Counselling for Anxiety

Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear or imminent disaster, and is a normal emotional response to danger.

What makes one person anxious may not create the same response in another.  Our body’s reaction to danger is a very old system and comes originally from man’s need to recognise physical danger (i.e. the threat of being eaten by a woolly mammoth), and react quickly (i.e. run away).  That’s why when you begin to feel anxious, you feel your heart speed up, your tummy churn, and perhaps tingling in your arms and legs – your body is basically telling you to run away from the danger.

However, modern ‘danger’ is not usually in the form of a woolly mammoth wanting a quick meal.  ‘Danger’ today is stress, or feelings of being out of control, or difficult emotions such as depression or anger.

Social media is a big problem when it comes to triggering anxiety. It can really affect how we feel about ourselves when we constantly compare ourselves to others online.   Photoshopped and filtered pictures of ‘perfect’ faces and bodies, or people seemingly living ‘perfect’ lives can cause us to feel very inadequate and insecure. Even when we know on some level that it is not real, that does not stop us from feeling anxious and worried that we are not good enough, pretty enough, fit enough, buff enough, ripped enough, a good enough mother, father, partner or friend.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety can affect both our physical and mental well-being.  When we are anxious, we don’t think clearly, we magnify the negative, we catastrophise about the future, and it can affect our ability to work, socialise and communicate. Physical symptoms of anxiety can include any of the following:

  • palpitations;
  • chest pains;
  • faintness;
  • being flushed or red-faced;
  • sweating;
  • shortness of breath or hyperventilation;
  • dry mouth;
  • nausea or even vomiting;
  • dizziness;
  • headaches,;
  • upset tummy;
  • tremors;
  • feeling afraid.

Psychological symptoms of anxiety include:

  •  a sense of things around you appearing unreal;
  • sounds being distorted;
  • speeding up or slowing down of thoughts;
  • distractibility;
  • Inability to concentrate;
  • poor memory;
  • loss of appetite;
  • loss of libido;
  • insomnia.


We at Sandyford Wellness Centre understand that coping with anxiety can be a lonely and isolating experience. Counselling for anxiety, social anxiety and panic attacks can help you develop your own coping mechanisms in order to deal with your symptoms of anxiety and develop strategies to overcome negative thinking. Part of the work in dealing with anxiety is looking at possible underlying issues that cause or maintain the symptoms you experience.  Most of our practitioners have expertise in dealing with anxiety.

CBT for Anxiety,  Panic and Stress Reduction

CBT or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a safe, effective therapy for reducing anxiety, stress and panic attacks. CBT combines work on both the physical symptoms you feel in your body (panic, heart beat, sweaty palms etc), and the mental symptoms you have with thoughts, feelings and negative coping strategies.

CBT is a very effective intervention and will significantly reduce, if not eliminate completely, your anxiety, panic or stress symptoms.  Learning how to effectively manage stress and anxiety is the key, and being able to consciously relax both your body and your thoughts in the face of stressors is a core skill you will learn.


Mark Burke, Pre-accredited Therapist   

BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy

Areas of Speciality: Anxiety, depression, grief and loss, stress, conflict, trauma and working with adolescents.

Available Online and in person? YES

I am a pre-accredited Counsellor using an Integrative approach in working with clients. I believe working from person-centred, psychodynamic and CBT modalities offers the client significant insight and enhances the chance of resolution of presenting issues

I aim to create an environment in which the client feels fully heard and understood providing a safe space to explore and process distressing feelings and emotions. Through gaining an increased awareness of current or historical distresses the hope is to promote understanding, personal growth and develop healthier relationships.

To contact Mark directly email markb(at) , tel: 086 3824794