• You find yourself stressed out and anxious more often than you’d like. And, you overthink. You worry about all kinds of things. And it’s wearing you out.

  • You know you should be able to handle stuff, but things seem to be getting harder. Trying to do it alone isn’t working anymore.

  • When your heart’s pounding, your head’s spinning, when it’s hard to focus–when it feels overwhelming—that’s too much.

  • You know feeling anxious and worrying is draining. Left unchecked this can lead to other serious problems like relationship problems, poor job performance, and depression.

  • Anxiety is expressed in many different ways. At My Winnipeg Therapist, we’re here to help you understand your anxiety, teach ways to get control of it, and show you what you need to do to feel calmer.

  • Successful clients know it takes time and commitment—and they know it’s worth the work. And what you gain stays with you for the rest of your life.

  • You’ll learn skills to reduce stress and techniques to create calm. That leads to more having energy and feeling comfortable around others.

  • Become a calmer version of yourself. Make an appointment now and get started on feeling better about yourself and your life.

Looking for an Anxiety Therapist in Winnipeg?

You find yourself stressed out and anxious more often than you’d like, and worrying about all kinds of things. Perhaps you overthink, and it’s wearing you out. Even though you should be able to handle stuff, things seem to be getting harder. Yet, trying to do it alone isn’t working anymore.

When your heart’s pounding, and your head’s spinning, it feels horrible. When you have anxiety it’s hard to focus or think, and everything feels overwhelming. We get it!

Anxiety, worry, and stress are tiring. And if unchecked lead to other problems like loss of motivation, low self-esteem, and even depression.

Are you experiencing symptoms of anxiety?

  • feeling irritable

  • worrying often

  • finding it difficult to relax

  • feeling overwhelmed at times

  • experiencing panic attacks

  • uncomfortable in large groups

  • avoid being around others

Anxiety is expressed in many different ways. Our therapists are here to help you understand your anxiety and get control of it. We can help learn coping techniquesues to feel less anxious, calmer, and more in control.

It’s normal for anyone to experience some of these feelings on occasion. But, if you have any of these symptoms of anxiety for an extended period of time and they’re interfering with you living your life, then you may need to seek help from a qualified therapist. Dealing with anxiety doesn’t have to be the norm, our therapists can help you resolve those problems.

Types of Anxiety We Treat

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

You find that you worry a lot, about a lot of things, almost all the time. It’s easy for you to feel stressed, and it’s hard to relax. Your mind is busy worrying about all kinds of things. It might be about family, finances, health, work, and other issues. Because of GAD, your mind won’t shut off. It’s busy all day, and it’s hard to shut it off at night. That makes it hard for you to relax, or sleep. And it feels like you hardly ever get a break from worrying. If this sounds like you, it might be time to get help from a trained therapist in Winnipeg who can help you change these anxious thoughts and feelings. You deserve to get some relief, learn calming skills, and feel better.

Social Anxiety

That ‘freezing’ feeling happens again, where you forget what you were going to say. Your mind goes blank. Being asked a question or put on the spot fills you with anxiety and feels so embarrassing. Your cheeks get warm, you blush. And worse, you worry that others are looking at you. Then, you avoid get-togethers with family and friends because it feels too stressful. But, there are times when you have to socialize and you do what you can to cope with the uncomfortable feels.

Do go you find it easier with ‘liquid confidence’? While alcohol seems to help ease your discomfort in the moment, you know that it doesn’t fix the problem. You still feel uncomfortable, ill at ease, and self-conscious around others. And, even when there’s no one around, you find yourself think over and over about things you said or did.

Social Anxiety and Negative Thoughts

Have you ever thought “They could tell I was nervous,” “I shouldn’t have said that,” or “That sounded stupid.”? Sometimes anxiety can fill your head with self-doubt. You even worry that people are upset or angry at you even when you don’t have a clear reason why. And, it’s hard to believe people would like you—for who you are. Wow—that is a lot of stress or worry. It sounds pretty awful.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. By working with a trained social anxiety therapist in Winnipeg, you can learn to feel less anxious around others. And, it is possible that you can learn to worry less about what others think about you. With anxiety counseling in Winnipeg, you can reduce self-doubt and learn to stop questioning the things you say or do. Also, you’ll learn to replace doubt about yourself with self-confidence. With social anxiety therapy, you’ll learn to feel more comfortable—around others, and comfortable with who you are.

Panic Attacks

If you get panic attacks you know that they’re different than anxiety attacks. You experience intense fear that comes on quickly. It’s hard to breathe, your chest is pounding, and you feel dizzy. Anxiety/panic attacks are caused by ‘triggers’, specific situations or events that cause anxiety. While these attacks can be mild, they may also include thoughts, images, or other reminders of past trauma.

Unfortunately, you know that a panic attack often just happens for no apparent reason. As frightening as a panic attack feels, not knowing what sets them off makes it that much scarier. Plus, you worry about when the next one will happen. There are underlying situations that can lead to panic attacks, like big life-changing events, the loss of a loved one, a divorce, bankruptcy. Someone with past trauma or a history of PTSD can experience panic attacks. So, while it feels like it happens out of the blue—there’s often a reason for these attacks. A trained anxiety therapist can help you find out underlying causes.

Anxiety Treatment in Winnipeg can Help Against Panic Attacks

A trained therapist can help you learn self-awareness techniques that teach you to tolerate and manger your panic attacks. Learning to tolerate the frightening feelings may sound impossible, but as someone who experienced severe panic attacks, I know it’s possible. As you learn to tolerate the unpleasantness, the panic attacks start losing their power. So, you can see you this is a big step in reducing the intensity of panic attacks. This makes the hard work of anxiety counseling worth it.

The panic attack hits and you’re overcome with fear. Initial thoughts of “I think I’m going to have a heart attack.”, change to “Ok, my chest feels super tight, but I know it’s just anxiety and this will be over in a few minutes.” Therapy for panic attacks gives you the tools to cope. Using those tools over and over the experience changes from frightening to unpleasant.

Anxiety Treatment Can Help Pinpoint the Underlying Source of Your Anxiety Symptoms

More than that, if there’s a specific source of anxiety in your life, therapy helps pinpoint what that is. Once you know the source, you can work on it to decrease your overall anxiety. Decreasing your ‘background anxiety’ means there’s less anxious energy to feel the panic attacks. With therapy for panic attacks, you learn to make frightening experiences less powerful. A trained counselor can help you identify, manage, and reduce the underlying anxiety leaving you feeling less stressed, less worried—calmer.

Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is the most extreme form of anxiety, and it is the most complicated. People with PTSD can experience a range of anxiety problems. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and panic. Along with that, PTSD can include other mental health problems, such as depression, drug addiction, and social isolation. Untreated, the anxiety can also worsen and cause other issues like depression and alcohol and drug addiction

Please see the separate section on PTSD here.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

Feelings

  • stressed, anxious or worried

  • impatient and irritable

  • dread

  • overwhelm

  • panic

  • faint

  • dizzy

Thoughts

  • excessive worry

  • racing thoughts

  • worrying about anxiety

  • difficulty focusing

  • easily distracted

  • mind goes blank

  • “what if” thoughts

Bodily Sensations

  • body tension

  • tight muscles, chest, and shoulders

  • clenched fists

  • tension headache

  • shallow breathes

  • neck tension

  • clenched jaw

  • clammy hands

  • sweating

  • dry mouth

  • difficulty breathing

  • light headed

  • dizzy

  • loss of appetite

  • nausea

  • butterflies

Behaviours

  • restlessness

  • fidgety

  • irritable

  • impatient

  • not eating due to loss of appetite

  • difficulty falling asleep

  • waking during the night

  • avoiding doing things

  • avoiding being around others

  • isolating

  • procrastinating

  • difficulty communicating what you want

Is There an Effective Treatment for Anxiety?

The short answer is Yes!

There are effective evidence-based treatments for anxiety. However, when someone realizes that their worries and anxiety are a problem, it’s usually after a long period. It’s often many years of ‘trying to deal with it myself.’ If that’s you, treatment will take time—and commitment—but so does any important personal change. But, noticing change—even small changes—like many clients have said “feels amazing”.

So How Do We Help You Reduce Your Symptoms of Anxiety?

Research shows that one of the most effective treatments for anxiety is cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), combined with mindfulness and relaxation training. CBT specifically designed for anxiety helps you understand how anxiety works and provides you techniques that help you reduce your anxiety. In addition, mindfulness training gives you the tools and skills to create more calm in your life. Everyone’s experience of anxiety is unique—like a fingerprint. So, therapy helps you really understand how your anxiety works and how it affects you and affects your life.

What are your anxious thoughts about? When did they start? How long have they been with you? What worries are the strongest? If you’re not sure, that’s okay. We’ll figure out the answers to these questions. This tells us a lot and helps us understand what your anxiety is like—for you specifically. In therapy, we learn in what ways your anxiety makes things hard for you. Our therapy team will work to change what is most difficult for you, and start to reduce the worst aspects of your anxiety.

Cognitive Distortions and Thinking Traps

Anxious thoughts can lead to negative patterns of thinkings. These thinking patterns are known as Anxious Thinking Traps or cognitive distortions. They’re traps because they trick the mind into believing that they’re true while they’re not, and they don’t let go. Even though they’re usually not true, they seem very convincing. And, that makes them hard to ignore. We have all gotten caught up in cognitive distortions from time to time.

But, what’s different with anxiety is that these thought traps are active in your mind most of the time. So, going after these cognitive distortions means you can reduce the anxiety they create. This will leave you less worried. For example, a common cognitive distortion generalized anxiety is ‘catastrophizing’ or predicting that the worst will happen. I hear comments like:

“If I tell my boss about this problem, he’s just going to tell me I’m an idiot.”

This thinking trap stops you from doing things out of fear of ‘what could happen’. So, we work on identifying the thought trap, and stopping it when it’s active. That means learning how to notice your thoughts and style of thinking. Paying attention, or being mindful, is a skill that not only helps you notice anxious thoughts in order to neutralize them. Mindfulness helps you learn how to feel calmer. It helps you get out of your anxious thoughts and be more present—more in the moment.

Being present is the opposite of being anxious. Anxious thoughts are upsetting and exhausting. It’s no wonder you often feel tired and drained. But, we also look at replacing these negative thought traps with alternative, more realistic ways of thinking. Here’s a more realistic way to think about the example above:

“If I tell my boss about this problem, he could think it’s simple to fix. But he’s not going to tell me I’m an idiot. He’s never talked to me like that before. Bringing it up is better than ignoring it. He’ll see I’m responsible. If I were a boss, I’d appreciate that. He might even appreciate that I brought it up.”

Mindfulness and Motivation to Treat the Symptoms of Anxiety

Replacing negative thoughts with more realistic thoughts also allows you to shift your thinking, and that also changes how you feel. Quieting the negative thinking is important to help you feel less worried. It gives you more energy and better focus. When combined with mindfulness training, you’ll be able to have more calm. With calmer thinking, you make different decisions. Instead of being worried about doing something, you can feel ok with it, or even better, look forward to it.

Remember, being anxious drains your energy. Feeling ok about something leaves you with energy. Looking forward to doing something leaves you with motivation. By doing the work and going through the steps to reduce your anxiety, you’ll shift to more confident thinking. You will also start to feel calmer, and more motivated.

Where Does Your Anxiety Come From?

Anxiety, whether GAD, social anxiety, or panic disorder, can have different causes. Genetics plays a role. It can come from your genetic makeup. If you were an anxious baby from birth, and this can leave you with long term anxious issues. This genetic makeup leaves you vulnerable to be easily anxious by things other people aren’t bothered by.

Family upbringing has an influence on anxiety symptoms. If one or both parents were anxious, you could have learned to see the world in the anxious way your parent did. Anxiety does run in families. The influence tends to be a combination of genes and learning patterns of worry and anxious behaviors.

If your mother or father was a worrier, there’s a possibility you have pickup up some of those patterns of worry. Uncertain events can cause us to live life with an uncertain feeling. If you’ve experienced uncertain events that were significant to you, that can leave a strong impression of life as uncertain and unpredictable.

Trauma and PTSD

Abusive relationships are another source of long term anxiety, in childhood or adulthood. When the symptoms of anxiety from abuse are felt over a long period, repeated over time, you can become more anxious overall, even when the abusive is over or long in the past. Abusive relationships are traumatic experiences that can cause post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. The experience can literally rewire the brain leaving your brain in a more constant anxious state.

Additionally, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is different than the other types of anxiety disorders and is in a category of its own. So, you can be born with a more anxious temperament and that can develop into generalized anxiety, social anxiety, or panic as you grow up. But, PTSD is not something that someone is born with, like the other forms of anxiety.

PTDS is caused by a significant event or series of events that are so distressing that you can’t effectively cope. It is also the most severe form of anxiety and can lead to generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and panic attacks.

Begin Anxiety Therapy at My Winnipeg Therapist

Therapy can help you understand the source, how it impacted you, and how to process these experiences. It’s normal for anyone to experience some of these feelings on occasion. But, if you have any of these symptoms for an extended period of time and they’re interfering with you living your life—then you may need to seek help from a qualified therapist. We can help you resolve those problems.

At My Winnipeg Therapist, we can teach you the methods and techniques that can actually stop you from feeling that way—and learning how to feel calm! There are clear and scientifically-proven techniques to treat anxiety. Our therapy team wants to teach you those techniques. While it’s a gradual process, successful clients know it takes time and commitment—“but man, is it worth it. What you gain stays with you for the rest of your life. Become more comfortable and confident with who you are. Begin counselling in Winnipeg with these easy steps:

  1. Schedule a free 15 minute consultation to see if counseling is right for you
  2. Make an appointment with one of our caring therapists
  3. Get started on feeling better about yourself and your life.

Other Counselling Services Offered With My Winnipeg Therapist

Counseling for anxiety is not the only service we offer at our practice in Winnipeg. Other mental health services we provide include counseling for depression, self esteem therapy, trauma counseling, and individual counseling. If you have any questions, please visit our FAQs page. Contact us for help overcoming the challenges you’re facing so you can thrive.

Research:

CBT

Hans E., Hiller W. A meta-analysis of nonrandomized effectiveness studies on outpatient cognitive behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders. Clin Psychol Rev. 2013;33:954–964. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Hofmann SG., Smits JAJ. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders: A meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. J Clin Psychiat. 2008;69:621–632. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Norton PJ., Price EC. A meta-analytic review of adult cognitive-behavioral treatment outeome across the anxiety disorders. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2007;195:521–531. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Olatunji BO., Cisler JM., Deacon BJ. Efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders: a review of meta-analytic f indings. Psychiatr ClinNorthAm. 2010;33:557–577. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Watts SE., Turnell A., Kladnitski N., Newby JM., Andrews G. Treatment-as-usual (TAU) is anything but usual: A meta-analysis of CBT versus TAU for anxiety and dépression. J Affect Disorders. 2015;175:152–167. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Mindfulness Training

Stefan G Hofmann 1 , Alice T Sawyer, Ashley A Witt, Diana Oh, The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review, J Consult Clin Psychol, 2010 Apr;78(2):169-83.