I am a licensed marriage and family therapist. I also work with people who have experienced all 50 shades of anxiety.
Anxiety is not caused by a chemical imbalance. You are anxious because you either have a habit of stirring up anxiety in yourself or their is a situation you keep coming to in your life that you don't know how to change, but continues to get worse. An anxiety disorder can also be understood as anxiety about anxiety.
This isn't to disregard biological or genetic factors. Some people may be born with a predisposition to experience anxiety. I certainly feel like I am. I am anxious about making this post and concerned about the criticism it might receive, however, I have made a decision to act in opposition to how I feel and post it.
Anxiety makes sense in the context of "before I submit this post" (anticipatory anxiety), I know that my anxiety will lessen or at least be reduced as soon as upload this completed webpage.
I won't be anxious about "uploading it". I will be anxious about "the response" and that is completely normal. As is my anticipatory anxiety.
However, if I "believed" that my anxiety was not normal and that it was indicative of something being wrong with me...I might start searching myself for clues.
I might become hypervigilant of anything that "might be wrong" such as my heartbeat, my breathing, how much I'm swallowing, where my thoughts come from, and anything else that I have no control over and that fluctuates randomly at times.
I then start to define those random fluctuations as a problem. Now I am a hypochondriac.
Every time I feel the random fluctuations I feel anxious and when I come to situations where anxiety is fully and totally appropriate I blame it on the random fluctuations.
I help by shifting your focus from your subjective feeling of anxiety to an objective view of your situation. Whether it is a person, place, thing or idea that is influencing you, there is something going on in your life that is the cause of your anxious state. We do therapy on the situation too.
There are changes that must be made in your life and not all of them have to do with your thoughts which is why CBT is so useless. I will help coach you through things to do and say in order to influence your anxious situations. Anxiety is NOT your fault.
I require all potential clients to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with me. You may ask me any questions you have for me as your potential therapist and I will ask questions to make sure we are a good fit. My hourly rate is $350 per hour. I provide financial assistance to those who qualify. You may use your insurance but you must pay me upfront and submit your own claims. I will assist you in submitting them.