Anxiety Therapy and Counselling in Edinburgh

Counselling, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and CBT are provided for anxiety related issues in Edinburgh. Stuart is a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional to international standards.

Anxiety Disorder Specialist

Anxiety Disorder Specialist

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a nervous elevated emotion that we feel when we perceive danger, risk or feel emotional stress. It is a normal part of life, but can become a problem if it is triggered inappropriately, or becomes associated with things that should not create anxiety. It can also become a condition or state which exists without triggers. This can last for periods of time and is considered a mental health condition. There are also personality disorders where anxiety is a primary feature. Diagnosis medically include generalized anxiety disorder, anxious personality disorder and clinical anxiety.

“I get the sweats and feel shaky”
“I’m feeling scared and anxious”

“My breathing gets fast and I get chest tightness”
“I blush / flush and feel self conscious”
“I wish the ground would open up and swallow me”
“I can’t face seeing people”
“I keep panicking”

“There’s no way I could go out”
“I feel so nervous I feel sick”
“I need a drink to talk to anyone, and sometimes then I get a bit nuts”

Physical presentation of anxiety

Stress and anxiety can trigger a range of physical responses. The most obvious is the flight or fight response. Actually it should be consider flight, fight or disassociate response.  When confronted by a perceived danger the body gears up to fight, run away or to “play possum”. Actual physical changes occur including changes to breathing, blood flow, hormone levels and sensory processing. The condition known as a panic attack commonly occurs.

Long term effects can include psychosomatic disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, non epileptic attack disorder, psychosomatic skin conditions, anxiety related asthma and even high blood pressure. Pain can also be experienced, the most well known being tension headaches.

Causes of Anxiety

Anxiety typically is either triggered by something, such as a noise, smell, person or place, or it can remain in place as a state of anxiety in the longer term. Anxiety is either a learnt response based on previous experience, or caused by developmental problems such as fear of rejection, judgement or abandonment.

Anxiety is often thought of in psychodynamic theory as a surface symptom, in other words how something deeper rooted “turns up”. Analytic work therefore looks to address the deeper causes, while mindfulness based or cognitive behavioural therapies might better manage the surface levels.

Anxiety is often thought of as an affect regulation difficulty. In other words developmental psychology has caused the person to be unable to manage triggers and stimulation and resolve their own anxiety. This is the link between the underlying developmental cause, and the surface presentation.

Neurology advances in recent years means that we have an excellent understanding of how anxiety works, and how to effectively treat the two main pathways of anxiety, the rapid neuroception response (triggers) and the slower perceptual response (including OCD and rumination).

Treating Anxiety

NICE recommend CBT based psychological therapies.  Anxiety UK recommend CBT, counselling therapies and hypnotherapy. Psychoanalysis can be used to look at the deeper issues and causes. Mindfulness and relaxation can help in reducing the effects of anxiety.

Recent developments in Neurology have meant that anxiety treatments are now guided (with enlightened and trained therapists) by hard science. Stuart has completed new neurology based training for better treatment, management and long term thriving.

Anxiety issues stem from two sources: previous experiences, and stress management issues. Developmental issues are best addressed with analysis, stress management issues with hypnotherapy and analysis combined. Elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are used in many cases of anxiety management in order to promote new self empowering behaviours and perceptions. Anxiety UK recommend counselling, cognitive behavioural psychological therapies and clinical hypnotherapy for a range of anxiety conditions. NICE recommend high intensity psychological therapies including CBT and applied relaxation (hypnotherapy for example) as well as psychological education for self management.

In extreme cases of anxiety, depression, mood disorder or Bipolar, Cognitive Behavioural Analysis is recommended, and this is provided by Stuart. CBA has been found to be highly effective when combined with ongoing medical support for serious cases, with study showing 85% effectiveness in combination. [Keller, M. et al. A Comparison of Nefazodone, the Cognitive Behavioural-Analysis System of Psychotherapy, and Their Combination for the Treatment of Chronic Depression. New England Journal of Medicine Volume 342:1462-1470 May 18, 2000. ]

As well as dealing with the surface level symptom of anxiety, depression or mood disorder, analysis can be used to treat the underlying developmental psychology of the client, from which the affect dysregulation originates.

According to  Jarosz (2017) Anxiety can be assisted with coaching, Ghahari (2020) MBCT is effective with GAD and anxiety, according to Zhou et al (2020) MBSR is effective with young peiople with anxiety.

Jarosz (2017) “An integrative literature review on the impact of life coaching on courage, fear and anxiety”  Suite Coaching, Barcelona, Spain Contact Email:

Ghahari, S., Mohammadi, -Hasel Kourosh, Malakouti, S. K., & Roshanpajouh, M. (n.d.).(2020) Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for generalised anxiety disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. East Asian Archives of Psychiatry, 30(2), 52–56.

Zhou, X., Guo, J., Lu, G., Chen, C., Xie, Z., Liu, J., & Zhang, C. (2020). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on anxiety symptoms in young people: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychiatry Research, 289, 113002.


Obsessive behaviours or thoughts are very common with long term anxiety and these can be scary, inconvenient and lead to even more anxiety. OCD requires retraining the perception systems in the brain and learning methods of toleration and disruption of the old patterns.

Help with anxiety in Edinburgh

Stuart provides psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, counselling, mindfulness and CBT based psychological therapies in Edinburgh.

Stuart has completed Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP), a post graduate and post qualification award available internationally for specialists in anxiety.

key words: Anxiety, anxious, anxious personality disorder, generalized anxiety disorder,  clinical anxiety, stress and anxiety, panic attacks, fear, phobia, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, counselling, psychoanalyst, analyst, psychotherapist, counsellor, mindfulness, CBT, OCD, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Dublin, Glasgow

Contact via the contact us page HERE

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