Sunday’s Great Anxiety Treatment Debate: Techniques VS Strategies

August 24, 2014

I wanted to spur a little debate when it comes to todays treatments for anxiety. Many online anxiety and panic attack ‘gurus’ have made quite a living by selling certain techniques that make us believe will lead to an instant cure for anxiety and panic attacks. But they’re not the only ones, many therapists for anxiety/panic disorder today are more then happy to jump on the techniques and trickery bandwagon as well.

I have no problem with techniques to deal with anxiety and panic attacks, but what happens when they stop working or don’t work at all?

The problem I see when so called ‘experts’ hand out these miracle anxiety curing techniques, is that they mask a problem that doesn’t neccessarily take care of the main issue. Take for instance panic attacks, when someone comes to me for coaching advice on dealing with panic attacks I know exactly what that person is dealing with.

“Within 5 minutes of speaking with the panic attack sufferer, I know how deep their pain truly goes”

At this point there are two things I can do:

how to handle anxiety and panic attacks

Now there’s the road you want to be on.

1) Sit down with that person suffering from panic attacks, and give them certain techniques and coping scenarios that will lead to a windy road that takes them around the problem, sometimes.

2) Show them a set strategy that tackles the thought process and actions that leads to full blown panic attacks. Thus moving them through and with their fears in a systematic and guided fashion that builds confidence in the face of their fears.

Do you see the difference?

This is why i’m not a big fan of these itty bitty techniques that only help people cope with anxiety and panic attacks. I believe that in order to turn a monster into a fly, you have to show that monster that you won’t be pushed around by his intimidating ways.

But can a technique be implemented into a strategy to overcome anxiety and panic attacks?

I guess, but it shouldn’t be the end all be all when it comes to the way you handle your anxious conditioning. So here’s my humble advice if you are one of those sufferers searching frantically online for a solution to your bewildering state:

If someone’s idea of treating your anxiety falls solely into the category of techniques and tricks to help you cope, stand up and walk out the door. Find someone who’s been in your anxious shoes, and ask for some concrete and proven advice that leads to a strategy for handling your anxiety and panic attacks naturally.

If you were an expert on the subject of anxiety would you be more on the side of techniques, strategies or a little bit of both? Share your insights in the comments section below.


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5 comments on “Sunday’s Great Anxiety Treatment Debate: Techniques VS Strategies

  1. I am not at all a fan of systems, programs, one-size-fits-all solutions or whatever is being pitched. They’re over-peddled. Each individual’s situation and needs is unique. You cannot simply slap a canned remedy on it or fire a silver bullet. A coach needs to first and foremost listen; then listen some more. Only after having joint clarity about what *specifically* someone wants to address can a collaborative exploration begin. At some later point in the process, actions can be considered once there is discovery.

    This is a legitimate debate, Dennis. I believe I hear and lean more toward the manner in which you approach a client’s circumstances.

    Just maybe, in some cases, it’s neither a strategy nor a technique that’s applicable. 🙂

  2. Susan Harrie Aug 25, 2014

    The link does not work. Susan



  3. In favor of working hard on yourself. Accepting your conditions, tackling your anxiety trough exposure, visualisating, meditation, bodyscans etc.

    But also magic cures, like good multivamins, magnesium, theanine etc. Can be lifesavers.
    But BIGGG … excercises made me chronic hyperventilation go away, which was a miracle. And there are 1000 of people saying the same. Just by forcing the breath.
    Now i just have some anxieties left. And they will pass to over time.

  4. Dennis Simsek Aug 25, 2014

    Thank you for your input everyone.

  5. Hi Dennis,

    Great info…thank you.

    To answer your question………if I were an expert on the subject of anxiety, I would be on the side of whatever worked. I would be willing to utilize techniques, strategies or a little bit of both.

    Every human being is an individual. Their lives are unique, their anxiety disorder, if they are struggling with one is unique and what they may or may not need is also unique. One size does NOT fit all.

    I am also a big believer in alternative healing methods. I’ve personally experienced great success in my life through acupunture, herbal therapy, long term Rolfing, yoga, Bach flower essence therapies, homeopathy, craniopathy and Reiki. If the client was willing I would explore alternative therapies as well.

    I would focus on a long term plan with short term review increments and a willingness to adjust my program to help the special unique needs of the person I was working with.

    In my humble opinion I don’t think it’s essential to be an anxiety sufferer to help others, but I think it’s a major advantage in so many ways. Just like a person who has never suffered from an eating disorder may not understand the demons that can reside in a grocery store, how can a person who has never dealt with anxiety really understand the traumas it entails?