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At Bryan Bugay and Associates, I have extensive experience treating all types of Anxiety Disorders using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Some common anxiety disorders I see in the office are:

Stress: Everyone encounters stress on an ongoing basis. My clients have found that it has been beneficial for them to talk with us about their stress and the situations that give them stress. They talk to us about their family, relationships, work, or whatever is negatively affecting their lives. I offer guidance, support, empathy, and problem solving when discussing life stressors with my clients.

Panic attacks: Periods of intense fear or apprehension of sudden onset accompanied by physical sensations such as heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath, or feelings of unreality. Panic attacks usually begin abruptly and last only a few minutes. Panic attacks are not dangerous and don’t make a person crazy.

 People who have panic attacks tend to develop anticipatory anxiety and avoid situations that may give them anxiety. The anticipatory anxiety is from a fear of having future panic attacks. People avoid situations that they believe caused the panic attack or avoid places where escape would be difficult or help would be unavailable if a panic attack occurred. At my office, clients learn how to handle their unwanted anxiety, reframe their thoughts, and learn coping skills to reduce the amount and intensity of their anxiety attacks.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety involves overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. The worry often centers on a fear of being judged by others, or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or lead to ridicule. The fear may be made worse by a lack of social skills or lack of experience in social situations. The anxiety can build into a panic attack. As a result of the fear, the person endures certain social situations in extreme distress or may avoid them altogether. In addition, people with social anxiety disorder often suffer anticipatory anxiety. Anticipatory anxiety is the fear of a situation before it even happens, sometimes days or weeks before the event. In many cases, the person is aware that the fear is unreasonable, yet is unable to overcome it.

I frequently work with people with social anxiety. I help clients reduce their discomfort in social situations by using cognitive reframing as well as exposure therapy to gradually deal with feared situations. The acceptance and commitment therapy I use helps clients reduce anxiety and increase motivation and commitment to deal with their scary situations.

Specific phobias: A specific phobia is an intense fear of a specific object or situation. The level of fear is usually inappropriate to the situation and may cause the person to avoid common, everyday situations. I work with all types of phobias and the most common I work on in my office are fear of insects, fear of flying, storm phobia, fear of being alone, fear of the dark, and fear of public speaking. When dealing with fears, I use exposure therapy to help clients gradually face their fears at their pace. I also help clients to reduce anxiety and increase their confidence in dealing with their fears.

Generalized anxiety disorder: People with general anxiety have excessive, unrealistic worry and tension, even if there is little or nothing to provoke the anxiety. The worry stems from fears and the person overestimates the likelihood of the feared situation coming true. The cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy I provide has shown to be very effective in helping to reduce the anxiety of my clients.

Separation Anxiety: It is very common for young children to be afraid of being separated from their parents. Children who have prolonged separation anxiety or show significant stress when separated from parents can work on dealing with these issues in counseling. Counseling can help children to deal with the worry that something bad will happen if the child is separated from his/her parents. When dealing with separation anxiety, I work with children to learn coping strategies to deal with their fears instead of seeking reassurance or avoiding situations when they are separated from their parents. I also use exposure therapy to help children face their fears. Parents are able to be in each session and receive guidance on how to best parent their anxious child.

Performance Anxiety: People with performance anxiety are afraid of being judged and may be anxious when talking to others, reading out loud, writing, taking tests, performing in sports, and speaking in public. When clients come to us with performance anxiety I use exposure therapy to help them gradually face their fears at a level that is comfortable to the client. In addition to exposure therapy, I work on reframing thoughts and learning coping skills to deal with the high anxiety.