Person Centred Therapy and Anxiety

2nd July 2023

What is anxiety? An age old question. Many of us experience anxiety without actually knowing it, or knowing what it even is. Generally, anxiety refers to feelings of worry, fear, nervousness and all over uneasiness. Although, it doesn’t always feel EXACTLY like that. So what is anxiety to you?

What does it look like? How does it feel? How does it act? To me, it is an entity that lives within the mind and body, floating around and pulling on strings. For example, anxiety can present itself in the form of hyperventilation, causing a real struggle to catch your breath (which as you may know, can be very scary). In this instance, I see the anxiety residing in the chest and blocking a free flow of air. Of course, there isn’t actually anything there, but it sure does feel that way. It may seem strange to think about anxiety as a tangible thing, however, it feels so different and so unique for each and every person that I believe it’s important that we are all able to have the freedom and control to describe our own experiences in whichever way we would like to, while keeping its uniqueness. 

So how does person centred therapy approach anxiety? The person centred model of therapy relies on the theory that each individual has the capacity to create change when and if they want to. Differing from most kinds of therapy, person centred focusses fully on the client so they are able to bring to each session whatever they feel is relevant at that moment, without being lead or advised by their therapist. Whatever the client shares is received without judgement, but with empathy and genuineness. There’s more to it of course, but that is some of the basics. 

Based on this model of therapy, the client is the expert in their own life. By providing a safe, empathetic environment, a new space is created for clients to talk through their experiences, thoughts and feeling. It seems so simple (and it kind of is!) but there is rarely anywhere else that a person can be vulnerable enough to express their raw truth. This in itself can create change, and eventually clients answer their own questions and learn more about their emotions and behaviours, particularly the ones at the root of their anxieties, in this example. 

So all in all, when anxiety can feel like you want to rip open your chest and pull it straight out, coming to therapy is (metaphorically) exactly that. We provide a place for you to learn about yourself and to create new pathways for you to experience life without the worry, fear, nervousness and the all over uneasiness that you may be feeling right now. Your voice is important to us and your experiences are valid. It’s not as scary as it seems, and when you’re ready to talk, we’re always ready to listen. 

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