Visit the Anxiety Clinic at Newcastle Psychology & Health and let us help you.
The Newcastle Psychology & Health Anxiety Clinic
Welcome to the Newcastle Psychology & Health Anxiety Clinic.
This clinic is part of our ongoing commitment to the mental health of people in the Hunter and surrounding regions. We are very pleased to be able to assist those with anxiety who feel that it is impairing or ruining their life. We understand only too well that anxiety is a thief and can rob us of our quality of life. Our team of psychologists is very experienced and has undertaken extra training as part of their commitment to doing the best job that evidence-based practice allows in treating anxiety in all its forms.
Anxiety is something we all experience from time to time. Even the most confident person will have anxious thoughts or feelings occasionally, so from that point of view, we would say that anxiety is perfectly normal and pretty typical for most people. However, for some people, anxiety is more than just a passing though inconvenient nuisance. Sadly for some, it can become a destructive and even paralysing force that can overflow into all areas of life. In Australia, one in four people will experience significant anxiety in their lifetime and approximately 14% will have a more serious diagnosable anxiety disorder. So if you are one of those Australians, then know, you are not alone.
The good news is that anxiety responds extremely well to focused psychological treatment. If you are struggling with an anxiety condition, then let us help you.
The NPH Anxiety Clinic has a team of two very experienced psychologists working to assist you with any anxiety issues, no matter how debilitating.
Dr Stuart Edser
All of us continue to undertake dedicated training in anxiety each year so that we are up-to-date in the latest thinking – and learning new techniques as we up-skill to ensure we can offer the best treatment. All of us too are mature individuals with plenty of life experience; a real bonus for many people as they seek a clinician who feels like they are on their wavelength. Try not to worry about making an appointment and seeking help. Just do it. Don’t think it through too much or you might just talk yourself out of getting the help you need. If you are worried about coming along, then that’s a pretty good sign that you need to. Be absolutely sure that we will make you feel very welcome and do our best to put you at your ease as we begin to hear your story and plan the best way forward for you.
Appointments can be made by phoning the general office whose hours of operation are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Alternately, you can contact us via our dedicated email facility. All Contact details can be located on our Contact Us page.
We do request that prospective anxiety clients tell the staff that they would like to see someone from the Anxiety Clinic.
A Medicare rebate is available for those with a Mental Health Plan. See our FAQ page for details.
There are a number of relaxation and hypnosis MP3s recorded by Dr Stuart Edser available for purchase in the NPH Store that you may also find helpful. The NPH Store tab can be found on the Home Page.
We look forward very much to hearing from you soon and welcoming you into the NPH Anxiety Clinic.
Anyone can see a Psychologist. A referral is not necessary. However, Medicare does provide a sizable rebate to see a Psychologist under its Better Access to Mental Health initiative if the client obtains a Mental Health Plan (MHP) from a GP or Psychiatrist. Anxiety is most definitely covered under ‘Better Access’ for this purpose so it is well worth your while in making a trip to your doctor to organise a MHP to gain some financial assistance from Medicare in order to see us at the Anxiety Clinic. Besides, its good to have your doctor working with us and ‘in the loop’ so to speak as we commence treatment for anxiety.
Take a look at our FAQ page to see the details of how Medicare and the ‘Better Access’ initiative work.
The MHP provides for ten sessions divided into two segments:
(1). six sessions (followed by a review with the referring doctor), then
(2). four sessions
The MHP is good for twelve months from the date of its writing.
Common Anxiety Disorders
The following anxiety disorders are all commonly experienced to one degree or another by many Australians. At NPH, we treat all these disorders and use a mix of best-practice modalities to do so.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
This disorder sees anxiety get generalised from something specific to other situations, and can then become overwhelming or associated with life in general. Typically GAD develops over a period of time and may not be noticed until it is significant enough to cause problems with functioning. GAD is evidenced by general feelings of anxiety such as mild heart palpitations, dizziness, and excessive worry. The symptoms are difficult to control for the individual, are not related to a specific event and are typically experienced as mild to moderate in severity.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
Sometimes called social phobia, SAD is associated with extreme anxiety and fear of being around groups of people, unknown people, socialising or being the centre of attention, as in presenting a report at work. It is most typically associated with the fear of being evaluated or judged.
Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety (ADA)
Adjustment Disorder is suggested when a significantly more difficult adjustment to a difficult life situation occurs than would normally be expected considering the circumstances. When this adjustment causes significant problems for an abnormal length of time, it may be considered an adjustment disorder.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
The key features of this disorder include obsessions (persistent, often irrational, and seemingly uncontrollable thoughts) and compulsions (actions which are used to neutralise the obsessions). A good example of this would be an individual who has thoughts that he is dirty, infected, or otherwise unclean which are persistent and uncontrollable. In order to feel better, he washes his hands numerous times throughout the day, gaining temporary relief from the thoughts each time. For these behaviours to constitute OCD, it must be disruptive to everyday functioning (such as compulsive checking before leaving the house making you extremely late for all or most appointments, washing to the point of excessive irritation of your skin, or inability to perform everyday functions like work or school because of the obsessions or compulsions).
Acute Stress Disorder (ASD)
Acute Stress Disorder is a result of a traumatic event in which the person experienced or witnessed an event that involved threatened or actual serious injury or death and responded with intense fear and helplessness. Symptoms include dissociative symptoms such as numbing, detachment, a reduction in awareness of the surroundings, derealisation, or depersonalisation; re-experiencing of the trauma, avoidance of associated stimuli, and significant anxiety, including irritability, poor concentration, difficulty sleeping, and restlessness. The symptoms must be present for a minimum of two days and a maximum of four weeks and must occur within four weeks of the traumatic event for a diagnosis to be made.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD always follows a traumatic event which causes intense fear and/or helplessness in an individual. Typically the symptoms develop shortly after the event, but may take years. The duration for symptoms is at least one month for this diagnosis. Symptoms include re-experiencing the trauma through nightmares, obsessive thoughts, and flashbacks (feeling as if you are actually in the traumatic situation again). There is an avoidance component as well, where the individual avoids situations, people, and/or objects which remind him or her about the traumatic event (e.g., a person experiencing PTSD after a serious car accident might avoid driving or being a passenger in a car). Finally, there is increased anxiety in general, possibly with a heightened startle response (e.g., very jumpy, startle easy by noises). Psychological treatment is considered the most effective means to recovery from PTSD, although some medications (such as anti-anxiety meds) can help alleviate some symptoms during the treatment process.
Panic Disorder (PD)
Characterized by sudden attacks of intense fear or anxiety, Panic Disorder is usually associated with numerous physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, rapid breathing or shortness of breath, blurred vision, dizziness, and racing thoughts. Often these symptoms are thought to be a heart attack by the individual, and many cases are diagnosed in hospital emergency rooms. Although medication can be useful, psychotherapy (especially behavioural and cognitive/behavioural approaches have proved very successful). The key to treatment is accepting the panic attacks as psychological rather than physical (once these causes have been ruled out by a physician), practicing relaxation exercises, and working through the underlying issues.
PD can be diagnosed with or without agoraphobia which, like other phobias, is made up of extreme anxiety and fear. Different from other phobias, however, is the generalisation which occurs. Agoraphobia is the anxiety about being in places where escape might be difficult or embarrassing or in which help may not be available should a panic attack develop.
Often a traumatic event is the precursor for a phobia, which may or may not be at the conscious level. Symptoms include extreme anxiety and fear associated with the object or situation and avoidance. Treatment is often behavioural in nature, with the therapist guiding the client through exercises more closely resembling the feared object or situation. Exploring underlying issues can also be beneficial.
With a combination of education and therapy our team of dedicated psychologists
can help you reclaim your life.