Questions to ask about anxiety

  • Can you think of some ways that anxiety may be generated by the larger culture in which we live?
  • What messages from the culture specifically support anxiety in your life?
  • How has anxiety contributed to making your life smaller?
  • How has anxiety made you feel “less than” others or “less than” how you think you should be in your life?
  • What does anxiety do to isolate you and keep you from finding support from others?
  • How does anxiety affect you physically? Do you recognize this as anxiety?
  • If you could notice the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as difficulty breathing, tightness in your chest, a rapid heartbeat, and identify them as anxiety working on you; would that be helpful, or would it add to your fear?
  • When you are not experiencing anxiety, can you notice what you are doing or thinking? What information does that give you?
  • Can you think of some other ways that you don’t get caught up in these ideas and behaviors?
  • Are there some ways that the larger culture supports you in getting free from anxiety? What are those?
  • What specific messages or practices from society support you and help you fight anxiety?
  • Are there particular times of the day, social contexts, situations, or events that seem to make it less possible for anxiety to get a hold on you?
  • Are there particular strategies that you have found helpful in escaping the influence of anxiety?
  • Do you know of others who have practiced some of these strategies?
  • If you were to connect with others who had found ways to escape anxiety, do you think that would be helpful?
  • What would be some of the ways these others might help?
  • How could you connect with them more?
  • What would you do next if you were to feel more support against anxiety in your life?
  • What would your life look like?

Questions to Ask Others

Here are some questions you might ask others in your life who could be members of a support system for you

  • Would you be willing to listen to my experience and acknowledge my feelings without making suggestions or telling me how you think I should feel?
  • If I seem to talk about anxiety too much and pay too much attention to it, do you think we could create a plan together where we could focus on other aspects of my life that are not anxiety-laden?
  • Will you help me create a reminder system so that I can remember the strategies I have that already work in helping me escape anxiety?

Questions to Ask Your Therapist

If you are experiencing anxiety and want to find professional help, here are some questions you can ask your therapist.

  • What are some of your ideas about anxiety and why do you think it occurs in people’s lives?
  • What have you learned from others you have seen who have experienced anxiety?
  • Do you ever include others in the therapy, such as client’s friends and relatives who help them stay free from anxiety?
  • Do you usually refer someone to a psychiatrist or medical doctor for medication, and/or do you search for other ways to help people escape anxiety?
  • Do you usually make suggestions to your clients about what they should do, and/or are you interested in learning about some of the solutions they have already found helpful?
  • Are you aware of other resources for clients, such as readings, self-help groups, websites, etc.?

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