East Melbourne Psychology

Quality Counselling from Experienced Clinical Psychologists


Most people at one time or another will experience some anxiety. It’s a normal response to a stressor. The anxiety serves a function in that it mobilises us to be able to respond effectively to whatever the stressor is. When the anxiety is ‘normal’, it is manageable. However, when the anxiety level is extreme, the person will struggle to come up with an effective way to respond to the stressful situation.

Symptoms of anxiety might include:

  • Persistent worrying thoughts
  • Physical symptoms such as upset stomach/nausea or headache, racing heart, trembling, shortness
    of breath or difficulty breathing, restlessness.
  • Emotional outbursts that might include anger or irrational behaviour
  • Irritability
  • Avoidance behaviours

There is no single cause of anxiety. Often a number of factors play a part in the likelihood of someone developing an anxiety disorder. These factors can include how a person thinks, what life experiences they have had or their tendency towards certain ways of behaving. Research also suggests that hereditary factors play a part, with people who have a family history of anxiety are more likely to experience anxiety themselves.

When a person seeks help for anxiety, the therapist will do a thorough assessment that will consider all of these factors in determining what treatment path to take.