National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
An Interview Article with Psychotherapist Nicole Quaid, MFT
Are you tired of having feelings of anxiety take over your life? Would you like to learn what you could do to take control of your anxiety? To help understand anxiety and what you can do to eliminate anxiety in your life, I have interviewed psychotherapist Nicole Quaid.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am a psychotherapist practicing in Los Angeles. In addition to relationship issues I work with people who have experienced trauma, have chronic pain or stress related illnesses. I also work with people that have had a loss and are grieving. I also specialize in working with creative people and the specific challenges related to creative process.”
“I have trained in Peter Levine Somatic Experiencing model, which includes the body as an essential element in talk therapy. Additionally I have studied and practiced meditation for over 14years, which informs how I work with people in that I try to help people find the ways they can best help themselves.”
What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety?
“A person may experience insomnia, lack of appetite, excessive worrying, difficulty concentrating, and dizziness to name a few. Sometimes people grow used to the symptoms so they no longer recognize them as indicators of anxiety. In these instances the symptoms of anxiety can be mistaken for a health condition. For example, chronic anxiety may result digestive problems or rapid heart rate. If the person goes to the doctor for the physical issue and does not deal with the anxiety then the root cause has not been addressed.”
What type of impact can anxiety have on a person’s overall life?
“Anxiety can impact people’s lives in multiple ways. As indicated above it can result in health issues. Additionally anxiety can negatively affect personal relationships, job performance, and ones ability to be present in everyday life. Living with constant anxiety can also be exhausting and result in low energy and fatigue.”
How can someone eliminate anxiety in his or her life?
“I think there are many avenues one can take to manage anxiety. Two ways that I have found to be especially helpful for my clients are mindfulness meditation and somatic therapy. Mindfulness meditation teaches, or rather allows one the experience of being able to observe their pattern of anxiety with more detachment. This allows a person to witness the anxiety while also seeing that their essence extends beyond just the anxious patterning. It also teaches the discipline of redirecting where one places their attention.”
“Somatic therapy includes the body in the therapeutic process. This allows the nervous system to reregulate which is very helpful when working with anxiety. When the nervous system reregulates the potential for different responses are created because the body does not remain stuck in the fight or flight pattern. For example, one may feel less triggered by something that previously set them off, or feels less generalized anxiety, or even experience less physical symptoms.”
What type of professional help is available for someone who experiences anxiety?
“Luckily there are many resources available for people. Jack Kornfield and Pema Chodron have numerous books and audio CD’s on mindfulness meditation practices. There are many somatic therapy resources available on the Foundation for Human Enrichment website – www.traumahealing.com Additionally, Peter Levine, the founder of Somatic Experiencing, has a book titled Waking the Tiger that offers guidance for people interested in working somatically.”
Thank you Nicole for the interview on how to eliminate anxiety in your life.