Austin Anxiety Counseling

A Few Words from Your Austin Anxiety Counselor and Therapist

Carolyn C. Martin, MS, LPC, LMFT

5808 Balcones Dr, Ste 201
Austin, Texas 78731


Woman suffering from anxietyAnxiety is part of life and therefore unavoidable. A little anxiety is good. It motivates us to take actions and gets us prepared for difficult tasks. But, like salt and pepper, too much anxiety, at best, can become problematic. At worst, it can be incapacitating. An estimated 15% of Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder.

Is there only one kind of anxiety?

Some common anxiety disorders include the following:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder — This is a common form of worry where sufferers are filled with negative questions and dwell endless on "what if’s." The endless worry saps energy, destroys interest in life and prompts frequent mood swings.
  • Social anxiety — This is when you feel that you are being watched and judged by others, even if rationally you know that this is not the case. In its milder forms, social anxiety can create extreme self-consciousness in the presence of others; but in its severe form, it can be debilitating, leading sufferers to avoid social situations altogether.
  • Phobias — This is an excessive, unrealistic, uncontrollable fear elicited by a particular object or situation. Often the fear is focused on something that normally doesn’t produce fear in most people, such as the fear of cats.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder — This is when obsessions are persistent, recurrent ideas and impulses that appear senseless and cannot be ignored. Compulsions are repetitive and to relieve tension, must be performed in order.
  • Panic attacks — This is a general feeling of terror lasting several minutes. A person engulfed in a panic attack usually experiences a racing or pounding heart, sometimes even pain or heaviness in the chest. Breathing becomes difficult. The body trembles and hands turn clammy. The person may notice tingling in their hands and feet, sometimes in their arms and legs. They may start to feel light-headed. Victims frequently feel as if they are going crazy and often are so frightened they may wonder whether they will survive the episode. Often, the attacks come out of the blue, for no apparent reason. Or, they can come on when a person is coping with extreme stress.

What is the treatment for anxiety?

Even though you have tried relaxation or stress management, if anxiety is interfering with your work or personal life, setting an appointment for a consultation can help you find the right treatment for your anxiety. Treatment will be tailored to your specific concerns and may include any of the following:

  • Cognitive Therapy — Focuses on understanding your thought patterns and helps you separate unrealistic thoughts from realistic thoughts.
  • Behavior Therapy — Focuses on the ways your body overacts to worry.
  • Relaxation Training — Focuses on thoughts that are particularly pleasant and calming.
  • Desensitization — Focuses on gradually and safely exposing you to source of your anxiety, until over time, the source no longer causes you anxiety.
  • Medication — Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications are most effective in combination with psychotherapy.

How would I know if I’m worrying too much?

When anxiety moves beyond an occasional wave of apprehension to becoming a constant and dominating force in your life, you need to take steps to curb your anxiety.

Can too much stress cause anxiety?

Too many changes in a short time can cause high levels of stress and therefore lead to anxiety. If you would like to gage how much stress you have been experiencing, click on How Stressed Are You?

At Mariposa Psychotherapy Services, your therapist will spend some time getting to know you and your specific situation and symptoms. We may even ask you to speak to your doctor and get a physical. Once enough data has been collected, you and your therapist will decide on which course of action is best for you. Successful treatment of anxiety often involves a combination of regular psychotherapy sessions and life style changes, but may also include a recommendation for medication.

Psychotherapy, or "talk therapy," is an important part of treatment of anxiety for many people. It can sometimes work alone in cases of mild to moderate anxiety, or it can be used in conjunction with other treatments. Good therapy can help you modify behavioral or emotional patterns that contribute to your anxiety.

You can reach Carolyn C. Martin, M.S., L.P.C., L.M.F.T. at 512-795-0402.

Or, you can email me at