Yes. Psychotherapy, especially psychodynamic psychotherapy, can be very effective at reducing dread, fear, phobia, and generalized anxiety. Although anxiety can take on various forms, all individuals who suffer from it are overcome by fear, worry, and dread. Often times, this is a feeling that is absolutely crippling, especially if it is present to such a degree that it is interfering with a person’s ability to work, make friendships, or engage in relationships. What can increase the fear and dread for some people is that they have no idea why they are so anxious, just that they are anxious all of the time, and cannot control it.

In the psychological community, there is significant debate about the origins of anxiety. The psychoanalytic model believes that anxiety reflects internal conflicts that a person is probably mostly unaware of. In contrast, the Behavioral School postulates that anxiety originates from conditioned responses from traumatic events, and that these thoughts simply need to be “extinguished”. There is, however, common ground in both schools; both believe that traumatic experiences and the mechanism of conditioned fear play an important role in how anxiety is experienced.

It could be said that psychodynamic psychotherapy offers the best of both worlds. It helps uncover the root, unconscious causes of the anxiety, and it also makes significant use of the process of extinction simply by the patient being in a climate of trust with the therapist. Thus, the therapy itself is another way of “rewiring” the brain.

In fact, anxiety disorders have been shown to have a very good response to psychodynamic psychotherapy, according to the research. Neurologists have been able to demonstrate that for patients suffering from anxiety, psychoanalysis or psychodynamic psychotherapy strengthens certain neural pathways that influence a part of the brain known as the amygdala, where many emotional memories are stored.

If you need help with your anxiety, and feel that I can help, please call me at (949) 251-8797.


For more information about how I can help in your situation or to make an appointment, please call (949) 251-8797 or email me here.