21 Things to Expect when being Treated for Anxiety
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21 Things to Expect when being Treated for Anxiety
By Dr Michael Shery
As a psychologist and counselor practicing in the
Cary-Algonquin-Crystal Lake area of Illinois, I find that there are 5 essentials you can expect in your
treatment for anxiety here.
But first, what are the symptoms of anxiety?
- Excessive worry that is disproportionate to the
- Muscle tension, restlessness or shakiness
- Palpitations, "butterflies," or nervousness
- Being "on edge," concentration problems or
If you have these symptoms you should seek counseling or
psychotherapy. But if you begin treatment, what will your counselor do- how does therapy work?
- Your therapist will ask you to explore your thought
processes-the way you think. In many cases the type of thoughts you have cause your anxiety. Fearful,
dreadful, pessimistic thoughts are, what I call, anxiogenic. That is they lead to anxiety.
- You will be asked to identify major life conflicts, past and
present, to determine how they may be affecting your anxiety. Often history still lingers in the
- Your therapist may train you in various relaxation
techniques to subdue the "butterflies" or worries. One such technique is the therapist guiding your
imagination to condition more pleasant relaxed feelings to the anxiety-provoking stimuli.
- The therapist may train you on how to "sculpt" your
anxiety-provoking thinking patterns so your thoughts are not so pessimistic, scary or
- You may be asked to identify a list of negative consequences
resulting from you’re your anxious thinking processes which interfere in your life.
- The possible benefits of herbs or medications might be
explored to assess whether or not one or more might be helpful in making your life more
- You might be asked to consider that your anxiety has its own
unconscious "sales pitch" which tricks you into believing that it is necessary and helpful. Some of these
"sales pitches" convince the patient that without the active worrying, his life will be ambushed by a
terrible event or catastrophe that will be unmanageable.
- Once the "sales pitch" has been figured out your therapist
will teach you how to dispute it so that your mind believes your disputation rather than the deceptive
- Your therapist may hypnotize you so that your subconscious
mind learns that you don't have to worry to protect yourself. When your subconscious believes it, so will
your everyday conscious mind and the anxiety will disappear
- The therapist may prescribe that you read and study some
pamphlets or articles about anxiety and ask that you select relevant concepts to discuss with him in the
- Your therapist will likely help you to develop an awareness
of your relapse triggers and constructive ways to manage them.
- You may be required to verbalize how your current living
situation contributes to your anxieties and acts as a hindrance to your recovery.
- If your living situation is seen as aggravating your
anxiety, other interventions, such as marriage or family counseling, may be introduced to deal with
- Your therapist will assist you in developing insight into
the personal and/or career changes that may be needed in order to prevent a relapse of serious
- You may be encouraged to increase your awareness of how your
upbringing may have affected you psychologically. Remember that often a traumatic past may linger or even
lurk in your present.
- Your therapist will likely support and encourage you when
you begin to express relevant fear, rage and rejection relating to any abuse or neglect
- In helping you to manage a traumatic past, your therapist
may help you identify the role you played in your family and the feelings associated with it.
- The therapist may help you to identify self-defeating
patterns relevant to your anxiety that exist in your present family or career situation and suggest ways of
- The therapist may prescribe psychological testing to expose
any factors that may be neglected in isolating the causes of your anxiety.
- You will be helped to identify sources of ongoing support
and reassurance to effectively curtail and manage your anxiety.
- If you are taking any related medications, their clinical
and side effects will be monitored to be sure that they are contributing efficiently to a therapeutic
outcome and not hampering it in any way.
Dr. Mike Shery is a
licensed clinical psychologist and is affiliated
with almost all health plans, including: ValueOptions, Medicare, Cigna, Cigna Behavioral
Health, United Health Care, Aetna, First Health, Healthstar, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois,
ComPsych, Magellan Health, HFN, Tricare, Humana, most union local plans, most school district
plans, Unicare, ChoiceCare, CAPP, Multiplan, Mental Health Network, Managed Health Network,
United Behavioral Health, PPONext, Private Health Care Systems, Humana-Military and Beech Street
He has practiced
clinical psychology for approximately 24 years and is board certified as a specialist in professional counseling by the International Academy of Behavioral
Medicine, Counseling and Psychotherapy. He is the director of Affiliated Counseling and
Referral Services and is a member of the American
The office is located
in Cary, IL and in select cases phone consultations are available for those who don’t live
locally> Telephone Counseling.
To make an
appointment> New Patient Registrationor to learn more about the psychological
services he providescall him at 1-847-275-8236 (24
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