one!

Behavioral therapists working with kids with ASD admit that anxiety is an inevitable factor of lives of kids and teenagers with ASD. However, studies have shown that combining behavioral and art therapy techniques with kids with developmental disabilities and autistic traits, will improve communication skills and will increase interpersonal interaction in them; which results in reducing social anxiety.Therapy serves as an outlet to express emotions and thoughts, and also helps kids with ASD to make sense out of daily events...

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Keeping your inner calm

Many times it is challenging to keep calm when life keeps throwing you curve balls. You make some plans and everything that could go wrong does. Your car doesn’t start, your boss yells at you for a late report, your kid is sick, you have to work overtime on a Friday, and so on. At times these small crises seem to happen all at once and it can be overwhelming. How do you stop and find your way back to a state of calm?

It is essential to remember that regardless of any outside circumstances, drama or family issues we may experience we all have a part of us that is a center of calm. It might be clouded by all the turmoil that is happening in our lives but it is always there, waiting for us to tap into it. It is waiting for us to come back to this state of peacefulness. On days like this, we need to stop and take a quiet moment alone if possible. This could be in the car, bathroom, your office wherever you can get a moment’s peace.

Close your eyes and for every inhalation tel...

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Mindfulness for Kids

Mindfulness is usually reserved for adults, but it does not have to be. Children of all ages experience stress and tension physically, the inability to focus or concentrate, as well as distressing emotions (i.e anxiety, anger, sadness). The great thing about children is that they can adapt easily to mindfulness as well.

You may be asking, what is mindfulness? How can I get my child to sit still long enough to practice? The best way to conceptualize mindfulness is the ability to be present and to be in the here and the now. It is a way of observing, describing, and fully engaging in the moment. Now, how can we get our children to fully engage in the moment? Here are some techniques:

1. Be mindful of the breath: Observing the breath is the simplest way to start mindfulness. For example, if I tell you to not think of the color red, you are definitely going to think of the color red. So if you help the child think about breathing, it will be easier for them to focus on their breath. If y...

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When Talk Therapy is not enough - Depression, Anxiety and Trauma

Is it possible that depression and anxiety as well as PTSD and other emotional problems have their origins in trauma?  Most often we think of trauma as blatant trauma - accidents, war, abuse, and other horrifying things that we witness and experience.  Equally signficant is developmental trauma - the kind of trauma we experience when we are little, alone and vulnerable and our parents are not present enough, loving enough, or are critical and demanding.  When this happens we experience breaches of attachment and this can occur as early as when we are in the womb.  We can suspect this if we frequently feel not good enough, not loveable, like we don't exist or would prefer not to be here.

For a long time it was thought we responded to trauma only through flight or fight.  The freeze response was unrecognized.  One freezes when powerless to take flight or fight.  When this happens, adrenaline and cortisol, mixed with anger, helplessness, panic, and hop...

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My name is Kathy and I counsel clients in a very unique and different way using the expressive

arts. Expressive art and body movement are a fun way to explore your life and change the

chemistry in our body. As a Therapist I have referenced and used various therapy techniques,

specializing in Art/Dance Therapy, Genograms, Family systems and Cognitive Behavioral

Therapy. I maintain a practice in Sonora California and virtually via skype in the U.S I have 20

years of experience working with a wide range of emotional, relational, and behavioral issues

providing services that span from therapy for depression and anxiety, grief counseling, relief

from PTSD and disturbing life experiences. I have worked with children age four through

eighteen and adults incorporating changes in their diets, sleep recommendations and education. I

have seen remarkable results in moods and behavior modifications that took place within the

child which was discovered as the child attended...

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The Shame Game

I recently wrote about The Inner Bully, or the tendency for those of us who struggle with anxiety to criticize our perceived shortcomings. Those perceived shortcomings are the result of a sense of shame. Shame is defined as the underlying and pervasive belief that one is somehow defective or unacceptable. For us anxious people, that shame generally comes from three sources: our own inner shaming, perceived (and often fictional) criticisms from family and friends, and from the general cultural stigma of mental illness.

Inner shame often begins with the words “I should….” For instance, “I should be able to handle the same work load that I used to before getting panic attacks” or “I should be able to go out for lunch with friends without sweating through several layers of clothes” or “I should have tried harder to fight that panic attack.” The list goes on. Often times, the shame we feel is misplaced and/or is an exaggeration of reali...

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"What if..."

The dreaded “what if “ thoughts can dominate the minds of us anxious folk, whether we’re aware of it or not. One of the first tips I like to give my clients is: if a thought begins with “what if” then it can usually be disregarded as nothing more than an anxious thought. It’s funny, we think by dwelling on the “what if” thoughts that we are simply being practical by preparing for all possible outcomes. The secret about “what if” thoughts is that they are rarely productive and are often mentally draining. If you think about it, the phrase “what if” implies a problem that is non-existent yet, how can we solve a problem that doesn't even exist? We can’t.

 So, why do we automatically (or what feels like automatically) hone in on these “what if" thoughts? Because it is human nature for our focus to gravitate toward the negative; it’s a survival mechanism. Our brains are constantly scanning for th...

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The Inner Bully

We are often our own worst enemy. This is usually evident in the way that we talk to ourselves; telling ourselves we are "a loser", "weak", "fat", "stupid", "a failure" and the list goes on. 

So, why do we say these terrible things to ourselves? Well, some of us grew up hearing these cruel words from others while some of us have low self-confidence from trying to live up to society's high standards. Whatever the reason, the negative self-talk we engage in is simply not true and even if there is SOME truth behind it, that inner bully has a way of blowing it WAY out of proportion. For example; thinking "I'm always so ugly" when in reality, it's just one bad hair day. The inner bully can be so discrete, making it hard to catch, but it's very important that we do. If we continue to let that inner bully convince us we are no good, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, these negative perceptions of ourselves will become our reality and our truth. 

One way to reign in that in...

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Booker T. Washington & Chocolate Cake: Real World Advice on Coping with Depression & Loneliness

Coping with depression, loneliness, and feelings of hopelessness can feel like a solitary activity. When we feel these ways, we often have the impression that we’re on our own. I recently asked my Facebook friends how they get through difficult times – an effort of mine to get more ideas as a therapist and to also help people feel more connected at a time when it’s hard to feel love from others. I received many replies and have published portions of each one. Following are the final comments I received from my friends. I hope you find these as meaningful as I have.

One friend commented on living long-term with depression: As a PTSD sufferer, depression is a constant companion. Honestly, I struggle each time something comes up and it’s always fresh and new, so I have to learn each time. Bouts from PTSD can last two days to 6 months. Sometimes it’s just about being calm and quiet and resting more than seems normal. Other times I need to exercise and burn of...

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