Anxiety is a quite common experience in our world of data overload, and an ever-increasing pace of life. Feeling ill-equipped to deal with the world around us or experiencing our surroundings as hostile and dangerous can be a source of anxiety. Another cause can be, for example, a traumatic event we had to live through. As common as the experience of anxiety may be, it seems to be even more familiar to gay men. Growing up in a world that for the most part still deems LGBT community as inappropriate, shameful, damaged, etc., many of us had to keep a big secret. Growing up gay, we feared that if our friends and family knew the nature of our attraction and desire, our life as we know it would be over. The fear of losing the love and support of our family and friends was a palpable presence during the formative years of many gay men in our community. If this is not anxiety provoking, I don’t know what is.
For many of us it has been decades since we came out, however, practice does make perfect, and we often find our thoughts jumping on the familiar anxiety train, triggering the feeling of restlessness and agitation in our body and mind. The experience of anxiety has an uncanny ability to take us out of the moment and into our head-space, in which we tend to conjure and replay the worst-case-scenarios about anything and everything. The most enjoyable moments become void of pleasure and we are MIA to our family and loved ones. Anxiety also disconnects us from ourselves. We forget who we really are and become stuck in the mind-prison of fear. Attempts to rationalize our experience through logic and reason are unlikely to bring a significant relief, however, therapy is an excellent remedy for anxiety. Psychotherapy approaches that address the deeper layers of our psyche, such as hypnotherapy and Neurolinguistics (NLP), have proven to be effective in releasing the unresolved negative emotions, including fear, that underlie the experience of anxiety, and restoring our sense of inner peace, balance and wellbeing.
What causes anxiety?
To fully understand anxiety, we have to consider all aspects of our human experience. The human experience can be viewed through the prism of the 4 aspects of our being: Spiritual, Mental, Emotional and Physical. When we think about the causes of anxiety, we can consider what each plane is contributing to that experience.
Spiritual plane is the plane of infinite potentialities, the essential reality, the great creative source out of which all other realities and planes emerge into being. It is the plane of our blueprint, of our Higher Self, and of the very core of “Who we truly are,” including our Highest Purpose and our Path. When our thoughts, emotions and actions are in alignment with our Higher Purpose, we are well. However, when we forget our true nature and deviate away from our Path, our inner being will urge us to realign and get back on track. This often creates an experience of inner disharmony, which indicates that we are not being true to ourselves. If not attended to, this inner discord may grow into an emotional experience of anxiety.
Mental plane is the plane of our thoughts, beliefs, attention and focus. Our culture, our family and life experiences, including our past traumas, have shaped the way we tend to think about ourselves, others and the world. Our Higher Self holds the knowledge of our incredible creative power and the understanding of Universal Principles. When we disconnect from our inner knowing and buy into the cultural ideas about the world being a dangerous place, and about us having no control over our life experience, we open the door for anxiety to set in. Catastrophic “what if” scenarios take advantage of our disempowering beliefs and we find ourselves either attempting to over-exert control or withdraw into fear. We never lose our creative power – we just temporarily forget we had it all along.
Emotional plane is, of course, the plane of our emotional experience. It mirrors our Mental plane and fills our thoughts with corresponding and matching emotional content. For example, future-focused thoughts of doom and gloom will elicit an experience of anxiety and worry in the present. Additionally, our emotional “baggage” is also stored here. All our past unresolved negative emotions and past traumas live within this plane and contribute to the development of anxiety.
Finally, the Physical plane includes everything around us that can be experienced through our five senses, as well as our physical body. Physical plane is a manifestation of 3 higher non-physical planes (Spiritual, Mental and Emotional) into the tangible 3D reality. Attending to the non-physical aspects of our being through psychotherapy, counseling, personal growth and spiritual practices will ultimately reflect on the Physical plane and physiological balance will be restored.
How can we alleviate anxiety?
In order to alleviate anxiety, all 4 planes of experience must be addressed. Psychotherapy and counseling are the tools to address the non-physical aspects of our being and restore wellness.
When we are working together to restore your wellbeing, we will be applying the 3-step ARC psychotherapy system to create rapid and profound transformation within Mental, Emotional and Physical plains of your experience.
Following is the 3 power-step A-R-C therapy approach to alleviate the experience of anxiety and establish wellness:
Awareness – During the first Power-Step of psychotherapy we will evaluate all aspects of your life that brought you to where you are now. Here we aim to gain insight into the current situation and determine the root cause(s) of current challenges. It is during this step that we also clearly define the ultimate goals for our work together, as well as the evidence procedure, which will show us that our work has been a total success. The Awareness Power-Step is a crucial step that identifies both the problem and the solution.
Release – In the second Power-Step of our therapy we will use advanced mind-technology, such as Neuro-Linguistic-Programming (NLP) and elements of hypnotherapy, to help you release the old emotional baggage of unresolved negative emotions and limiting beliefs, and clear your path toward your desires and dreams. Using NLP and elements of hypnotherapy we will let go of unresolved anger, sadness, fear, guilt, shame and hurt. We will also release past limiting decisions and old beliefs that no longer serve you and prevent you from living the life that you intend for yourself.
Co-Creation – The third and final Power-Step of psychotherapy is designed to provide new tools and resources to solidify your gains and establish your life trajectory toward your dreams. During this step we create a sound and clear vision of your ideal life, and set you on the path of joy, purpose and fulfillment.
As a psychotherapist I see my role as that of a guide. My role is to lead my clients toward inner balance and well-being. I can help you find your path and support you in achieving all your heart desires. However, there is one condition to consider: as I am guiding you, you will have to do the walking.
Is psychotherapy for me?
In my Los Angeles clinic I have the honor of working with beautifully diverse LA LGBT community, and at times my clients come in while they are still on the fence about therapy, questioning whether it is for them. This is a valid concern. Every time we make a strong commitment to anything, we want to know that our time, energy and resources are allocated wisely. I am occasionally asked whether as a therapist I can guarantee results, and how one knows whether psychotherapy is the right choice for them. This is an important question to answer. On my part I can absolutely guarantee that each of my clients receives my total commitment, knowledge, expertise and support. I can also guarantee that if my total commitment to your success is met with your absolute commitment to yourself, you will achieve incredible results.
There are 3 key pre-requisites for your success. Three attitudes you have to adopt in the process of us working together in order to transform your life experience:
1. I am 100% responsible and life is my making.
2. I am willing to let go of the old baggage, including resentments, anger, grief, beliefs etc.
3. I am fully committed to making all of the necessary changes to achieve my heart’s desires.
This mindset of 100% commitment to your own success and wellbeing is the key component of our work. From my experience, all of my psychotherapy clients who showed up with total commitment to themselves, achieved remarkable life-changing results during our work together.
In case you are not there yet, and find yourself still a bit on the fence about therapy and change, you are not alone. Pick up the phone and give me a call. Perhaps after talking to me you will be able to make the best decision for you at this time. Your happiness and wellbeing are too important to wait. Great things await.