A new learning resource has launched in the UK for counsellors and therapists working with people who suffer from anxiety.
The Anxiety Workbook, which sets out guidelines on identifying and managing anxiety, as well as simple relaxation methods, such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation and visualisation, has been co-written by two of the nation’s leading anxiety specialists, Susan Watson and Susie Lawrence.
It’s designed to help therapists spot the causes and symptoms of anxiety and provide them with the various tools and techniques needed to support their clients.
Co-author Susan Watson is an anxiety, trauma and emotions specialist who runs Perfect Solutions Coaching near Edinburgh. She is a senior therapist supervisor, trainer and speaker, as well as an accredited Anxiety UK Approved Therapist and CNHC Local Champion.
Prior to the pandemic, Susan ran a series of empowerment workshops across Scotland to help adults, teens, children and workplaces boost their resilience and self-esteem.
More recently, she has been supporting people in and around Edinburgh with anxiety issues during the lockdown for free.
Since social distancing measures came into force in March, she has moved many of her services online and continues to offer a range of specialist therapies, including hypnotherapy, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), mindfulness, stress management, EFT (emotional freedom technique), and IEMT (integral eye movement therapy).
She now hopes this new workbook will help fellow therapists support other people experiencing general anxiety and other mental health issues, such as phobias, panic attacks, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), which are likely to be more prolific at this time.
She said: “With one in three people in the UK experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety, it’s important therapists have a practical toolkit they can turn to.
“Susie and I couldn’t find anything out there that ticked all the boxes, so we co-wrote our own resource packed with tips and techniques for practising therapists.
“The workbook is a combination of both our work over the years and offers helpful information on the nature and forms of anxiety, as well as the neuroscience behind it, and many methods and exercises therapists can use with their clients.”
Co-author Susie, whose Piece of Minds clinics in Wrawby, Sheffield and Doncaster usually see dozens of anxiety sufferers every week, specialises in treating a wide range of mental health concerns, from eating, sleep and sexual disorders to panic, fear and stress.
She is a senior qualified hypnotherapy practitioner and occupational stress consultant with many other strings to her bow and specialises in a range of holistic therapies such as reiki, lymphatic drainage and acupuncture.
Susie, who usually delivers empowerment workshops for adults, teens and children in England, has also been working free of charge to support people during lockdown.
She said: “During the pandemic, I’ve had many referrals for people who have limited coping skills because of the unusual circumstances they are facing.
“Many are fearful and worry about their family and, of course, the financial implications of lockdown.
“We hope this workbook will help counsellors and therapists support people during what is a really difficult time.”
Susan and Susie have also developed a specialist workbook for counsellors and therapists working with children and teenagers.
Both workbooks are currently available as e-books, priced £19.97 and £32.75 respectively.