Minneapolis Counseling Lounge

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When Anxiety is Good May 24, 2012

Filed under: Mental Health,self awareness,Self Care — Lyndsey Fraser, MA, LMFT @ 8:35 pm


In this blog I am going to argue how ANXIETY can actually be a good thing. One of the things I will often tell my clients is that without anxiety one does not change. It is anxiety itself that forces us to look within to determine that something is making us “uneasy”, “unsatisfied”, “unhappy”, or “stuck”.  It’s the driving force that often results in YOU sitting in my office.  As a therapist I will point out and emphasis areas that I know will increase the anxiety for my clients.  Does this sound contradictory to what a therapist should do? I would argue that it is my responsiblity to create anxiety in the therapy room.  As my role is to instigate change.  You wouldn’t be in my office if you didn’t want to change right?  Okay sometimes some of you want me to change your partner, but that is a completely different blog.  At a later date I can discuss how couples each have their role in a relationship and are equally responsible. But even in couples both will need to change for a more satisfying relationship and again it is anxiety that promotes the change.  if ANXIETY were not driving us we would not feel the need for change.

Now don’t get me wrong I have seen how anxiety can be debilitating and can hold one back.  My goal is for the client to have just enough anxiety to change and not to create anxiety that will result in being stuck or in panic.

What I will say is good anxiety is worrying about something we have control of where troublesome anxiety is worrying about something that we do not have control.  When you have anxiety is it something you can control or is it something you do have not control.  If it is something you can control can you do something about it now and if it is not something you can control can you let it go.

My hope is that my reader will understand that sometimes a little anxiety is good for positive change.  It is often the indicator letting us know something is not making us happy in our lives.


One Response to “When Anxiety is Good”

  1. Amanda Says:

    I recently found your blog through another and although I am on the opposite side of the couch in therapy, I have enjoyed reading (and connecting with) your posts … especially this one. I never thought about it in this way – that anxiety is an indicator for change. Great post!

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