Therapy for Anxiety & Perfectionism

Women – multifaceted, over-loving, high achieving, people-pleasing, and full of hope. More often than not, what lies under that beauty and strength is often sadness, loneliness, and a hope that we will be cared for in the same way that we care for everyone else – deep and unwavering.  Or maybe we’ve taken that route and have decided it safer to take the path of extreme guardedness, though what we crave is care – deep and unwavering.

We are skilled at treating a multitude of issues and work from a strength based perspective using a feminist lens.  We are aware of the ways society and culture have shaped and impacted our views of ourselves. We know the challenges of shedding the layers of social, cultural and familial expectations and are here to hep support you through this process while helping you to gain a better understanding of the extent of your experience in the world. 

Giving ourselves the permission to not be ok is the first step we need to take toward feeling better.  For many of us, life does not seem to give us the opportunity to not be ok so we spend so much time trying to be ok that we do not know that we are not ok.  What does it mean to not be ok?  That answer will be different for each of us but if we find that we are not able to show up as the best versions of ourselves for extended periods of time, that may be an indicator.

What is ACT and CBT and how can it help me?

CBT treatment usually involves efforts to change thinking patterns. These strategies might include: learning to recognize one’s distortions in thinking that are creating problems and then to reevaluate them in light of reality; gaining a better understanding of the behavior and motivation of others; using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations and learning to develop a greater sense of confidence in one’s own abilities.

ACT teaches mindfulness skills to help individuals live and behave in ways consistent with personal values while developing psychological flexibility. This helps individuals recognize ways in which their attempts to suppress, manage, and control emotional experiences create challenges. By recognizing and addressing these challenges, individuals can become better able to make room for values-based actions that support well-being.

We are eclectic online therapists leaning toward Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy specializing in perfectionism that is most often rooted in trauma and experienced as depression.

How do I know if I'm not ok? What should I be looking for?

Anxiety and Perfectionism

Anxiety is our brain’s way of keeping us alert and attentive to avoid danger.  Sometimes our brains can go into overdrive causing us to worry so much that it interferes with us enjoying our lives. This can cause intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.

Often, anxiety involves repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks). These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger, and can last a long time. You may avoid places or situations to prevent these feelings. Symptoms of anxiety may start during childhood or the teen years and continue into young adulthood.

Common Symptoms of Anxiety and Perfectionism

Perfectionism is rooted in the belief that one must be flawless to be successful or acceptable. Perfectionists spend copious amounts of time to perfect something and it’s uncommon, not uncommon to sacrifice your sleep, personal time, and well-being, just to bring their product to the highest level.  Attempts or failure at perfectionism often result in the same symptoms of anxiety which include:

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense

  • Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety

  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom

  • Having an increased heart rate

  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)

  • Sweating

  • Trembling

  • Feeling weak or tired

  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry

  • Having trouble sleeping

  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems

  • Having difficulty controlling worry

Therapy for anxiety and perfectionism can help you better understand yourself!

Therapy can help you learn self-acceptance; create realistic goals and self-expectations; discover your personal values and identify value-based actions; lean into anxiety and reduce the time and energy spent avoiding it; create more time and space for self-exploration and creativity; accept the gamut of emotions as a response to living; show up in the most uncomfortable of situations as the best version of yourself.

Anxiety and Trauma

Trauma is a response to a perceived threat to our physical and emotional security. This can be experienced as a result of not having our emotional, physical or psychological needs met as a child; as a response to witnessing or experiencing an act of violence against ourselves or others; natural disasters; cultural and/or racial violence; physical or sexual abuse; and any other event that jeopardizes our safety and security in the world.  Trauma can be short or long-term.  Some of the symptoms are:

  • Unwanted memories of the trauma  (flashback, fear, severe anxiety, or mistrust)

  • Avoidance of situations that bring back memories of the trauma

  • Heightened reactions (agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, or social isolation)

  • Anxiety ( lack of concentration, racing thoughts, or unwanted thoughts, restlessness, insomnia, nausea, palpitations, or trembling)

  • Depressed mood (loss of interest or pleasure in activities, guilt, or loneliness)

Our approach to therapy for anxiety and trauma therapy

Our clinicians are trauma-informed. Some of our clinicians have advanced specialized training in techniques (EMDR and Brainspotting) that can rapidly resolve trauma symptoms. Therapy can help you to learn how to better regulate your moods and trauma responses, process the trauma so that it no longer lives in your body, learn strategies to help calm and ground yourself, learn how to develop healthy relationships with yourself and others, and assist you with developing acceptance and flexible thinking to help you live the life that you want for yourself.

Depression

Depression is much more common than we know and is more likely to show up in women than in men.  While most of us will experience depression at least once in our lives, others may have debilitating episodes or long-term low-grade depressive symptoms that make it difficult to experience an array of emotions.  Many women are challenged with low-grade depression and are unaware because, for many of us, anxiety is the driver. Depression is usually a secondary symptom.  This can be a response to our environment or it can be the result of a chemical imbalance.  Some people benefit from taking medication to manage symptoms while others can work toward better learning themselves and changing some behaviors to improve their moods.

  • Lack of motivation

  • Lack of enjoyment of previously pleasurable activities

  • Emotional, physical and/or psychological fatigue or exhaustion

  • Overeating/Undereating

  • Isolation

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness and loneliness

  • Numbness or disconnection from feelings

Introspective Counseling's Approach for Anxiety and Depression treatment

All of our clinicians specialize in treating depression and are aware of the many contributing factors women face including but not limited: life transitions, career-related stress, depression related to emotional, physical, and psychological trauma, balancing family roles, financial and health-related concerns, grief and loss, divorce and separation, parenting and transitioning into adulthood.

We use a variety of strategies in therapy for anxiety and perfectionism including mindfulness, a practice of focusing on the present moment, ACT which also has roots in mindfulness;  BrainspottingEMDR, and CBT.  We also do work around processing the internalized belief of inadequacy and incompetence that is very much rooted in the racist and sexist ideology of our culture.  

What is holding you back from beginning therapy in Detroit today!

Therapy can help you gain better perspective and insight into the ways that your experience yourself and your world, help you to identify and change behaviors that are no longer serving you, help you learn and develop healthy relationships, help you learn and develop healthy coping strategies for challenging situations and experiences.

What is holding you back from beginning therapy in Detroit today!

We all need help sometimes. In our society, we are trained to be strong and care for others. True courage and strength are demonstrated through vulnerability. Therefore as women, getting the help we need and then taking steps to access help is important for our recovery. At our online counseling practice, you will work with a skilled anxiety therapist who specializes in anxiety therapy and perfectionism treatment through online therapy in Detroit, MI. To get started on your counseling  journey, follow these simple steps:

Other Services Offered at Introspective Counseling

Therapy for anxiety and perfectionism isn’t the only service we offer at our Detroit, MI practice. Other services include counseling for marriage counseling and couples therapytherapy for students and life transitions, and therapy for professionals. We also offer therapy for depression, PTSD, grief and loss, and more. Our therapists are excited to work with you. We specialize in working with couples, families, and women of color. Whatever your goals are, our team will work to create a plan that focuses on targeting the thoughts and behaviors that get in the way of your actions aligning with your values. We look forward to working with you. Begin therapy with us today!