The anxiety was a result of overwhelming and continuous feelings of loss as a result of the death of her mother a few years before. Her father had died whilst she was young and she remained an only child. There were few others to truly share her grief. The day-to-day worries were a distraction and defence against her real enemy – loss of the greatest love of her life.
The first few months of her psychotherapy provided symptomatic relief through cognitive strategies to manage her day-to-day anxieties, then I invited her to join one of my therapy groups which she attended for a couple of years. The Group held her seemingly endless grief, and she found understanding from their loss of parents (either through death or estrangement). I had a touching message from her husband after she left therapy, thanking me for returning his wife to him!
Anxiety is a regular visitor at my door brought along by clients to be ‘dealt with’ so they can begin to enjoy life again. In my experience, anxiety is often a symptom of deeper historic issues, often buried from the conscious mind as protection. These issues could be unresolved grief, disrupted childhood attachment, or another traumatic experience. I aim to bring the choice to a client’s awareness – to continue holding onto anxiety as a false protector, or to face the forgotten or discounted emotions with the support of another (the therapist) or others (the therapy group).
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