Boulder Counseling - center for change & recovery  
Anxiety Therapy


Shyness | Phobias | OCD | Panic Attacks | Chronic Worry

The National Institute of Mental Health ranks anxiety disorders as the most common mental health problem in the United States.

Boulder Counseling Center is a community specialist in the areas of anxiety, panic, and fear problems.

Anxiety can present itself in a vague sense of worry, stress, and physical symptoms such as:

  • Endless “to-do” lists that preoccupy your mind
  • Feeling like you are the only one that doesn’t have their life together
  • Shyness in dating situations
  • Fearful of speaking up
  • Irritability and negative thinking
  • Lack of motivation or feeling frozen to complete projects
  • Sleep disturbance (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep)

More extreme and specific anxiety may fall into one or more of the following categories:

Shyness & Social Anxiety Disorder
Only 5% of people said that they had never been shy at any time in their life. Social Anxiety Disorder is the most extreme form of shyness. The difference is that in Social Anxiety Disorder, these fears cause interference in daily routines (e.g., work, school, relationships) and increased avoidance of social situations that are uncomfortable.

Social Anxiety Disorder may present itself in social situations (e.g., initiating and maintaining conversations, talking to authority figures, being assertive) or performance situations (e.g., speaking up in meetings or class, using public bathrooms, or going to an exercise class).

It is important to understand that shyness and Social Anxiety Disorder are treatable . Specialists at Boulder Counseling Center can teach you proven techniques to overcome your social fears in a step by step process . Individual therapy or Internet or phone therapy can help you to learn the important skills necessary before putting them to practice in group therapy.

Phobia CounselingPhobias

Specific Phobias affect more than one in eight Americans at some time, making it the most common type of anxiety disorder.

These powerful fears are characterized by strong, illogical, reactions to a particular object, place or situation. This reaction may feel like a panic attack, characterized by light headedness, trouble breathing, feeling like control is lost, or feeling as though the individual is having a heart attack.

Common phobias treated at the Boulder Counseling Center include fear of heights, blood, flying, animals, medical and dental procedures, insects, driving, storms, and more.

Phobias can disrupt work, put tremendous strain on relationships, and hold a sufferer back from experiencing a full life. Exposure and Response Prevention, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), and relaxation in an individual therapy or group therapy setting are highly effective treatments for the reduction and elimination of most phobias.

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder where individuals have repeated, unwanted thoughts, images or impulses (obsessions) that create uncomfortable anxiety. Common obsessive thoughts include fear of dirt or germs, need for exactness or symmetry, aggressive impulses, and doubting (e.g., whether the door has been locked, appliances turned off).

To reduce anxiety of these obsessions or to prevent the thoughts, individuals perform rituals or routines (which can sometimes take up hours each day) known as compulsions. Common compulsive behaviors such as checking and rechecking that something was done, counting, repetitive washing or cleaning, hoarding, repeating words, prayers, or phrases can provide temporary relief from the obsessions.

Because these obsessions and compulsions can significantly interfere with everyday living at home, work, school or in social situations, treatment is necessary. Boulder Counseling Center will assess and recommend if researched based programs, such as Exposure and Ritual Prevention (ERP) therapy in an individual, family or group therapy setting might best fit your recovery needs.

Panic Attacks & Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder, marked by repeated and unexpected attacks that typically last about 20 minutes, strikes up to 5 percent of Americans (or at least 2.4 million people).

These overwhelming sensations of panic can sometimes cause a person to avoid fearful situations or leaving the home, a condition known as Agoraphobia . Phone therapy sessions are a comfortable way to start your recovery process from Agoraphobia before coming into the Center for individual therapy.

A Panic Attack is a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort, which develops abruptly ("out of the blue") and reaches a peak within 10 minutes. Symptoms typically include :

  • Heart pounding, chest pain, or perception of a heart attack
  • Sweating
  • Trembling, shaking, chills
  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Shortness of breath or perception of choking
  • Nausea
  • Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy

Boulder Counseling Center will recommend completing a physical examination by a primary care practitioner, in order to rule out the possibility of a medical condition. A therapist can then determine a Panic Disorder (with or without Agoraphobia) diagnosis and the best course of treatment.

Chronic Worry & Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Worries and stress are normal. However, excessive and uncontrollable worry occurring more days than not for several months may be a condition known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

A relatively common anxiety problem that affects 3-4% of the population each year , Generalized Anxiety Disorder can interfere with every day functioning. Typical mental and physical symptoms include:

  • Restlessness, unable to relax, easily startled
  • Easily worn-out
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind goes blank
  • Irritable, grouchy, angry
  • Muscle tension, headache, pains

Generalized Anxiety Disorder can often occur with depression, which seems to intensify the symptoms above.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), and relaxation in an individual therapy setting are highly effective treatments for the reduction and elimination of chronic worrying .

Please contact Boulder Counseling Center to schedule a complimentary consultation with an anxiety specialist.

boulder counseling home
about boulder counseling
therapy services
clinical specialties
boulder colorado
contact joan unruh
Boulder Counseling