Many of our issues have the common denominator of anxiety and stress: Weight management, motivation, IBS symptoms, and especially phobias – all have a huge underlying element of anxiety and stress as the root cause.
So to eliminate the symptoms, we need to eliminate the common denominator of anxiety & stress. We need to look at the bigger picture rather than focusing on the symptom. Even better, by removing the underlying stressors, you have the key to unlocking your true potential.
How does that work? Check out the following two cases to see how this holistic approach works in Solution-Focused Therapy.
Sasha’s Journey: Beyond the fear of flying
When Sasha sought my help for her flying phobia, we knew time was of the essence. With a looming long-haul flight just four weeks away, our sessions were focused, and purpose driven.
However, despite our efforts, progress seemed elusive. Although she was a little calmer in the run-up to her holiday, I found out later that she hadn’t coped well during the flight at all.
In hindsight, it quickly became apparent to me that Sasha’s flying phobia was merely the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the surface, a sea of generalised anxiety was exerting its influence on various facets of her life.
The revelation was eye-opening for Sasha, as she hadn’t fully grasped how profoundly her anxiety and stress were entangled with her daily experiences. All she wanted was to go off on her holiday. But this was only a symptom of the underlying anxiety that had built up over the years.
I realised and explained that Sasha’s flying phobia was a symptom of a deeper issue – a broader canvas painted with anxiety and stress. I couldn’t help but wonder what might have transpired had we delved deeper into untangling the complexities of her life stressors.
If only we’d had a little more time to really empty her stress bucket. A longer-term approach could have potentially unravelled the threads of her phobia completely.
Tania’s Triumph: From confinement to liberation
Tania’s story unfolded with extreme anxiety and debilitating panic attacks, which led her to withdraw from the outside world. Her world had become smaller, her interactions limited. It was evident that Tania’s stress bucket was overflowing.
Through roughly 10 weeks of dedicated effort, Tania bravely confronted her fears. She started venturing outdoors, engaging with strangers and even took charge of walking her dog. In a remarkable turn of events, Tania confided in me that her once-crippling spider phobia had dissipated. I hadn’t even known she had a spider phobia.
Tania’s transformation was a testament to the power of understanding the pervasive influence of anxiety and stress. By recognising the broader scope of her struggles, she embarked on a journey of self-improvement that ultimately led to her newfound freedom.
She had a good understanding that anxiety had built up over time and was pervading into many areas of her life. She knew a few sessions may help, but she wanted more permanent and long-lasting change.
The common denominator of anxiety and stress
These two cases highlight a fundamental truth – anxiety and stress are the silent architects of our challenges, each unique in its manifestation. Whether it’s fear of flying or the shackles of social anxiety, the source often traces back to the primitive fight-or-flight response within our brains.
When it comes to solution-focused sessions, I treat the primitive brain as a whole to alleviate your symptoms. This means that we don’t focus on the specific problems but relieve anxiety and stress overall.
There are often other benefits or side effects that only get noticed during the course of a few sessions. Sometimes you really don’t see how much anxiety and stress are affecting your life.
Focusing on the big picture
This is also why my approach to therapy is a bit different. Instead of offering a session-by-session approach, I offer a 10-week Solution-Focused Therapy programme. The goal is to restore the essence of who you are, improving every facet of your life. For me, this shift is profoundly rewarding, as it allows me to witness genuine, lasting transformation.
Symptoms that you may have accepted as being something to live with, now get eliminated from your life and you have a heightened sense of self-awareness. People have commented that they’ve not only got their real selves back but an even better version of what they thought they could be.
In Solution-Focused Therapy, we don’t dwell on the details of the problem. Instead, we set our sights on the solution, working tirelessly towards it. Through this approach, you reclaim control over your life.
If you’re ready to embark on a journey towards your own solution, one that requires a bit of time and effort, I invite you to reach out or schedule a call. Together, we can find a path to a more fulfilled, empowered you.