Anxiety - Person Centred Therapist Approach

Anxiety is one of our primary defence instincts. Therefore, anxiety is a natural feeling that individuals will experience frequently in their lifetime. However, when we come to feel anxious, irrational and fearful and the anxiety is ongoing, then anxiety becomes a problem. With anxiety, the person may also feel depressed. Some of the commonest types of anxiety are as follows: -

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

With Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), the person on a daily basis may feel tense, overly concerned and irrational although there are no valid reasons to be worried. The person may be fearful something bad is going to happen to them or their loved ones or the anxiety maybe far more severe than the situation warrants. The person experiencing Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) may have some or all of the following symptoms: -

  • Constant apprehension
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Low to no energy
  • Tired
  • Twitching
  • Hot flushes
  • Muscle pain and tension
  • Nausea

Panic Disorder

This type of anxiety disorder involves severe and unpredictable panic attacks. For the person experiencing this type of anxiety, it is a very frightening and intensive experience. Panic disorder affects all of your body. The following are some of the emotional and physical feelings a person may experience while having an attack: -


  • Cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Heart racing
  • Hyperventilation
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Shaking


  • Fear of death
  • Thoughts and anxiety around hurting yourself or others
  • Irrational thoughts around people and the world


In some cases, Agoraphobia can also occur with panic attacks. Agoraphobia can be viewed as a form of severe anxiety. The person experiences fear of being in situations where anxiety may occur for example, shopping, public transport, driving. Agoraphobia can also occur at home. Agoraphobia is a serious and restrictive condition .

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a debilitating anxiety disorder. The person becomes absorbed with recurrent thoughts, images and feelings that feel uncomfortable and frightening – obsessions. In order to try to satisfy the obsessions or relieve the anxiety, the person may perform a series of repetitive tasks or rituals - compulsions. After a period of time, the recurrent impulses return and also the urge to do something to relieve it.

What Causes Anxiety?

Similar to depression, there is no single cause for anxiety. However, some factors such as chemical imbalance, family history, early adverse childhood experiences may attribute to anxiety. Other possible causes of anxiety maybe bereavement, divorce, financial hardship, caffeine intake, substance abuse, and a traumatic occurrence. With anxiety, the person may also feel depressed.

What may help anxiety sufferers ?

Make a note of the time and place where your anxiety seems to occur. This will allow you to spend some time to prepare in advance for your next trip.

  • Try to get your breathing under control by deep breathing and you could also try breathing into a paper bag.
  • Share your anxiety with a friend or self help group.
  • Talk about your anxiety to your GP and therapist.

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