Anxiety – Dr. Jan Philamon

Dr. Jan Philamon    Quals: BA (Hons) Psychology, D Teaching, JP (Qual) Qld, PhD, MAPS.

Anxiety:  How often do you find yourself stuck in ‘catastrophising thinking patterns?’ Thinking of the worst possible outcomes, believing something is far worse than it actually is, or anticipating things will go wrong. Yes…It’s nasty old anxiety.

Anxiety is a very common mental health condition in Australia. In a 12-month period, over two million Australians experience anxiety. Anxiety is a common mental health condition, and it can make people feel quite miserable. The good news is that the sooner people with anxiety seek help, the sooner they are likely to recover.

Usually, an anxiety condition isn’t developed or caused by a single factor but a combination of things. Personality factors, difficult life experiences and physical health all play a role. Research suggests that people with certain personality traits are more likely to experience anxiety. For example, both adults and children who are perfectionists, easily flustered, shy, lack confidence in themselves, have low self-esteem or want to control everything, sometimes develop anxiety during childhood, adolescence or adulthood.

Anxiety conditions may develop as a result of stressful life events, such as work place stress or job change, financial concerns, loss of employment, shifting house, family issues and relationship breakdowns. Other more serious events that may lead to an anxiety condition include the death of a loved one, verbal, sexual, physical or emotional abuse and trauma. It is important to remember that everyone is different and it’s often a combination of factors that can contribute to developing an anxiety condition. You can’t always identify the cause of anxiety or change difficult circumstances, the most important thing is to recognise the signs and symptoms and seek advice and support.

Counselling Approach:  There are several types of effective psychological treatments Jan implements for anxiety. One of which is CBT. This approach helps by teaching you to become aware of your thoughts and to consciously think more realistically. If you actively avoid situations or things that cause anxiety, CBT can help you face your fears and approach these situations more rationally and calmly. CBT can help you recognise the difference between productive and unproductive worries and teach you to let go of those negative and destructive thoughts.

Jan can also help you use relaxation, visualisation and breathing techniques, particularly muscle relaxation, to control anxiety and the physical symptoms of tension.

Current Availability: Usually within 1 to 2 weeks.

Fees: Sliding scale depending on circumstances, usually $195 for standard appointments. Medicare and health rebates may apply. Please contact reception if you require reduced rates.

Practice Location: 16-18 Beenleigh Redland Bay Road, Loganholme, Brisbane.

Appointments: Freecall 1800 877 924 to book Dr Jan Philamon now!

Social Anxiety – Susanne Gilmour

Susanne Gilmour     Quals: BA, Cert Teach, Grad Dip Social Science, Grad Dip Psych, MAPS.

Social Anxiety: Shyness is a lovely trait…..shy people are great listeners, thinkers and observers and often possessors of great insight and wisdom.  Shyness is not a disorder, despite the predominance of extroverts in our ‘look at me!’ society.  Social anxiety, however can be severely distressing if it prevents sufferers from social activities they would otherwise enjoy, or need to do, such as  walking down a shopping mall, going to any sort of social gathering where people they are not very familiar with might be, going to school, taking classes at tertiary educational institutions and going to job interviews.  When such individuals do force themselves into these situations, it can be agonizing, believing everyone is judging them negatively and that any such judgments are an accurate assessment of their inadequacy as a person.  This sets off the threat response, the brain and body’s response to a dangerous situation and is intensely uncomfortable causing any number of sensations such as shakiness, nausea, faintness, speech paralysis, increased  heart rate.  The experience is so distressing it increases the motivation to avoid social situations of any kind.

Social anxiety is mostly a learned response to social interactions, although children with sensitive and very perceptive temperaments may be more vulnerable to developing this disorder.  Causes may be abusive parenting, or highly critical parents who may themselves suffer from anxiety and perfectionism.  Bullying at school, especially if based around a child’s physical appearance may be the starter for social phobias.  The constant blizzard of visual media images selling the message that photogenic bodies and faces are a prerequisite for happiness, success and social acceptability may foster severe social insecurities.  People whose schooling was made difficult when a specific learning disability was not diagnosed, may have lost self-confidence in their intellect and abilities as they felt ‘stupid’ in comparison to their peers .  An early  speech impairment that an otherwise very intelligent child might struggle with  may also give rise to self-perceptions of inadequacy in adolescence and adult life,  even when such individuals have long overcome their difficulties and  are successful in their personal and working lives.

Counselling Approach: With adults, I start with learning as much as I can from the client on the particular characteristics of their fears around social interactions and then work with the client to gain an understanding of how these fears may have developed.  I then show a simple visual demonstration and illustration of the neurology of the threat response and the physiological effects in an individual to explain why controlled breathing and relaxation techniques help reduce these effects that cause such discomfort when around other people.  Training then begins with learning these techniques.

The second phase involves teaching behavioural strategies on how to manage fear in social interactions beginning with small steps where self-calming strategies can be successfully employed, slowly increasing, in accordance with the client’s ability and comfort , levels of social interactions in a variety of situations.  Finally, I teach cognitive strategies to help the client notice, non-judgmentally, their unhelpful, self-critical thoughts, learning to consciously challenge them with more realistic thinking helping down-regulate the threat response when mixing with other people or managing feared public outings.  Success, for the client, is immensely liberating and offers the opportunity to experience many  fulfilling, enriching opportunities he or she may have avoided in the past.Susanne Gilmour (1)

Availability: Usually 1- 2 weeks.. Evening appointments available.

Fees:  Sliding scale, usually $180/hr. Initial appointments $220. Medicare and health rebates available.

Practice Location: Unit 1, 16 – 18 Beenleigh-Redland Bay Rd, Loganholme.

Appointments: Phone (07) 3067 9129, or book Susanne Gilmour online today.

Anxiety Disorders – Dr David Wells

Dr David Wells      Quals: B Psych (Hons), Dip Prof Couns, D Psych (Clin Geropsychology).

Anxiety Disorders: Anxiety, which is a normal human condition, can result in the triggering of what of known as the fight or flight response. Panic, social anxiety, generalised anxiety disorders are issues helped by therapy.

Counselling Approach: Evidence based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the primary approach adopted to help deal with anxiety. Other therapy approaches will be utilised wherever necessary.

Dr David Wells Clinical Psychologist BrisbaneFees:  Sliding Scale depending on circumstances, usually $220/hr; $260 for initial appointment. Please call reception to discuss hardship rates.

Current Availability: Usually within a week inc after hours.

Practice Location:
Mt Gravatt – 3 / 1420 Logan Road, Mt Gravatt. Freecall 1800 877 924, or book online now!


Anxiety Disorders – Susanne Gilmour

Susanne Gilmour     Quals: BA, Cert Teach, Grad Dip Social Science, Grad Dip Psych, Assoc MAPS.

Anxiety Disorders: Untreated high levels of anxiety may lead to more serious variations such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder, phobias, panic disorders, social anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), eating and body image disorders. A depressive disorder may also emerge, especially if anxiety has been present for a long time. Anxiety is a common mental health issue in our highly competitive, image-obsessed society.

Counselling Approach: Susanne Gilmour is a therapist who provides a sense of safety and comfort in counselling. With psychoeducation to help understand how the normal threat response can get out of control, and client commitment to practicing the techniques of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, most anxiety disorders are treatable without medication and recurrences less likely.

Susanne Gilmour (1)

Availability: Usually 1- 2 weeks. Evening appointments available.

Fees:  Sliding scale, usually $180/hr. Initial appointments $220. Medicare and health rebates available.

Practice Location: Unit 1, 16 – 18 Beenleigh-Redland Bay Rd, Loganholme.

Appointments: Phone (07) 3067 9129, or book Susanne Gilmour online today.