ONLINE THERAPY FOR AGORAPHOBIA
Agoraphobia and Social Anxiety are characterized by intense emotional reactions and panic attacks related to change of physical location. Online Mindfulness Therapy using Skype is an exciting new approach to help people imprisoned by this debilitating form of anxiety. Online Skype Therapy allows people to work on their anxiety in the comfort of their homes and gradually develop the tools that will allow them to venture out and become more confident in themselves so that they can participate and get more enjoyment from life.
One of my online clients, a woman in her late 30s seldom moved out of the safety zone of her home because she was convinced that something terrible would happen and there would be no one there to help her. This sense of intense isolation and fear of being alone is an ironical side to a behavioral disorder that produces just that – isolation and loneliness. Many sufferers from social anxiety have very low self-confidence and even lower self-esteem. They are imprisoned by negative beliefs about themselves in which they are unable to cope with change. Not only change of location, but change of routine or anything, which can be described as the familiar rhythm to their lives.
In terms of the emotional reactivity, those with social anxiety disorders experience what can best be described as an inner contraction of emotional energy. The anxiety contracts and concentrates into a tight focal point, usually centered on a thought or a belief. This of course is the driving emotional energy that can lead to a panic attack, which can be described as an explosion of anxiety, leading to very erratic behavior. This is what many sufferers are most afraid of – this runaway and uncontrollable behavior.
Over the years, I have been studying this contraction process and have found that mindfulness to be extremely effective as an antidote. Mindfulness, by its very nature is an expansion of consciousness and so admirably counteracts the contraction of consciousness associated with emotional reactivity. There are many ways that mindfulness can help with anxiety disorders. The first and most basic skill is simply learning to awaken to the inner reactive thinking as it arises. This simple process of recognition can and does make all the difference. In my book, The Path of Mindfulness Meditation, I describe this as one of the 3 R’s of mindfulness practice: Recognition, Relationship, Resolution. If a person can learn to recognize his habitual reactive thoughts as they arise, then a moment of choice opens up. If he remains blind, then nothing can change.
When the lady mentioned above took on mindfulness training with me, she soon learned to catch these reactive thoughts. Actually, after awhile, it became a game for her and for once in a very long time she felt that she had some control. This is one of the immediate benefits of mindfulness therapy – clients quickly shift out of being the victim to being empowered. For an agoraphobic, this is a revolution.
Instead if being dominated by negative thoughts, she began to see them as nothing more than “objects,” and in fact she imagined them as pebbles on a beach. She could see them as discreet entities and could simply walk around them, pick them up and look at them, but she no longer was compelled to become them. She began to find her true Self again – a Self that was not defined by rock hard thoughts, but was that inquisitive child that could look at these “things” and not be afraid. This is the beginning of the Resolution phase of mindfulness – a release of that contracted energy, a flowering of her true essence as the “knowing” of the contents of her mind – the “known” and the habitual reactivity and resistance to her emotions – “the knower.” Mindfulness allows us to let go of the known and the knower and awaken as the knowing – the pure consciousness of the free mind and heart.
Online Treatment for Agoraphobia via Skype
Online Treatment for Agoraphobia
Welcome. My name is Peter Strong and I’m a professional psychotherapist and I offer mindfulness based online therapy for agoraphobic anxiety and panic attacks. The mindfulness approach is extremely effective and during online therapy sessions I will teach you how to work with your agoraphobic anxiety using the techniques of mindfulness to help you prevent your becoming overwhelmed by the anxiety reactions. We do this by actually meditating on our anxiety before we do any challenges. Meditating helps to change the relationship that you have with your anxiety and this is absolutely essential, because the biggest problem that I encounter is that people suffering from anxiety tend to become identified with their emotions. They tend to become consumed by their emotions. They effectively lose their identity and become the emotions and this creates a very reactive place that is very difficult to escape from. So with mindfulness training you can change this pattern and learn to develop a relationship with your anxiety whereby you do not become identified with it where you can see the anxiety as an observer. This is essential for change. Once you begin to do this the rate of recovery from agoraphobic anxiety and panic attacks increases dramatically, and most people will see quite substantial changes after only four or five sessions with me once they start applying the mindfulness-based techniques.
So the basic idea is that you will schedule sessions with me and we will work on setting up a series of challenges that you can manage and then you prepare for these challenges using mindfulness meditation. You do that challenge and you meditate on any anxiety that arose during that challenge. And each time we learn a little more about how to change our relationship to our anxiety so that we basically break free from the habit of identification and becoming overwhelmed by it. And this approach is, from my experience, the most effective there is for overcoming agoraphobic anxiety. So if you’d like to get started with me simply go to my website and then email me to schedule a Skype therapy session with me. Thank you.
Peter Strong, PhD is a Professional Psychotherapist and specialist in Mindfulness Therapy. He offers Online Counseling via Skype for Anxiety, Depression & Emotional Stress.
Email Inquiries Welcome.
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