The Treatment of Anxiety & Panic through Telephone Counseling
Anxiety & panic treatment through telephone counseling can be very effective. A large part of the treatment of anxiety is information that is generally not taught in schools. We graduate high school, and perhaps even college, with no or little information about what brings on our anxieties or panic attacks and, more importantly, how to minimize our anxiety or panic. Talking with a professional on the phone is a viable way of conveying the information needed. And, it is comfortable, because we are all very familiar with talking on the phone. And, we can do it anywhere, at home, at the office, in a park, in the car (not while driving!). Once you have the information, you can begin to put it into practice. You can also talk to the professional at just about anytime. There is no need to wait for an office visit, which may be a week or two down the road.
Anxiety itself is not a bad thing, or a problem. Anxiety is a very old instinctual psychological and biological response to a perceived threat or some danger. It is a warning signal and may be one of the most important ways in which the species has survived, and thrived, as long as it has. But, in modern times, we can perceive threats or dangers that are not really there, they are imagined. For example, if we believe our job is threatened, when in fact it may not be at all, we will become anxious, and may even have a panic attack. If we believe we are about to enter a social situation in which conflict will escalate, and we are not good with conflict, we will become anxious. And yet, we may not know for sure if there will be conflict. We may be exaggerating or magnifying the possible danger way out of proportion. Or, another example, by way of analogy, if you see a coiled up rope as a snake, you may panic, even though it is just a rope…..
In talking with a professional over the phone, you will learn how to distinguish between actual, factual threats or potential dangers, and what options you have to address those, in which case the anxiety will tend to diminish; or, you will learn how to see the potential threat or danger as fabricated, or magnified out of proportion, which will then tend to help diminish the anxiety. So, ultimately, our anxiety and panic is brought on by how we see things, how we interpret things, how we talk to ourselves about what we perceive. Learning how to talk to ourselves realistically is an important aspect of dealing with anxiety and panic, all of which can be done quite well over the telephone.
If you would like to read more about anxiety and panic, take a look at a few blog posts: A Philosophical Antidote for Anxiety, Dialing Down Anxiety, and Anticipating Anticipatory Anxiety.