How effective is online counselling in treating anxiety?

Anxiety can be crippling. It can make it difficult to do the simplest of tasks, for example going to the supermarket, meeting your friends or even answering the phone.

Counselling is often seen as an effective treatment for anxiety. It can help you to explore the root of your feelings as well as finding coping strategies to help you to manage your anxiety when it flares up.

But what if your anxiety makes it difficult for you to see a counsellor? For some people, just leaving the house is enough to trigger a panic attack. Could online counselling be a solution for treating anxiety?

What causes anxiety? 

Anxiety is caused by the body’s fight or flight response. When your body feels like you’re in danger, it triggers this response in an attempt to keep you safe. During this fight or flight response, your body produces adrenaline to keep you alert to the danger. When the threat is gone, your body stops producing adrenaline and you can relax.

However, with anxiety, this is not the case. Your body continues to produce the adrenaline, despite the threat not being there. This causes you to feel anxious and on edge and can cause sleep difficulties.

How can counselling help with anxiety? 

Counselling can help you to understand the cause of your anxiety and find ways to overcome it. A good counsellor will support you to explore your anxiety and why you feel like you do.

You’ll probably start by talking about how you feel and what’s causing your fears. The counsellor will then move on to looking at any underlying issues including the triggers for your anxiety. Once you understand the cause of your anxiety, you can start to work on changing your unhelpful thinking patterns and work to overcome your anxieties.

It could be a particular stress in your life or a reaction to a past experience. Finding out the source of your anxiety can help you to deal with it, finding ways to release the anxiety and learning coping strategies to help you when your anxiety flares up.

Different techniques work best for different people – it’s all about finding the technique that works best for you, and a good counsellor will work to explore this with you. Many people enjoy practicing mindfulness as a way to relax and allow their anxieties to fade away.

Is online counselling effective in treating anxiety? 

Online counselling is a highly effective treatment for anxiety. In fact, a 2018 study which was published in the Journal of Psychological Disorders found that online counselling was equally as effective as face-to-face counselling for treating social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and generalised anxiety disorder.

As many people suffering from anxiety may find it challenging to leave their house or meet new people, online counselling may feel like an easier alternative than traditional face-to-face counselling.

How to find an online counsellor 

Bark offers an easy way to find online counsellors who are ready to help you to overcome your anxiety. You can view their profiles and read genuine reviews from their past clients before you make contact.

If you’re ready to take the first step in overcoming your anxiety, you can find a counsellor on Bark.

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