Three reasons for Anxiety Counseling with Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama.

Anxiety is more prevalent in our society that ever before. One in every 5 adults, ages 18 and up, are suffering from diagnosable anxiety. Even worse, one in three adolescents ages 13-18 are suffering from anxiety.

What does anxiety look like? How do I know if I have anxiety?

If you have anxiety you may have some or all of the following common signs or symptoms of anxiety:

Feeling on edge or restless

Having difficulty concentrating

Difficulty controlling worry

Having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep

Being easily fatigued

Being easily irritated.

Having stomach aches or other muscle aches, or unexplained pains

Having a sense of impending danger (like the other shoe is going to drop)

Having an increased heart rate

Having a sense of panic

Anxiety is often caused by irrational or unhelpful thoughts.

Here are the three most common forms of irrational thoughts causing anxiety we see at Empower Counseling.

All or Nothing Thinking: 

All or nothing, or black and white thinking tends to keep us stuck because if we are engaging in black and white thinking, we only see the extremes as options. Often the extremes we see as our choices or options are not good ones, so we do nothing and avoid the problems or the issues.

Individuals who engage in black and white thinking believe they are 100% always right or world’s biggest failure, neither of which is accurate or helpful toward building self-confidence and self-esteem. 

Mind Reading:

Mind reading is assuming we know what someone else is thinking without enough information to be accurate. Individuals who come to Empower Counseling for anxiety counseling almost always engage in mind reading. When we mind read we typically engage in another form of distorted thinking which is called personalization.

When we try to determine what another person is thinking, we tend to think it is about us, and it is negative. I have never had a client who mindreads actually think others were thinking something positive about her or him. This type of thinking leads to anxious thoughts, low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. Social anxiety can begin by mind reading.


Catastrophizing is assuming the worst when faced with the unknown. Everything about the future in unknown. So individuals who catastrophize spend much of their time in their heads worrying about things they can not control and making everything into a bigger problem than it has to be. Catastrophizing leads to further need to focus on controlling the future which leads to further anxious thoughts.

These are some of the main types of dysfunctional or unhelpful ways of thinking we see daily at Empower Counseling.

These are three reasons for Anxiety Therapy with Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama.

Kathryn, Adam and Kristine are all trained in Acceptance Commitment Therapy for anxiety. ACT is a scientifically proven effective treatment for anxiety in adolescents and adults. We use Act to determine what types of dysfunctional or unhelpful thoughts are driving your anxiety, Then we use mindfulness methods to raise awareness of these thoughts, what causes them to come up, and how to let go of them, instead of becoming tangled up in them in your head. Through ACT, we will also work on changing your focus from what you don’t want to happen in your life, or what you are trying to avoid, to what you want your life to look like. We will also look at your anxiety from a behavioral standpoint. What are you avoiding in your life that you wish you could do? We know how to lead you there by the smallest steps so that you can actually create new positive habits that really make a big impact on your life.

At Empower Counseling. our compassionate and knowledgeable counselors help teens, college students, young adults, and professionals move away from anxiety through anxiety counseling and move toward more enjoyable lives.

Call Empower today at 205-730-6570

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