Michael Byrne, ND, MA
Psychotherapist, Naturopathic Physician
Seattle Healing Arts Center
9730 3rd Ave. NE, Suite 208
Seattle, WA 98115 [map]
(206) 428-2067


Do you find yourself feeling anxious, on edge, unsure, confused about what to do or where to go next? Perhaps you feel overwhelmed or out-of-control, even panicked at times. Anxiety takes many different forms, and these days there is a lot of it going around. When anxiety takes hold, it is hard to be our best self. It is hard to break out of our comfort zone, to risk. Our world gets smaller instead of bigger. The possibilities seem more distant, less possible. And that’s if we can see any attractive possibilities at all.

Strategies for help

There are many ways to break out of a cycle of worry and anxiety. Plenty of books outline strategies that can help you overcome chronic anxiety. And it has been shown that self-help books can be as effective as counseling in helping people overcome all sorts of mental and emotional challenges. It all depends on your inclination. Certainly it means you have to read the book, do the exercises at the end of each chapter, etc. In short, just like in therapy, you have to show up. If you are the type who can get a lot out of reading a book, go to the bookstore and let yourself browse until you find a book that speaks to you.

If you feel that you would be better served by working with a live human, be encouraged that again, there are many ways to go. Counselors, pastors, shamans, friends, teachers, psychotherapists, coaches, nutritionists, doctors, body workers, acupuncturists, etc. can all be helpful. Take some time to think about what kinds of approaches you are interested in. Think about what types of things you are currently willing to do in order to help yourself. You may not know the answers to these, and all of it can change. Don’t worry, you just need a place to start. Once you have chosen a route to take, find a practitioner whom you feel comfortable with. I have found that you will know within just a few sessions (and sometimes within just a few minutes!) if the practitioner you are meeting is right for you. Follow this link to read more on finding the right practitioner.

Don’t give up

I have experience working with people suffering from the worst forms of anxiety (PTSD, phobias, panic disorder) as well as the more common generalized anxiety and situational anxieties. I am here to let you know that there is a way out, and I can help you find that. Each of us is unique, and each of us has our own journey to take. I make a concerted effort to meet you where you are at, and to provide a direction in our sessions that matches your inclinations and personality.

Don’t give up! And don’t delay on finding the support you need. Do it now. Even just a short inspiring story, or a walk in the rain, or a warm cup of tea and a call to a friend can start to turn things around. Help is closer than you might imagine. In fact, it is as close as you can imagine.

Anxiety Exercise

Here’s a quick exercise: Think about someone in your life, alive or dead, who was a great support for you sometime in your life. I would suggest not picking mom or dad, since those relationships are more complicated, but rather someone whom you have just felt positive feelings from. Perhaps a teacher from childhood or an uncle. If you do not have anyone like that you can think of, then think of an inspiring character from a book or movie that you love.

Once you have picked someone, close your eyes and imagine they are with you. Now pose a question or share with them your present stuggles. Then let them respond to you. Imagine their response. You may think this is just your imagination, but I’ll bet that you can come up with what they would say pretty accurately. Listen to them. Feel their love for you. Continue being with them until the experience is done. End the experience with thanking them.

Wishing you all the love in the world.