The Fearful Mind

Harley Street Counselling & Training help us identify what Anxiety is and how to seek support

Harley Street Counselling & Training are a private practice of therapists that operate locally in the centre of Tunbridge Wells.  They have additional therapy rooms in Harley Street and Liverpool Street in London. We spoke with them about anxiety and the impacts it has on day to day life.

For those who don’t already know, can you tell us, what exactly is anxiety? In short, anxiety is an overwhelming feeling of unease usually triggered by excessive worry or over thinking about a situation or an event.  Anxiety is usually accompanied by physical symptoms such as breathlessness, palpitations, butterflies, and nervous tension. 

What impact can this have on your day to day life? Anxiety can be a disabling issue which has an impact on daily life.  This can manifest itself in many ways for the sufferer. If the symptoms interfere with your life, or stop you doing what you want to do, then it is worth considering what help you can get for anxiety. You might find that you avoid people, places, or situations to minimise the feeling of anxiety, however the problem doesn’t really go away if left untreated. 

Why do you think people refrain from getting support? I can only speak generally here because there are so many reasons. I could talk about the apparent stigma around mental health, however, I have not noticed this so much lately, but that’s not to say that it has gone away because it clearly hasn’t.  There appears to me, a growing trend of people who build on a perception that they do not have the time.  Which on paper, might be true.  Another reason might be the frustration I hear around NHS waiting times and the rigmarole of endless form filling.  I guess, a greater importance needs to be placed on our health overall.  Health needs to be number one on the to do list.

How can your services help those suffering? We have a busy practice at SPA House in Upper Grosvenor Road where we help clients through many issues related to common life and mental health issues, anxiety being one of them. At Harley Street Counselling and Training, we have much experience working specifically with such issues because we have a strong background in private health care. 

Speaking generally, a combination of time, talking, and techniques appears to work well for clients with anxiety.  We do not have the philosophy that one size fits all.  Therefore, we will frequently adapt techniques to suit the individual.  Rarely will one technique work.  It is a combination of techniques that work together that seems effective. 

We are receiving a growing number of clients in Tunbridge Wells who have had help for issues such as anxiety in the past who have found the experience pleasant, but not helpful for the specifics of the issue.  

It occurs to me that some therapists are quick to offer techniques without offering context to clients.  Where I believe we differ, is that we explain the science behind  why something might be helpful, rather than relying on faith based interventions (unless there is a good reason not to).  “We place much importance on building a relationship with clients which isn’t unusual in counselling.”

We offer Humanistic counselling and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, and we are the only practice in the area that offers Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy. We tend to work in an integrative way, which means, a therapist will work from one main approach whilst being able to integrate ideas fluidly from other ways of working. This means that our therapists would need to know enough about the approach they are drawing from without making contradictions to their core approach. 

If we find that we cannot provide a client with what they are asking for, we do our best to signpost them to an organisation or therapist that can. 

What else can you say about Harley Street Counselling and Training? We have started a blog called ‘the discussed of Tunbridge Wells’. We do not post as frequently as I would like but I hope to make posts that actually say something. Rather than be egocentric in terms of voice, I try to make loud, the voices of others. We had three local mothers guest post on the experience of being a new mum which seemed to go down well.  We also posted about what it is like to be a younger therapist.  I don’t want our blog to explain yet another 5 ways to self-care.  It turns into white noise for me, although, I hope posts of that nature are beneficial to those where that concept is needed. Other people do this very well, I’m just trying to find what we do well, blog-wise. 

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