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How to Treat Anxiety Disorders Using Resource Anchors

Anxiety disorders

An anxiousness condition is a general term mental wellness professionals make use of to explain a problem of unusual and pathological fear and sensation of nervousness. Although there are various types of anxiety-related problems, including generalized anxiousness disorder, phobic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as a panic attack, the traditional treatment strategy normally entails a combination of drug and talk treatment.

What is an Anxiousness Problem?

The typical style across a lot of anxiety-type problems recognized in the DSM-IV ™ is the expression of fears that are unreasonable and usually not based on truth. The trouble is both persistent as well as prevalent throughout numerous elements of a person’s life. In extreme circumstances, the fears and also associated feelings hinder a person’s capability to deal with day-to-day life. Anxiety can take place at the minimum level than a full-on stress and anxiety disorder. Test anxiety is an excellent example of an irrational worry that people establish, which in turn negatively influences their ability to perform well on a test. Individuals who experience examination anxiety may or may not meet the analysis criteria for an anxiousness problem, yet situationally, their sensations of anxiety can be similarly as debilitating.

Anxiousness is a mental and also emotional state (in the head) that is shared in a selection of terms: heart battering, trembling, problem breathing, breast as well as abdominal discomfort, queasiness, dizziness, uneasiness, fatigue, keyed-up, irritable, trouble resting as well as/ or focusing, muscular tension, and severe fear (of death, loss of control, as well as insanity). For the most part, the sensations are known as inner kinesthetic representations. This means the feelings of stress and anxiety are felt (kinesthetic) internally as an action to the irrational ideas and anxieties. Interestingly, the summaries supplied in the DSM-IV TM are cognitive-based. The ideas, as well as concerns, may be irrational creations of the mind, however, the responses to the occasions are physical. This article will certainly concentrate on just how to treat stress and anxiety conditions in such a way that alters the interior representations.

Sorts Of Internal Depictions

Interior depictions are the ways we consider representing the globe in our minds. They are developed as a result of sensory input (seeing, hearing, touching, sampling, and scenting) we receive from the outdoors. When it comes to anxiousness, internal representations are developed, not always from the info we obtain from the outside world, yet as altered representations produced in the mind. As an example, an individual that suffers from arachnophobia (a severe fear of spiders) at the mere mention of the words spider might produce an image in their head of a substantial crawler that is scarier and extra frightening than any kind of actual crawler they might experience. That photo is both Aesthetically produced (Vc) and also inside Kinesthetic (Ki) due to the physical reaction the individual feels.

Because different people have different handling techniques, reliable treatment of stress and anxiety disorders needs to include the exploration of an individual’s representational strategy-how the procedure and storing information in memory. Many individuals, even those without an anxiousness problem, engage in unfavorable and also suicidal self-talk. That is, they say things to themselves like “I could never do that”, “I’m not good enough for … “, or “I’m not wise enough to … “. The adverse self-talk creates what is called an Auditory Digital (Ad) interior depiction that after that may be expressed with a Kinesthetic (Ki) reaction such as muscular tissue tension, shortness of breath, etc. When a person’s method involves several representational systems overlapping and interacting, the techniques include synesthesia-a perceptual condition of combined experiences.

Our “As If” World

Why do individuals make use of synesthesia as a handling method? According to Ericksonian specialist David Higgins, most of us stay in an “as if” world. We regularly make guesses about what will certainly take place next. We justify this habit by thinking our guesses are based upon past experiences, however actually, they are future-produced hallucinations. As such, they have the prospective to produce feelings of hope or concern, happiness or pain. This is an active ongoing process that can be healthy and balanced and invigorating. If the depictions go awry, nonetheless, it can create feelings of stress and anxiety and also anxiety connected with anxiousness problems. Extreme anxiety is a disorder of the “As if” procedure that arises from cognitive distortions of the inner representations.

How to Treat Anxiety Disorders by Changing Internal Representations

Some of the most debilitating effects of anxiety disorders are the kinesthetic (feeling) responses that interfere with the ability to function. If an individual is experiencing a pounding heart, shortness of breath, and muscle tension, it will be very difficult for them to participate in any sort of cognitive task (work, school, sports, etc) including talk therapy. The physical response will take overshadow any ability to reason. As such, one of the first steps to treatment should be to identify the individual’s strategy for forming internal representations, and then create what is known in the Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) world as a Resource Anchor or anchoring a resource state. A resource state is a mental state that represents the thoughts and feelings a person desires such as calmness, joy, satisfaction, or confidence. The resource state can be anchored in such as way that the individual can access it whenever anxiety becomes an issue.

How to Anchor a Resource State

Identify a mental state you would like to experience more often (E.g., confident, content, empowered, relaxed, etc).

Identify a specific time when you fully experienced that state. Relive the experience. See through your own eyes, hear through your own ears and feel the sensations in your body.

Select an anchor by choosing a part of your body that is easy for you to touch, but not a part that is usually touched during daily activities. Examples of possible anchor locations include an earlobe, knuckle, skin between two fingers, etc.

Re-access the resource experience you identified in step 2. As you feel that the state is about to reach its maximum intensity (just before the peak experience), touch or squeeze the part of your body you selected as your anchor site. Adjust the pressure of your touch to match the degree of intensity of your feeling of the resource state.

Repeat step 4 as often as necessary, each time enhancing your experience of the state. NOTE: If done correctly, you should need to anchor the feeling only once to be effective.

Test your anchor by clearing your mind and simply touching your self-anchor experience. Touching your anchor site should bring back the desired feeling or emotional state. If it doesn’t, repeat the anchoring process until it does work.

Once you have easy access to your resource state, it should be simple to access the relaxed, confident, or other desired state you anchored. There are no limits to the number of anchors you can create. Just be careful to select different anchor sites unless you are stacking anchors to make one anchor especially intense.

It is also possible to create internal anchors by imaging a color vividly in your mind’s eye. You can then associate the imagined color with a desired feeling or state.

Other Tools for Reducing Treating Anxiety Disorders


Reframing is an NLP that involves using language patterns to “reframe” the perceptual distortions typical of anxiety disorders. Nothing that exists in this world has meaning on its own. People assign meaning according to their beliefs, values, likes and dislikes, and other preoccupations. The meaning of an experience, then, is dependent on the context of the experience. Reframing is a strategy that works to change the way someone perceives an event and thereby changes the meaning. When the meaning changes, the response, and behavior also change.

Alter the Submodalities

In NLP, submodalities are the specific characteristics of Internal Representation. For instance, we’ve already mentioned Visual and one form of internal representation. Visual images have distinctive characteristics like black and white vs. color, near or far, do you see yourself in the picture or are you looking through your own eyes, size of the picture, and bright or dull. Sometimes changing the submodalities of an experience can reduce the intensity of the experience.

Integrating Beliefs

It was stated earlier that anxiety disorders are based on irrational thoughts and feelings. Anxiety and panic responses are incongruent with the rest of a person’s life. It’s as if the part of the person that is in control at the time of the panic or anxiety attack has its own intentions, beliefs, and behavior that are different from the intentions, beliefs, and behavior of the same person when they are calm. There are numerous NLP techniques that are useful for integrating the parts to create congruency in the person’s thoughts and feelings and eliminating the irrational thoughts and feelings that create anxiety. Examples of these techniques include, but are not limited to: Parts Integration, Timeline Therapy, Mental Emotional Release, and Core Transformation TM.


The purpose of this article was not to argue with techniques for treating anxiety disorders involving medication and traditional counseling approaches. Rather, it was to describe approaches that deal directly with the source of the problem that is common to all anxiety-related disorders. Working with internal representations and their submodalities offers new options for individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders as well as for people who work to treat anxiety disorders in everyday practice. The combinations of techniques that are a part of the practice of NLP are relatively easy to use and have a lower risk factor than some of the more traditional approaches to treatment.

For more detailed manuals and advice about this topic, please contact KEIKE MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS.

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