We want to help you feel better as quickly as possible. Please review some of the common issues and concerns that we help people with at The Vancouver Anxiety and Stress Centre.
If you are also struggling with addiction, we know it can be difficult to find a therapist who is willing to help you with your anxiety or stress if you are in recovery or even if you have maintained your sobriety for years. Please know that we have therapists who would be delighted to help you with both concerns - at the same time! We believe it's important to help everyone and that addictions are often the result of untreated anxiety or emotional pain.
Anxiety feels terrible and can be overwhelming. Well-meaning friends and family tell you not to worry - but you can't turn off the thoughts that drain you of energy and wear you down. The good news is that there are treatments that work to help you feel better. Learn how to take back your life from anxiety using cognitive therapy strategies and techniques today.
Many people are surprised to learn that OCD is more than just cleaning and checking the locks. Obsessions are the fears that you know logically that you shouldn't worry about but you just can't get them out of your head. Compulsions are the things we do to try and feel better in the short term, such as washing your hands, compulsively praying, or certain superstitions you can't stop. People are often relieved to learn that their symptoms are OCD and that there are treatments that are effective in helping them feel better. We treat all kinds of OCD symptoms at Vancouver Anxiety and Stress Clinic - including cleaning, checking, asking for reassurance, worries that you are gay (different than when you actually are gay), checking on family to make sure they are safe, or that you're a pedophile (even though the thought of hurting anyone is horrifying to you and you would never want to do that in a million years). When you have OCD it is important to find a therapist with special expertise in this area so that you can feel comfortable discussing symptoms that you might have been embarrassed about and have never told anyone about before.
Overcoming social anxiety is more than just forcing yourself to get out there and meet people! Even when people are friendly, social anxiety can rob you of trusting that people like you and you might leave a situation thinking that people were only being polite and not really interested in you. The latest research on social anxiety shows that the most effective treatment does not involve improving your ability to engage in small talk or force yourself to go out and meet people - it teaches you how to cope with any feelings of embarrassment, rejection or criticism. The key to feeling better in social situations, surprisingly, is to focus on finding your kindred spirits, be exactly who you are, and learn how to shake off the haters and trolls. Our therapists would love to show you how you can not care what the critics think and start living your best life today.
STRESS FROM TOXIC WORKPLACES
Sadly, workplace bullying and harassment are all too common in many businesses. An overly critical boss or coworker can begin to undermine your confidence and make you doubt your abilities. Common signs that you're experiencing workplace bullying include rules that are made up just for you, removal of responsibilities, changing guidelines, spreading rumours or gossips, isolating you from others, taking credit for your work, discounting achievements, threatening job loss and more. Working in a toxic work environment can take a toll on both your emotional and physical health. You may be losing sleep, suffering from pain and headaches, feeling chronic panic and anxiety - especially on Monday mornings. If left unchecked, a toxic workplace can lead to burnout, depression and can harm your career and employability if you don't deal with it quickly. Let our therapists help you develop a plan to protect yourself and learn how not to blame yourself or feel like you're leaving the situation with your tail between your legs. Nobody deserves this treatment and you have options!
DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE
Some of the biggest stress in our lives comes from having to deal with difficult people. An aggressive neighbour, critical boss, judgemental parent or in-laws, or impossible ex - people who blame you for everything, assaults you verbally, make snide remarks in meetings or at holiday dinners, attack your reputation, and can even hurt your financially. You need more than just assertiveness skills to handle these situations and protect yourself from their attacks. Our therapists would love to help you have more peace in your relationships and learn the verbal self-defence skill you need to protect yourself when dealing with both passive-aggressive and hostile-aggressive people.
COPING WITH BURNOUT
Sometimes working harder isn't the answer. When you can't keep up with everything on your plate, most of us try to cope by cutting back on having fun with family and friends, not going to the gym and stop taking care of ourselves. If this goes on for too long, it can result in burnout - emotional and physical exhaustion, hopelessness and, ironically, reduced productivity. Don't wait to start taking care of yourself. Our therapists would love to help you make the necessary changes to start living a happier more balanced life.
PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM CYBERBULLYING AND ONLINE SHAMING
Cyberbullying and online shaming are particularly traumatic with consequences that few would imagine unless they have been there themselves. Not knowing who has seen that picture online, what will happen if your employer googles you, or feeling like you can never date again are all part of having your reputation maligned online. When you find yourself under attack, it's important to have a support team and strategies in place to help you weather the destructive storm of emotions and despair that you might be feeling. Let us show you how to keep your mind steady and focused, cope with the fear and hopelessness, and use advanced problem-solving skills to restore your reputation online.
EX-COMMUNICATION, ABANDONEMENT OR SHUNNING
Few people openly discuss the experience of being shunned by their families and consequently, feel alone and unsupported as they struggle to make sense of what has happened. Typically, shunning is the result of coming out, leaving the family religion, dating or marrying "the wrong person," or holding different political beliefs. It can also happen as the result of a simple disagreement, moving to a new city or choosing to live your life in some unapproved way. The bottom line is, your choices about how you live your life are mistakingly seen as a personal attack on the people who are abandoning you. We would love to help you move forward in your life with the peace of mind you deserve - whether or not they ever come around to accepting you for who you are. Let our therapists help you as you build new friendships, relationships and a community who will be there for you and help you put to rest any doubts or concerns about what you could or should have done in the past. Know that there are many more people than you might think who have shared this experience and gone on to live full and happy lives.