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Worry is normal, we all do it every day of our lives. We have the ‘what ifs….’ that just pass through our minds. But not all of us experience worry that never ends. So, what differentiates an everyday worrier from a worrier that could benefit from help? When worry about several aspects of your life persist throughout the day, you begin to feel they are out of control and this starts to impact on your work, relationships or social functioning then you could benefit from support from a suitably qualified professional. Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterised by worry, physiological symptoms (e.g. restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, sleep disturbance) and a sense that the worry will never end. This ‘worry about worry’ is important. The person might hold the belief that they will be overwhelmed by worry and anxiety, leading to some negative outcome e.g. loss of mental control. This can be so frightening and confronting. The great news…..? All of this responds really well to Metacognitive Therapy (MCT). MCT is underpinned by a model that helps to explain what is driving the uncontrollable and excessive worry. The treatment involves helping clients to:

  • Identify and challenge beliefs that drive their worry (positive meta beliefs)
  • Identify and challenge beliefs about the danger or uncontrollability of worry once the cycle starts (negative meta beliefs)
  • Develop alternative and more effective ways of relating to the negative thoughts/worries

MCT is a form of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) but targets the beliefs underlying why somebody worries. Time and time again this is proving more effective than simply targeting the individual worries or worry ‘content’. MCT can be effective for a range of clinical presentations where it might be important to target the beliefs that underly the way someone relates to their thoughts:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Depression

If you are experiencing lots of worry, or have this tendency to analyse and overthink, and it is starting to impact negatively on your life, contact us to book an appointment. You will meet with our Director – Dr Dawn Proctor, who will complete an assessment to understand the factors driving your worry and devise a treatment plan aimed at meeting your goals.