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Anxiety a Sign Growth is Happening in Patients with Sense of Self Problems

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April 14, 2015
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Boston Evening Therapy Content

Coping With Anxiety

For people with psychological problems, particularly for those who do not feel their emotions, getting better depends on coping with anxiety.

Trouble spots generate anxiety and may cause patients to want to change therapists or medications. That can be turned away at the critical point when healing is beginning to happen.

“It is counterintuitive to want to deal with anxiety,” said therapist Gary A. Taylor, who is based in Belmont, Mass.

Sitting With the Discomfort Brings Clarity

“Often when focusing on current issues which reflect past problems, people think, because their anxiety is increasing again, that they are getting worse or that their treatment is not working,” said Taylor.

“The uncomfortable truth of the therapeutic session is that while anxiety in other situations leads to a fight or flight reaction, in therapy anxiety often means you are on to something important and need to sit and reflect instead of running away.”

In dealing with a sense of self problems, coping with anxiety is critical. That’s because when someone encounters difficulties in life, the troubles generate anxiety. Failed attempts to cope with the anxiety generate more anxiety. That can lead to depression from being unable to cope with anxiety, which may, in turn, bring people into treatment.

Getting at the Root Cause

“As they become stabilized and the intensity of their moods is lessened, they still need to solve the issues which generated the initial anxieties in their life,” said Taylor.

“The first step in recovery from a sense of self problem is to recognize that anxiety is useful and necessary and unavoidable,” said Taylor.

In becoming aware of “feelings” in the trunk of the body and finding ways to cope with anxiety, patients can take steps along the path of healing.

“You don’t have to wait to be all fixed,” said Taylor. “Each step in the process of recovery can lead to feeling better.”


Taylor, Gary A., “Under Siege on the Edge of the Big Empty: The Phenomenology of Severe Mental Illness

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