What Does Anxiety Mean to You?
Today a wonderful client of mine said that for her "Anxiety was outmoded" as a word to use to describe how she now feels. I loved her meaning because she has been a sufferer of significant and debilitating anxiety for years. After being treated by me for some months, she now feels like the word 'anxiety' no longer applies to her. She came to see me 6 months ago wanting because she wanted to get rid of the feeling of anxiety that had been troubling her and to see how she should go about stopping her low level medications.
How Did We Do It?
I listened, thoroughly. I heard this client at the core of my being to understand what the feelings she labelled 'anxiety' were like for her. I was very careful not to make any assumptions about how she felt, even if she used words I had heard before. I really wanted essentially to listen to her on such a deep level of empathy and listening skills that I could almost experience momentarily, what her anxiety felt like myself. Then I did something that I have found to be essential when treating any kind of experience, I went entirely at her own pace. Each time we met and talked I re evaluated exactly what she was saying to me about her fears and needs and ideas; and each time I changed our treatment pace to match her exactly. In essence, I responded to every fluctuation of pace that she presented me with.
I Listen Very Deeply
This level of deep listening is very relational. That means it has the ability to track the ebbs and flows in a client and know when to gently encourage and when to sit back and let the client metaphorically take my hand and show me the way....their way. This delicate process is like a dance and as a counselor it is key to know how to follow as well as lead.
What Else Did I do?
I used effective and well prescribed Homeopathic medicines as well as coaching and counselling to treat the anxiety symptoms. As soon as a client has an experience where anxiety levels begin to alleviate they can start to feel confident that they can improve. The Homeopathic medicines are entirely natural and support the client to eliminate the anxiety feelings in her head, as well as the emotions she feels about them. When anxiety has been present for a long time, there is always a lot of feeling about it and it is important to address this side also.
This client now feels anxiety is an outmoded word for her. She relates to the idea of anxiety as something outside of herself that she has previously experienced. Although we are still on her journey and have some way to go, we are now dealing with a very different set of experiences. Anxiety does not rule her life anymore, nor follow her around inside her head. She is empowered and realistic. She sees the change in herself and relationships including how she relates to her mothering (which was excellent anyway). She is now one of my biggest advocates and sends me anyone she knows who has a health, or emotional issue or a difficulty. I am very grateful for this client and what she still continues to teach me as a clinician and as a human being.