Anxiety and Worry

Anxiety is intense feelings of being afraid, nervous, tense or worried that are too strong for the situation, go on too long and get in the way of normal life. Being afraid is normal for survival in situations of real danger but sometimes the feelings are transferred to situations that are not actually dangerous.

The same is true about worry. Worrying can be helpful when it is important to be prepared and consider possible things that could go wrong. But worrying about many things all the time is unhelpful and distressing. All anxiety problems involve being overly afraid or worried. When fear and worry are not necessary, are too strong and interfere with life, it is a problem and important to get help.

There are several different types of anxiety disorders. The type of anxiety is related to what the fears and worries are about and how they are handled. For example, separation anxiety is extreme worry that something bad will happen if the child is separated from the parent (e.g., school). Generalised anxiety is having extreme and constant worries about a lot of different things. Social anxiety is extreme fear of being humiliated in social situations. Phobias are unrealistic and extreme fears of situations or things (e.g., snakes, flying). Panic is the fear of dying or having a heart attack because of physical feelings of anxiety.

Anxiety isn’t caused by any one thing, but usually happens because of a combination of things. It can be caused by bad experiences, stress, chronic illness, or chemicals in the brain (not working like they should). Instability and unpredictability at home or in the community are common causes. Or it can seem to come out of the blue. Anxiety can run in families, so someone with a close relative who has anxiety may be more likely to experience it.

Who is this service for?

Since everyone feels scared, anxious or worried sometimes, it is important to pay attention when the feelings, thoughts and behaviours are very intense, go on too long and get in the way of being able to do what you normally do. If some of the following symptoms are impacting on your life, our Psychologists can help support you in managing anxiety and reduce its effects on your life and wellbeing.

What are the symptoms?

Physical Symptoms include:

  • a panic attack — a sudden, intense episode of fear
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • a racing heart
  • sweating
  • problems sleeping
  • a churning stomach or stomach ache
  • ‘pins and needles’
  • feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • trembling
  • feeling very thirsty


  • feeling apprehensive or powerless
  • feeling like something bad is about to happen
  • feeling like you’re in danger
  • a racing mind
  • difficulty concentrating, finding it hard to think
  • memory problems


  • avoiding situations that make you feel anxious
  • excessive worry about the past, present or future and have trouble thinking about anything else.

How we can help you...

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT is a time-limited, problem-focused intervention that teaches how to change unhelpful or unrealistic thoughts and how to learn new behaviours like calming coping skills, and taking steps toward facing up to fears and worries and finding out that it is possible to lessen anxious feelings. The therapist and client identify the specific type of anxiety, the unhelpful thoughts and behaviours, and come up with new ones to practice and try out.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy that stems from traditional behaviour therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. ACT teaches clients to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives. With this understanding, clients begin to accept their issues and hardships and commit to making necessary changes in their behaviour, regardless of what is going on in their lives, and how they feel about it.

Schema Therapy. A schema is a pattern of thought and/or behaviour; a schema may, for example, create a framework, a filter through which an individual perceives the world. In schema therapy, a schema is considered to be an early maladaptive coping mechanism, they are patterns that develop as a result of needs not being met in childhood. Schema therapy supports the idea that these patterns can continue to affect individuals into adulthood and cause emotional distress and relational issues. Early maladaptive schemas may take the form of emotional memories; they can also include physical sensations. Schema therapy aims to help clients find ways to ensure their emotional needs are met in ways that are healthy and do not cause distress.

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or worry, our team at Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic are here to help. You can arrange an appointment with our friendly client service team on P: 0428 088 671.

Are you ready to take the next step?

We are dedicated to redefining your experience of therapy. Our client support team is available to support you with questions and enquiries. Booking your appointment is easy, call us on 0428 088 671 or book online by following the link below