adult individual therapy sessions

What is Anxiety?

At the root of anxiety is an unsteady feeling of unsafety, feelings of fearfulness, and an ever-negative future outlook, which in combination has kept us alive, surviving in the wild. Anxiety (once upon a time) helped us make an unforgettable note of where we were last attacked by an angry bear, it helps us figure out what other locations could be risky for bear-attacks, and reminds us that another angry bear could be waiting for us. Anxiety and trauma are closely linked as they both have to do with our survival instincts.

Virtual Session


60 minutes

50 min. of Counselling + 10 min. Clinical Notes

Virtual Session


90 minutes

80 min. of Counselling + 10 min. Clinical Notes

In-Person Session


60 minutes

50 min. of Counselling + 10 min. Clinical Notes

In-Person Session


90 minutes

80 min. of Counselling + 10 min. Clinical Notes

Insomnia & Worries

It is vital that we clarify for you that anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Low to medium levels of anxiety helps inform us that we need to be attentive, careful, and prepared. Anxiety has intentions to ensure our safety, although we suffer the pain of its fears and worries. Anxiety wants to keep us up at night, making to-do lists and replaying unsolved problems. Naturally, we want to escape or push away the thoughts or emotions of discomfort, especially when we experience medium to high levels of anxiety or uncontrollable anxiety.

3 Things that changed how we experience anxiety

Living in today’s fast pace and technologically connected world, it’s hard not to experience some level of anxiety that leaves us feeling worried about our futures and keeping us up at night. Here are the major impacts to our experiences of anxiety in this modern world.

The COVID pandemic & Anxiety

The pandemic has impacted the prevalence of (1) Social Anxiety, (2) Health Anxiety, (3) Phobias, (4) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). People were isolated from their social support systems and in many cases people were trapped with their hurtful partners, unhappy relationships, unkind family members, or even perpetrator of violence. People felt trapped in their loneliness and worries for an extended period with troubling emotions and thoughts that they might not have known how to cope with. Many individuals couldn’t access psychotherapy for their mental health during the pandemic while their anxiety levels were at an all time high. Many have become solely reliant on cannabis (medical and recreational marijuana), antidepressants, and antianxiety medications without treating the roots of anxiety.

Social Media & Anxiety

Social Media has increased our unlimited connection to worrisome news around the world while it disproportionately broadcasts the best sides of all our friends and family. Social media has heightened our experiences of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and made us feel more anxiety about our progression towards different life stages (ex: getting engaged, married, and having children) than ever before. Social media also expanded our exposure to our peers’ achievements, lifestyles, or earnings, making it challenging not to compare ourselves to the best of someone else’s world. For many who struggle with negative core beliefs of “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not lovable” or “I’m not worthy”, Social Media has made it extremely easy to compare yourself to people you have labelled as “better than I will ever be”.

Electronic Devices & Anxiety

Technology and our electronic devices has made us constantly connected at our fingertips and available to the world around us for issues ranging from work, community, friends, and family. When we go to bed and when we wake up in the morning, we turn to our phones even though we know that this habit impacts our sleep and mental health. Blue light exposure is often linked to sleep issues like insomnia and trouble staying asleep. Our habits can leave us with little room for ourselves to keep our peace, connect with our authenticity,  and recharge with self-care and passions. Apps and devices have all been meticulously designed for our brain’s natural dopamine seeking habits. We spend less time noticing our inner self, our capacity, our need for self-care, and our need for healthy boundaries. After the pandemic, more people have now shifted to working from home, which further blurs the line between work and life. 

Why does anxiety happen?

Aside from traumatic or overwhelmingly fearful past experiences, here are some of the other factors that can cause anxiety:

  • Genetics & Epigenetics (such as intergenerational transmission)
  • Brain Chemistry (such as dopamine or serotonin imbalance)
  • Medical Factors (such as illness or chronic pain)
  • Personality Factors (such as perfectionism or harsh self-judgement)
  • Substance Use & Withdrawal (such as nicotine, caffeine, alcohol and other substances)
  • Environmental Stressors (such as familial stress, work or financial pressures)
  • Thinking Patterns (such as black-and-white thinking, catastrophizing, discounting the good, and more)

What are the symptoms of Anxiety?

In this section, we share the symptoms of anxiety based on “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Version 5 (DSM-5),” and we will then continue to elaborate on the experience of anxiety in combination with ADHD and with PTSD. To begin, let’s take a look at Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), one of the most prevalent and commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

People experiencing Generalized Anxiety Disorder frequently feel anxious and dread for long periods, which goes beyond occasional worries, grief, and stressful life events. Many have experienced higher levels of anxiety since an early age, which influences their brain development, patterns of thinking, personality, and sense of security. Many have parents who experience high levels of anxiety and worries, creating an environment of feeling unsafety or insecurity about the world around us. Common anxious beliefs about the world include fears that “the world is out to get you” and that “the world is a dangerous place” where you “must be meticulously careful to survive”. 

The Symptoms

When to seek help with Anxiety?

We specialize in improving anxiety symptoms for clients starting from age 6 and up. Our clinicians are well trained in different approaches that aim to treat anxiety symptoms through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Somatic Experiencing Therapy, Eye Movement & Desensitization Reprocessing, and Hypnotherapy.

If you have been experiencing any of the following, we recommend that you reach out to a trained therapist at Vancouver Counselling Clinic for free and learn about how therapy could help. We are waiting for you on the other side.

What are the common types of anxiety?

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety is the persistent and intense fear of being observed and judged by people in a social setting. This can impact many social situations, including at work, school, gatherings, or doing everyday activities where interactions with others are needed.


Panic Attacks & Disorder

Panic attacks feel like a sudden onset of intense fear although there isn’t a clear sign of danger or trigger. It is important to note that many people who experience a panic attack will not develop panic disorder.


Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation anxiety can be experienced in children, youth and adults as an intense fear of being away from the people they are attached to. Being away from their loved ones creates a deep sense of unsafety and worry, which can present in different forms of fears and behaviours when anticipating or experiencing separation.


Anxiety Medications

It is recommended by most doctors that you should seek psychotherapy in conjunction with your anxiety medication to improve the anxiety symptoms you are experiencing in your mental and physical health. Anxiety medication serves as a helpful support to psychotherapy, so that you can work towards healing or improving your anxiety rather than relying solely on pharmaceutical interventions that do not cure your anxiety. You may want to speak with a therapist at Vancouver Counselling Clinic if you are self-medicating with substances to relieve your anxiety, including the consistent reliance on the use of alcohol, recreational cannabis, and other forms of substances to escape anxiety.

You should speak with a doctor to learn more about the types of medications that suit you best. You should not go off of your medications without consulting your doctor first. You should inform your doctor of unwanted side effects that may interfere with you taking the medication.

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Quality mental healthcare for all walks of life

Welcome to the Vancouver Counselling Clinic, located in South Vancouver, British Columbia. We are dedicated to providing quality mental healthcare to all of our clients and patients. We honour the values of diversity, equity and inclusion, and we serve our clients by being present, proactive, persistent, and passionate. We are committed to the ethical principles as provided by the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association & the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, which include the following fundamentals in practice at our clinic.