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Anxiety and Panic

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PERSONAL ANXIETY OR PANIC RESPONSE THROUGH THE LENS OF CBT IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY OF MANAGING YOUR DISTRESS, WITHOUT HAVING TO TALK ABOUT YOUR PAST.

CBT is the most effective way of managing worry and anxiety without having to talk about the past
BURN OUT? WORRIED SICK? JUST NOT COPING?

Is fear or a sense of dread controlling your life and preventing you from doing things you would like, or need, to do?

Constant fears can become your daily companions, despite your rational mind telling you that the fears are baseless and irrational.

 

Your mind constantly finds excuses to avoid things that you know will rattle the cage of your anxiety, telling you that you need to stay in your safe space, your comfort zone, because that’s the only way you can keep this relentless dread under some kind of tenuous control.

 

Perhaps it feels as though your world is speeding up, like you’re on a rollercoaster and can’t find any way of getting off - you’re strapped in and stuck for the duration of the ride…except the end never, ever seems to come.

In the worst moments you feel incredibly dizzy and even breathing can feel like the most difficult thing to do in the whole world.

 

You find yourself overwhelmed by symptoms such as knots in your stomach, nausea, sweating, shaking, and breathlessness.

 

These seem to arrive in an instant, from nowhere, leaving you feeling bewildered and scared; you start wondering when the next time will be that these horrible feelings will show up unannounced, and that in itself starts to make you feel even more anxious.

  • How much does a session cost?
    An individual session is £80, payable in advance via bank transfer.
  • Can I use my health insurance to pay for sessions?
    I am a recognised provider for AXA Health so can provide CBT under their policies. If you have insurance with a different provider then please let me know and I will explore the possibility of recognition with them.
  • How long do sessions last?
    Sessions are 50 minutes long.
  • How many sessions will I need?
    This is an entirely individual thing and will depend on the challenges that you are working on. A typical course of CBT lasts from between 6 to 20 sessions depending on the problem. Progress is regularly reviewed and most people start to feel some benefit within the first 4 or 5 sessions; if you're not experiencing any benefit by session 6 then this suggests that the approach may not be a right fit at this time.
  • Where are sessions held?
    I conduct all of my sessions remotely via video call - client feedback tells me that this offers increased flexibility and removes the burden of travel time to and from sessions.
  • Isn't Face-to-Face therapy better than doing it by video call?
    The advent of Covid-19 meant that, for an extended period, therapists all over the world moved to working remotely with their clients. Analysis of therapy outcomes during this time suggests that delivery via video call is at least as good as face to face, and for some people it is even better.
  • Is therapy confidential?
    Everything that we discuss remains confidential; however there are certain circumstances where there may be an exception to this (particularly in regard to your personal safety) & I will discuss this with you in detail when we meet.

It feels like you're out of sync

with the world

CBT can help with worry and anxiety without having to talk about the past

How exactly will CBT help?

The first thing we do when working with anxiety and panic is to get to know them better, because the more we know and understand our anxiety and/or panic then the easier it is to start to change our relationship with them. 


 

One of the ways that we do this is to map out the different aspects of your anxiety and/or panic…this helps us understand your personal and individual experience.


 

When we can understand our anxiety or panic and what it is actually trying to do for us (spoiler: protect us) we can start to see it in a different light and develop some different perspectives.


We will then work together to identify all the different ways in which anxiety or panic is impacting your daily life:

  • perhaps you're struggling to stay focused and productive at work, whether that's paid employment, voluntary activities or in caring roles;

  • or you wake up feeling more exhausted than when you went to bed because you've been tossing and turning all night in a state of restlessness and tension, unable to relax;

  • or your world is limited by needing to avoid certain things as it's just too scary and difficult to face them;

  • or all of the above!

 

Then we can move towards a world where our anxiety is information rather than something big and scary that's getting in the way of us living the best version of our lives.

 

Based on our shared understanding of your experience we will develop an individualised toolbox of strategies for you to use in your day to day life along with additional tools to help you maintain the improvements that you will have made.

Don't let anxiety steal your life

If you can relate to anything covered below, I can help you

CBT to help manage panic

Panic Attacks

Have you ever felt as if fear has suddenly got a grip of you from nowhere, with your heart feeling like it is going to pound its way out of your chest, putting you into a cold sweat, feeling like you can’t catch your breath and as if you might suffocate?

 

You might have felt pains in your chest and been terrified that you were about to die of a heart attack, or at the very least pass out because the fear was so intense and overwhelming for you.

 

You will have felt completely out of control, your body shaking and trembling, and you may have worried you were going to vomit because you felt so nauseous.

 

Chances are that what you were experiencing was a panic attack.

 

These are extremely scary to experience, but the good news is that they completely treatable.

CBT to help manage social anxiety

Social Anxiety

Humans are social animals, because it gave us an evolutionary advantage for survival.

 

So when we are experiencing social anxiety it can have a crippling impact upon our lives.

 

Social Anxiety is not the same as being shy, it is an overwhelming fear of social interactions and situations, which often leads to avoidance behaviours and may even lead some people to completely withdrawal from life.

 

Despite the name, it’s not just our social lives that are affected; we may be finding that Social Anxiety is limiting our career and preventing us from realising our goals.

 

CBT can help you shift perceptions of interactions between ourselves and others, in order to help us start to reengage in life once more, for a more enjoyable social life and more rewarding work life.

CBT to manage health anxiety

Health Anxiety

It’s good to take care of ourselves and be attentive to what’s going on in our bodies, but sometimes we can become preoccupied with thoughts about either being or becoming ill.

 

If this gets to the point that we feel unable to function properly or enjoy life to the full, CBT can help equip us with the tools to manage our concerns effectively and get back control of our wellbeing.

CBT to manage fear and phobias

Specific Anxiety: Phobias

Lots of people are afraid of spiders and still manage to live their day to day lives perfectly well without too much of an issue.

 

But if you are becoming highly anxious, or even panicking, about a specific thing that is vital to the day to day functioning of your life (e.g. driving) then CBT is the tool for you!

 

Extensive research has shown that it is an extremely effective and powerful tool for helping you overcome the fear and regain control of your life.

CBT to manage OCD

OCD

If you are troubled by distressing intrusive thoughts and have to take certain actions to try and make them go away, CBT can help you learn to change your relationship with the thoughts; eliminating the behaviours along the way that are stealing hours out of your day, every day.

 

The treatment typically involves tools to help you confront your fears in a safe and controlled manner and it has been proven by research to give lasting improvements in both symptoms and overall quality of life. 

What it's like to work with me...

CBT is a very collaborative therapy. It isn’t something that I do to you, it’s something we do together, so I’m sorry if it’s disappointing to hear, but I’m afraid that I can’t get rid of your anxiety – my aim is to empower you to help yourself…you will learn to manage your anxiety and help yourself feel better with my support every step of the way!

The point of CBT is for us to form a supportive and trusting team together, in which you bring your knowledge and expertise of your anxiety and the difficulties that it brings you, and I bring my knowledge and expertise in the skills and techniques that you can learn to apply.

Think of me as being like a ‘sat nav’ in the car…you tell me where you want to go and I assist you in getting there, but at the end of the day you are the one in the driving seat deciding on where you want to go and how you want to get there.

 

Our sessions together are yours and the time is for you to spend in the way that you feel will most benefit you in overcoming your anxiety.

Working together towards the

common goal of taming your anxiety beast

the next phases

Phase One

In this part of the treatment we will spend time understanding the nuts and bolts of your difficulties. Experience has shown me that having a good understanding of how you are internally processing you distress provides an invaluable foundation for the future work. You might find this phase a little frustrating if you are keen to crack on with learning skills and strategies, but it is worth the investment as it allows us to really individualise and personally tailor the future tools that we will learn. I could metaphorically throw the kitchen sink at you but many of the tools wouldn’t be relevant, they certainly wouldn’t be individualised, and they likely wouldn’t stick.  I would much rather you go away with just a couple of skills that you have learned deeply and that will stay with you for life, than taking away a massive box of tools that you don’t have a good understanding of, and will have mostly forgotten in a few months. At this stage it is good to meet weekly so that we can gain momentum and traction in the work we are doing together.

Phase Two

Once we have a clear understanding and have mapped out the processes involved in your difficulties, we will start to work on the specific tools and strategies to help you overcome them. This is a very proactive stage of the therapy and it’s important to be aware that a key part is to undertake homework tasks between the sessions. After all, it is in your day to day life that we want to make a difference, so it is important to practice things and experiment so that we can work out what is most effective for you – again, this is all part and parcel of personalising the process to your individual circumstances.

Phase Three

As we move into this phase we will start to consolidate all the learning from the previous two phases and build in some additional tools and strategies to help you not only maintain the gains that you have made but also continue to develop the skills you have, and to learn new ones. We are working on empowering you to become your own therapist. At this stage some people like to start tapering the sessions and meeting on a fortnightly to monthly basis to help them with the transition into flying solo.

Phase Four

Some people like to periodically come back for a check-in and perhaps a little course correction if they feel that they are in danger of going off track. I am of course more than happy to meet on an ad hoc basis to provide ongoing support.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, Sarah Cosway

The First Step...

We meet for a free 15 minute chat to give you the opportunity to ask me any questions that you may have about me and the way I work.

 

This is a great opportunity to see if I am your kind of person or not.

 

We can’t possibly all get along with everybody, and the therapeutic relationship is such a key part of the treatment that it is vital that you feel that I am a good fit for you before we start working together.

 

If you decide that I’m not your person, then I am more than happy to reach out to my network to find some alternative therapists for you to meet with.

Testimonials

Sarah has helped to give me the resources and tools that I can not only use now but also in the future to come, applying them to multiple different scenarios. She was always very understanding and made me feel comfortable in every session. I especially liked the weekly standard 1-10 check-ins as it helped me to track my progress overtime.

NOT QUITE READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP IN STARTING THERAPY?

Some resources for you to keep going…

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy support to help you with anxiety and worry

Blog

How about having a read of some of my recent blog posts? 

 

I write about common themes that come up whilst I am working with clients and as well as giving you some ideas for self-help strategies, it will also hopefully give you a better sense of my style of working to help you decide if I will be a good fit for you as your therapist.


 

If you enjoy any of the articles you read and find them useful then please do share them with anyone else you know who may also benefit from reading them.

Theory A vs Theory B Mockup.jpg

Are you sick of fear being in the driving seat for your journey through life?

You can get started today on learning practical coping skills to help yourself.

Start showing anxiety who’s boss!

My ‘Theory A vs Theory B’ eBook takes you step by step through a proven strategy which is designed to help you develop different perspectives on the intrusive thoughts and fears that you are experiencing.

 

By developing and exploring the evidence for different explanations of your fear, it can help you to step back from the anxiety to hold a more helpful viewpoint; a viewpoint which is believable rather than just being based on mere positive thinking.

Download my FREE eBook ‘Theory A vs Theory B Workbook’.

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CBT and Anxiety

CBT helps you to cultivate effective tools to manage Anxiety when it shows up – whatever the flavour (Social Anxiety, Health Anxiety, OCD, Panic Attacks)

Stop fear getting the way of living

CBT and Worry

CBT equips you with proven strategies and skills for overcoming debilitating worry.

Worry is the thief of joy, but learning to embrace the present is the gateway to a brighter future.

Tel: 07713 954 847

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