Many people suffer from anxiety, with varying degrees of severity. The good news is that anxiety is
controllable. Learning control takes practice, patience, resolve, counseling, and oftentimes medical help.
A counselor/therapist who specializes in anxiety can help the anxiety sufferer to control anxiety by a variety
of methods. Some of the methods to control anxiety are listed below:
1) Getting control of negative, self-destructive thoughts and substituting helpful, positive thoughts. For
example: (Destructive) “Everybody must like me, or else there is something wrong with me.” (Positive,
helpful substitute) “Some people will like me; others may not. That’s ok. My job is to treat others with
respect and enjoy the people who like me.” The therapist’s job is to help the client identify, over time, all
2) Another example of a negative self-destructive thought: “I have failed so many challenges in the past,
so I am doomed to fail always.” (Positive substitution) “I have failed in some areas and have succeeded
in others. I can learn from past failures, and I can apply this insight to be successful in the present and
3) Another anxiety strategy is to learn how to cope with everyday stress and also traumatic stress. The
therapist can help the client to develop stress management strategies and to learn how to consistently
apply these strategies to his/her life situation.
4) The therapist can help the client with obsessive worrying through such techniques as catching
themselves when they are obsessing and the client is taught not to indulge the same worry over and
over. As you can imagine, this is easier said than done. It takes practice and lots of coaching by the
5) Many clients can benefit from seeing a physician who may prescribe low-dose anti-anxiety medicine to
be used in the early stages of treatment while the client is learning to master the techniques described
above. Medicine can be especially helpful with obsessive thinking and panic attacks.
The experience of anxiety can make the sufferer feel helpless. It is important to remember that help is
available and that anxiety can be controlled.