From the desk of Paul Levrant, North London’s Anxiety Specialist:

This has been the strangest and most unsettling of times for us all, and learning to adapt to the new realities of life has presented each of us with a unique challenge.

Over the past dozen years or so, I’ve devoted the major part of my practice to the treatment of anxiety. There are numerous and highly uncomfortable ways this can present itself; and can vary from a relatively simple fear of a specific situation or circumstance to more complex and extremely debilitating “general” anxieties. This is where we may be extremely fearful and worried about “everything and nothing”.

Initially, when lockdown began, I shifted from holding my usual sessions in my Highgate consulting rooms to providing sessions over the phone or through a video link. Many of the issues my clients were suffering with were understandably related to a great fear about COVID-19 itself; as well as the struggle to cope with a sudden enormous upheaval and disruption to normal life.

Anxiety flourishes where there is a feeling that we have no “control”; so naturally a great many of my recent sessions have focussed on gradually helping my clients feel they are in back in charge of their lives again. We work together on challenging the “catastrophising” thoughts which might have previously triggered feelings of dread and anxiety, leading to a more robust outlook, better sleep; and a greater feeling of calmness.

Over the last few months, hundreds of visitors to my website have been able to download audios, videos and worksheets designed to help deal with the situation. These resources are entirely free and will continue to be available over the next few months, with more material being added regularly – including some readings and an interview by double-platinum selling singer-songwriter and local resident Newton Faulkner.

As we are now gradually seeing the most severe conditions of lockdown beginning to ease, I’m finding that there is a widespread new anxiety making itself felt. This is the fear of starting to go out and mixing more closely with people after such a long time being isolated. Trepidation is understandable, and certain precautions are sensible of course; but we have to be mindful that this doesn’t become to strong an urge; and spill over into an unhealthy avoidance of what might be considered positive and enjoyable activities.

Finding the right treatment for anxiety can sometimes be difficult as there are so many options and choices. Each of us though, is completely unique; and I’ve always felt that in order for any therapy to be beneficial, it must be focused entirely on the client as an individual and around his or her own exclusive needs and circumstances. For this reason, I’ve found it most helpful in the first instance to have an initial consultation so that these individual needs can be more fully understood before any appointment is made for treatment. A consultation is entirely free and can easily be arranged for an evening or weekend.

If you’d like to know more, or to arrange a free confidential consultation you can contact me at any time on my direct line: 0800 246 1838

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