Anxiety

Anxiety Counselling
Services in Calgary

Congratulations on being open to exploring healing and health from anxiety in your or a loved one’s life through Anxiety Counselling. On this page, you will find a brief as well as a longer description of the approach, services, and logistics for Anxiety Counselling at Sana Psychological. If you do not find the answers to your questions here, please e-mail, phone, or text to request a 15-minute consultation.

Fear of the future, “what ifs”, harm coming to others, anticipating disaster, panic, difficulty with sleeping, and more are all symptoms of anxiety (see the informal self-test below). Fear is a natural, evolutionary response designed to keep us safe but, at times, it can cross a line into unhealthy, unproductive symptoms that can create great distress and impact on a person’s life.

The short story

At Sana Psychological, Paige Abbott (Registered Psychologist) provides support for anxiety using a variety of therapeutic modalities, including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, and emotional processing.

Anxiety counselling starts with an initial session or two to get to know you and understand your goals for counselling, followed by short-or long-term counselling depending on your needs and preference. The investment for anxiety counselling is a $200/50 minute session. Sessions are available in person or by phone or video for anyone who is located in Alberta at the time of their appointment.

The longer story

Anxiety counselling is an opportunity to discuss challenges and symptoms with an open, non-judgmental professional who can not only provide an empathetic ear but also suggestions, tools, and recommendations for you to support yourself in your daily life. Anxiety treatment is meant to provide short-term as well as long-term benefits for those who engage in it, as it can open up tools and strategies that will hopefully serve you throughout the rest of your life.

How Do You Know if You or a Loved One Has a Problem?

Challenges with anxiety can present themselves in a variety of different ways. Below is an informal self-test to assist you in starting to gauge whether anxiety counselling would be recommended.

 Let’s start by having you ask whether you have experienced any of these mental health or physical symptoms in the past 3 months:

If you indicated that you had experienced one or more of these symptoms in the past three months, then it would be a good time to explore anxiety counselling. These symptoms tend to appear as an anxiety disorder progresses rather than when it is a non-issue. While these symptoms may still be on the mild end of the spectrum for you, it would be best to get proper support to prevent the progression or severity of the symptoms.

Treatment Approach

Anxiety counselling can be a short-term process of 3-6 months.

This is well-suited to those who have previously engaged in counselling, have good self-awareness, a strong support network, and existing self-care tools. Even for those with these strategies in their resource kit, periodic counselling for prevention and maintenance is helpful to maintain momentum towards well-being.

Anxiety counselling may be a longer-term and more intensive process (6+ months of regular appointments) for those who have never done counselling before, struggle with insight and change, have multiple symptoms, and/or severe symptoms that are creating great distress and disturbance in their life.

There are many specific disorders associated with anxiety, such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Regardless of where you are at, the counselling process will start off with 1-2 sessions of counselling, ideally spaced 2-3 weeks apart to establish background information, treatment goals, and a treatment plan. After this, sessions may occur just as frequently or less so depending on your needs and preference. Follow-up sessions involve checking in on how you have been doing since the last appointment, challenges, as well as changes, followed by a continued exploration of the goals that are at the forefront of treatment along with coping strategies and stress management techniques. The counselling process and goals are flexible and will be collaboratively decided between you and your psychologist, Paige Abbott. Sessions are offered in-person or through Technology Assisted Counselling for those who are in Alberta.

Paige enjoys the connection and relationships that she establishes with clients and believes that this therapeutic bond is at the forefront of importance for change. If you do not feel comfortable with your therapist, then the process is not likely to be very effective. This is obviously not something that can be created or forced, it is something that is apparent through feelings and your experience. If you feel Paige is a good fit as a therapist for you, great. If not, please indicate that you are open to other resources and some suggestions can be provided without shame or judgment.

Anxiety counselling will draw in elements of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution-Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, emotional processing, psychoeducation, and potentially more depending on need. These modalities are seamlessly integrated into a personalized and customized approach to therapy to meet the needs and personality of every client. Paige is an active and talkative therapist (surprising, given that she is an introvert!) and likes to ask questions, provide feedback, and educate.

Logistics

Sessions can be in person in the Sana Psychological office in Calgary or remotely using Technology Assisted Counselling (phone or video sessions). The investment is a $200/50 minute session. Sessions are available to anyone who is in the province of Alberta at the time of their appointment as this is Paige Abbott’s jurisdiction of licensure. Payment options available to you include cash, credit card, e-transfer, and direct billing with a variety of insurance carriers. To get started, please e-mail, phone call, or text to request an appointment.

For loved ones

For Loved Ones: If you are connected with someone who is experiencing significant issues with anxiety and they are open to getting help, great. Please have them reach out or reach out on their behalf to see what is possible for support. If they are not open to supporting at this time, we would encourage you to contact Sana Psychological to discuss options for counselling for yourself, recognizing that you are in a situation that is draining and stressful. You do not need to go through this alone.

Sana Psychological is here to meet you where you are at in your journey of self-development. We hope that you find value in our slogan: Do different, be different!

Frequently Asked Questions

A: This is difficult to say without getting to know more context and understanding of who you are, as well as the traits and symptoms that you experience. Typically, anxiety is more intense, frequent, and disruptive than worry and is far more intrusive and debilitating in people’s lives. It can also be very difficult to manage and cope with. These are some general red flags and warning indicators that your experience may be more along the lines of anxiety than natural worry.
A: Anxiety is a manageable mental health symptom and condition. With awareness, action, and practice, people notice a reduction in the frequency and severity of their symptoms. This may be a condition that flares up from time to time or may be a shorter-term, more acute experience for people. Everybody is different in their experience of these symptoms. We will get to know your experience, who you are, and what you need.
A: I became a Psychologist rather than a doctor because I was not comfortable, nor had desired, to deal with medication distribution. This is not my area of specialty. I can provide anecdotal feedback through client’s reports and experience of the pros and cons of medication, but, ultimately, only you will be able to decide, in collaboration with your treating professionals, what is an appropriate course of action for you. Some people benefit from medication, some do not. Some people are open to it, whereas others are not. Counselling, health, and treatment are individual journeys. I work with you to identify what is comfortable and needed for you and go from there.
A: Hypnotherapy can be a helpful tool in supporting you with learning to relax and introducing helpful, supportive dialogue into your self-talk. There is no miracle cure or fix with regards to anxiety and change requires multiple tools and diversity. If you are interested and curious, we can explore in more detail the process of hypnotherapy which allows you to make an informed choice about whether to integrate this into the counselling process or not.
A: I actually am a pretty big fan of meditation and journaling (I do both myself). However, these will not be the only tools recommended, nor may these even be the recommended tools for you. Whenever people bring forward things that they have tried that have not worked, I like to explore how people approached the tools and under what circumstances. I often find it is not the tools themselves that are ineffective, it’s more about how and when they are being used that is not helpful. There are many other strategies and tools that can be used to support the reduction of anxiety and we will explore these, as well as boundaries with triggers and any other contributors to the anxiety.
A: Absolutely! Anxiety can commonly be in response to acute stressors. One of the things I love the most about my work is being able to talk about any and all parts of life with people. Whether it’s work, family, relational, global, cultural, traumatic or other stressors that’s contributing to your anxiety, we will process it and recommendations will be provided accordingly.