The Best Anxiety Counselling Calgary

Takeaway: If you frequently feel overwhelmed by worry, it might be a sign that something more serious is going on. Calgary anxiety counselling can give you the strategies you need to feel more grounded in your day-to-day life.

We all feel anxious sometimes, but do you feel stress, fear, or a sense of panic all the time?

When someone is experiencing anxiety, they may feel a sense of overwhelming worry, fear, or apprehension. Physical manifestations like increased heart rate, muscle tension, and restlessness are common, contributing to a heightened state of stress. Racing thoughts and difficulty concentrating often accompany anxiety, and individuals may also experience symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, and sleep disturbances.

It's essential to recognize these signs and seek professional support to effectively manage and alleviate anxiety symptoms, promoting overall mental well-being.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal, natural, and healthy human experience; it is a protective response to a dangerous or unpredictable situation that may create feelings of fear, dread, and uneasiness.

Anxiety disorders can manifest in various forms, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and others, each presenting unique symptoms and challenges. Seeking professional help can provide individuals with coping strategies and support to manage anxiety effectively.

What’s the difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder?

Anxiety is a natural response to stress, but when it becomes excessive and persistent, it may indicate an anxiety disorder. Commonly searched terms related to this distinction include:


Anxiety is a normal emotional response characterized by feelings of worry, fear, or unease. It is a part of the body's natural "fight or flight" response to stressors and can be a motivating force to address challenges. Everyday anxiety is temporary and situational, often dissipating once the stressor is removed or resolved.

Anxiety Disorder:

An anxiety disorder, on the other hand, involves persistent and heightened levels of anxiety that go beyond what is considered normal. Individuals with anxiety disorders may experience intense, irrational fears or worries that interfere with their daily lives. Common anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and others, each with specific symptoms and diagnostic criteria.

Understanding the difference is crucial, as while occasional anxiety is a normal part of life, an anxiety disorder may require professional intervention and therapeutic approaches, including cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), medication, or a combination of treatments. If you suspect you or someone you know is struggling with an anxiety disorder, seeking guidance from a mental health professional is recommended.

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Calgary's Best 4 Anxiety Therapists

Kim Noll


  • Clientele:  Adults, Teens

  • Location: 3rd Floor, 4838 Richard Rd SW Suite 300, Calgary, AB T3E 6L1

  • Virtual & In person therapy?: Yes

More About Kim

Laura Laidlaw


  • Clientele:  Adults, Youth 13+

  • Location: 3rd Floor, 4503 Brisebois Dr NW 3rd Floor, Calgary, AB T2L 2G3

  • Virtual & In person therapy?: Yes

More About Laura

Marizabel Forno


  • Clientele:  Adults, couples, families, children 6+, teens

  • Location: 3rd Floor, 4838 Richard Rd SW Suite 300, Calgary, AB T3E 6L1 & 

     3rd Floor, 4503 Brisebois Dr NW 3rd Floor, Calgary, AB T2L 2G3

    Virtual & In person therapy?: Yes

More About Marizabel

Shelly Qualtieri


  • Clientele:  Adults, youth 13 +, couples

  • Location: 3rd Floor, 4503 Brisebois Dr NW 3rd Floor, Calgary, AB T2L 2G3

    Virtual & In person therapy?: Yes

More About Shelly

Types of anxiety & related disorders

Anxiety disorders are a group of similar mental disorders characterized by persistent and unwarranted feelings of fear and an impending sense of doom.

Regardless of the situations that impact your social anxiety or symptoms of a panic attack, therapy can help you develop the resilience and coping skills necessary to overcome any obstacle. Understanding which one(s) you may be struggling with can help you better manage your symptoms.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GAD is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable worry about various aspects of life, often accompanied by physical symptoms like muscle tension and restlessness. Seeking professional help for GAD can provide coping strategies to manage overwhelming anxiety, fostering a sense of calm and well-being.

Panic Disorder: People who have panic disorder experience sudden, intense episodes of fear known as panic attacks, which can come with physical symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath. Effective treatment, including therapy and medication, helps individuals regain control over their lives and reduce the frequency and severity of panic attacks.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): SAD involves an intense fear of social situations, leading to avoidance and distress in social interactions. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy are effective interventions to help individuals overcome social anxiety, promote confidence, and improve social functioning.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): is characterized by persistent, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviours or mental acts (compulsions) carried out to reduce anxiety. Specialized therapy, such as exposure and response prevention (ERP), aids individuals in managing OCD symptoms and regaining control over their daily lives.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD develops in response to a traumatic event and involves persistent re-experiencing of the trauma, avoidance, and heightened arousal. Trauma-focused therapies, like EMDR and cognitive processing therapy (CPT), assist individuals in processing and overcoming the impact of traumatic experiences, facilitating healing.

Phobias: Phobias involve an intense, irrational fear of specific objects, situations, or activities. Exposure therapy and cognitive-behavioural techniques are effective in treating phobias, enabling individuals to confront and manage their fears, leading to an increased quality of life.

Separation Anxiety Disorder: Common in children but can persist into adulthood, separation anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive distress when separated from attachment figures. Therapeutic interventions, including family therapy and cognitive-behavioural techniques, help individuals build resilience and cope with separation-related distress.

Agoraphobia: Agoraphobia involves a fear of situations or places that might be difficult to escape or where help may not be readily available. Behavioural therapies, combined with gradual exposure, assist individuals in overcoming agoraphobia, enabling them to engage in a broader range of activities.

Seeking professional help and utilizing evidence-based therapies are crucial steps in managing and overcoming anxiety disorders, promoting mental well-being, and leading a balanced life.

More information on common anxiety disorders can be found at Anxiety Canada.

anxiety counselling calgary

Our approach to anxiety therapy in Calgary

Treatment aims at uncovering what is driving and maintaining your anxiety and developing the practical skills and tools needed to enhance your resilience so you can respond with flexibility.

The professional help, new perspectives, and anxiety treatment you receive from your therapist at Shelly Qualtieri & Associates will help you build your best life when your anxiety feels debilitating.

A few therapy options for anxiety treatment through to panic disorder may include:

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT is often considered the gold standard for treating anxiety disorders. It focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviours associated with anxiety. By providing practical tools and strategies, CBT helps individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms, reducing anxiety symptoms and promoting long-term resilience.

Exposure Therapy: Exposure therapy is effective for specific anxiety disorders, such as phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It involves gradual and controlled exposure to feared situations or memories, allowing individuals to confront and overcome their fears. This process helps desensitize the anxiety response, leading to increased tolerance and decreased avoidance.

Mindfulness-Based Therapies: Mindfulness-based therapies, including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), emphasize present-moment awareness. By cultivating mindfulness skills, individuals can better manage anxious thoughts and sensations, promoting a sense of calm and reducing the impact of anxiety on daily life.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT focuses on accepting anxious thoughts and feelings rather than trying to control or eliminate them. It encourages individuals to align their actions with their values, fostering psychological flexibility and resilience. ACT is particularly beneficial for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT): DBT, initially developed for borderline personality disorder, has proven effective for anxiety disorders, especially in cases with emotional dysregulation. It combines cognitive-behavioural techniques with mindfulness and acceptance strategies, providing a comprehensive approach to managing intense emotions and reducing anxiety-related distress.

Medication Management: In some cases, medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or benzodiazepines may be prescribed to alleviate severe anxiety symptoms. Medication management is often combined with therapy for a comprehensive approach, and it is crucial to consult with a psychiatrist to determine the most appropriate medication and dosage.

The effectiveness of therapy for anxiety disorders depends on the individual's preferences, the specific type of anxiety disorder, and the severity of symptoms. It is advisable to consult with a mental health professional to determine the most suitable therapeutic approach for personalized and effective treatment.

Contact us today to take control of your life transitions, create positive changes, and be your best self.

calgary anxiety counselling

Who we help

Anxiety does not discriminate; children, adolescents, and adults can all be affected. One in five Canadians will experience anxiety at some point.

Anxiety therapy is beneficial for a diverse range of populations, including:

Children and Adolescents: Young individuals navigating school-related stress, social anxiety, and developmental challenges can find support through anxiety therapy.

Adults: Anxiety therapy provides valuable support for adults dealing with work-related stress, relationship issues, life transitions, and other common stressors impacting mental health.

Parents and Caregivers: Parents and caregivers navigating parenting stress, postpartum anxiety, and family dynamics can benefit from anxiety therapy to enhance their overall well-being.

College Students: College students managing academic pressures, transitions, and social complexities can benefit from anxiety therapy to enhance their mental well-being during their educational journey.

LGBTQ+ Individuals: Anxiety therapy is inclusive and supportive for LGBTQ+ individuals, addressing identity-related stress, discrimination, and mental health challenges unique to their experiences.

First Responders: First responders dealing with the unique stressors of their professions, including trauma exposure and high-pressure situations, can find vital support through anxiety therapy.

Athletes: Athletes experiencing performance-related anxiety, competition stress, and the mental demands of their sport can find specialized support through anxiety therapy, enhancing their mental resilience and overall athletic performance.

Workplace: Employees grappling with workplace stress, burnout, and anxiety related to job performance can seek assistance through anxiety therapy, fostering mental health and well-being in professional settings.

Reach out to learn more.

calgary anxiety therapist

FAQs about working with an anxiety therapist in Calgary


anxiety therapy calgary

Our Calgary therapists for anxiety can help you feel more in control

Anxiety therapy will help you understand your anxiety disorders and give you more calm, clarity, and confidence.

Each person’s experience in therapy is different. From learning the common symptoms, treatment techniques, coping strategies for performance situations, dealing with phobias, or depression, The knowledge from your sessions will shape your thoughts and feelings in a more positive and productive direction.

We are currently accepting new clients; please contact us for a free 30-minute phone consultation.


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