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The Hidden Logic of Anxiety

Look for the Emotional Truth behind the Symptom

November/December 2003
To focus on the unconscious psychological roots of an individual's anxiety has become an anachronism. But how many of us, with a toolbox full of today's methods, reliably bring about a decisive cessation of our clients' intense anxiety and panic? In the first few years of my clinical career, I found that with standard methods I could often help clients mildly relieve their anxieties, but that I rarely achieved a radical reduction of symptoms. Yet there were occasional sessions in which I abandoned conventional clinical wisdom and tapped into a deep layer of personal meaning in the symptoms. When I did that, clients' symptoms often ceased from one session to the next, and never recurred. For several years, I systematically examined what was different about those sporadic sessions that yielded such profound change. What I found was a surprise.

Is Relief Just a Swallow Away?

Guidelines for Using Drugs in Anxiety Treatments

November/December 2003
How does a therapist decide whether to use therapy, medications, or a combination of both to treat anxiety? How can a clinician determine whether the long-term use of medications might actually prevent a client from learning to conquer anxiety? The answer lies in recognizing the distinctions between different forms of anxiety and carefully assessing the client's own history to determine what kind or combination of anxieties he or she experiences.
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