Most of us see anxiety as the “enemy.” It freezes us up on the dance floor, sends us into heart-racing panic attacks on uneventful plane trips, and diminishes our lives by making us avoid situations that aren’t really dangerous. It’s no wonder so many clients talk about anxiety as something intrusive and unnatural that needs to go away.
But Danie Beaulieu, author of Impact Techniques for Therapists, sees anxiety in a different light. “I was tired of looking at anxiety as a pathology,” she says in this brief video clip. “And I wanted to find a way to look at anxiety as a help, as co-therapist, to help clients understand themselves better, feel better about their choices, their decisions, what they do with their lives—and I found it.” With anxiety as her ally in therapy, Danie now encourages her clients to join her in seeing it as a “beautiful answer from our bodies saying, 'you’re not respecting the road you’re supposed to follow.'”
With her clients, Danie describes anxiety as a kind of internal GPS. Just as a GPS chimes “recalculating” after a wrong turn, anxiety can be the body’s way of indicating that someone has taken a wrong direction in their life. In her session from the Networker Webcast Series Treating Anxiety, Danie shares cases in which anxiety serves as a guidance system to clients by signaling what isn’t working in their lives and helping them to discover a better way forward.
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