Fran Miller Ph.D. - Licensed Psychologist

Methods to Reduce Anxiety and Depression

When clients express difficulty with anxiety we take time to explore the factors that are causing or related to the anxiety such as relationship or work concerns, previous trauma or loss, issues of health or illness, and concerns about safety and security. We will focus on the methods that are shown to be helpful in reducing anxiety: progressive muscle relaxation, breathing techniques, visualization exercises, journaling, mindfulness practice, and meditation. With symptoms of depression, we also explore each factor that may underlie the depression, for example: childhood issues, previous family dynamics, current family relationships, previous trauma or loss, relationship and work concerns, concerns related to health or illness, religious or spiritual issues, and issues related to futility or life’s ultimate meaning. We also focus our attention on the methods and therapeutic techniques that can help to reduce depression, such as: cognitive behavioral techniques, formation of a clarity and strength of identity, development of self esteem, journaling, focus on The Basics which are sleep, nutrition, and exercise, increasing strength and fitness, the development of a mindfulness practice, and meditation. (See Mindfulness and Meditation)

Obsessive tendencies are patterns of thinking that cause low self esteem, stress, anxiety, and difficulty with decision-making. We spend some amount of time on the formation of personality characteristics and the history of obsessive tendencies. Particular attention is given to the development of a clear and strong sense of self, to becoming aware of cognitive patterns, and to the development of the skill of cognitive restructuring. We will implement a simple four step method that is often recommended for overcoming obsessive tendencies.