Early on in my practice, I worked with a professional in the legal industry. He had been steadily rising in the ranks at his firm and felt on top of the world. It was not uncommon for him to “be concerned about work”, but he was able to manage a lot of the worry through physical exercise and simply pushing through the anxiety. Though he had experienced many years of stomach distress, sleepless nights and “strange headaches”, he seemed to bounce back after some time off. He reached out to me when he began to have anxiety attacks in the mornings before work.
Though it was difficult to admit feeling insecure to family or friends, in the therapy office, he found a place to talk about the burdens of work without feeling judged. We identified where his super high expectations originated and how those created the anxiety he lived with daily. After we worked together, he was able to recognize what triggered anxious feelings so they weren’t coming out of nowhere. He learned how to slow reactive thoughts and calm his emotions so he could move on with his day.
He was no longer plagued with perfectionism to overcompensate a fear of failure. He began to remember why he chose his profession. He also re-prioritized work so that he had time to do other things that allowed him to feel acceptable, confident and happy.
Its stories like these that encourage me to do what I do. Growing up with a father who was a workaholic, and being a business owner myself, I was primed for perfectionism in the workplace. What was helpful for me in my own therapy, was learning skills to be and feel successful. Had I not had the therapy experience, I wouldn’t understand the role emotions play in our thinking, perceptions and decision making…and my practice might not be where it is today. With so many of us overwhelmed by work, it was an easy decision for me to focus my professional life on helping people regain their sense of self; one that isn’t wrapped around external feedback such as achievement and accolades.
I would love to hear your story. Please either call me at 404-386-1896 or email me through the Contact page. I look forward to talking with you.
PS – for those that may be interested, please go to Credentials for more information. Thanks!
404-386-1896 Vicki@Sundancetherapy.net 1788-B Century Blvd Atlanta, GA 30345
Vicki Smith, LPC