Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion. However, when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety, it might become a medical disorder. Anxiety disorders form a category of mental health diagnoses that lead to excessive nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry.
The five major types of anxiety disorders are:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.
- Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
- Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation – such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others – or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.
At Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. treatments will consist of a combination of psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and sometimes medication.
Alcohol dependence, depression, or other conditions can sometimes have such a strong effect on mental well-being that treating an anxiety disorder must wait until any underlying conditions are brought under control.
Thinking of Couple’s Counseling?
While there are lots of great counselors, therapists, social workers, psychologists, and other helping professionals in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. area, not all of them are trained to counsel couples specifically. In this post, I’ll describe a few qualities that you should look for when considering a competent couple’s counselor.
Look for a Couple’s Counselor that…
- Makes you both initially comfortable (don’t worry… it won’t last). Upon your first meeting the counselor should spend some time with both of you together, and in that context both of you should feel comfortable talking to the counselor. Part of the first few of sessions should be about connecting with both of you and helping both of you share your experience in the relationship. Eventually, the counselor will need to press you both more, making one or both of your more uncomfortable, but this only works if it is based upon trust and connection.
- Doesn’t take sides – all the time (or at least takes sides fairly equally). Your friends and family take your side; your counselor should not, not all of the time ( sometimes you may feel they are but they are trying to have a break through in your relationship). Your counselor should not gang up with you against your partner except in extreme cases. In most cases, it’s when the counselor stays more neutral, and helps you explore your part in the ongoing conflict, that will be most helpful.
- Puts your relationship first (above either of your individual personalities, complaints, or justifications). I often tell my clients that their relationship, their marriage, is my primary client. My work is to improve their relationship, not just their individual experiences. You can work on individual issues in individual counseling, but if you do it will impact your relationships (often for the better). My job is to improve your relationship.
- Looks for what is working (even though it feels like it sucks!). Though your relationship is probably in significant distress, it’s probably not completely dysfunctional every moment of every day. A counselor should take time to explore what is already working now.
- Engenders HOPE (it can always get a bit better). No matter how bad it is now, it can get better. And if you don’t have the belief for that truth, your counselor should. I’ve personally seen couples overcome tremendous distress, disappointment, and distrust – sometimes to my own surprise! While conflict and pain are part of relationships, it can always improve.
And on a final note, your counseling professional should be specifically trained in couples counseling, and many are not. Counseling couples requires particular expertise, and many counseling professionals do not have adequate training. At Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. Clarissa Crystal-Belle, LMHC through her vast experience and knowledge through the years has developed many many skills and tools that every therapist at Star Point Counseling Center utilizes with clients who are here for marriage counseling, couples counseling or relationship counseling.
At Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl we feel families are happier when they share thier lives and experiences together. Think 50 – 60 years ago when the entire family ate dinner together at the same time every day. They didn’t just eat and run, they discussed their day with each other. They knew what was going on in each od their lves. They supported each other on their goals and dreams. Then the families 50 – 60 years ago would do simple activities together, have fun with each other.
When we see families for family counseling in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. we try to get the families back to this type of family systems. We know everyones lives are much more complicated and busier these days but this is the approach to family therapy to get the family supporting each others goals and dreams.