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 and fear all the time?

Common symptoms such as a pounding heart, muscle tension, excessive worry, irrational fears, and feeling beyond irritable may indicate you need to have your anxiety treated. Perhaps you’ve been avoiding invitations to social events because you can’t bring yourself to face anyone, much less enjoy them.

Regardless of how you’re feeling at this moment, know that you’re not alone. With the support of a Calgary anxiety therapist, those physical symptoms and social situations will feel less debilitating. When you have a therapist providing you with the treatment needed to make positive changes, you will become your best self.

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.

A manageable amount of anxiety from time to time can be helpful. For example, it can motivate you to prepare for a test at school or finish a task at work. Even happy events like moving to a new home or celebrating an important milestone can bring up anxiety; all of this is part of the human experience.

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

Anxiety is a problem when it becomes overwhelming, unmanageable, and comes up unexpectedly. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in society today, seek help from a Calgary anxiety therapist if you’re concerned.

Normal anxiety (sometimes we also call this stress)

  • Is related to a specific situation or problem

  • Lasts only as long as the situation or problem

  • Is proportional to the situation or problem

  • Is a realistic response to the situation or problem

Anxiety disorders (sometimes we also call this a panic attack)

  • May come up unexpectedly, for seemingly no reason

  • The response to a situation or problem may be much stronger than would be expected

  • You may experience unrealistic fear or a social phobia that likely will never happen

  • Symptoms may last a long time, even when the situation or problem has been resolved

  • It may feel impossible to control or manage unwanted thoughts

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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

Generalized anxiety disorder is when you feel anxious or afraid all the time, which can make it hard to go about your daily life. It is not the same as occasionally worrying about things or experiencing anxiety due to stressful life events.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a strong, long-lasting fear of being looked at and judged by other people. It may feel so intense that it seems beyond your control. This fear may get in the way of going to work, attending school, or doing everyday things.

Performance Anxiety Disorder

Characterized by an irrational fear of "failing" at performing a specific task, a tendancy to worry about making a mistake or not being able to articulate your point or answer questions.

Test Anxiety

Test anxiety is a mix of physical symptoms and emotional responses that make it hard for students to perform well on tests. The person may experience symptoms before, during, and after the exam.

Panic Disorders or Panic Attacks

Sudden periods of intense fear, discomfort, or a sense of losing control, even when there is no clear danger or trigger, and report feelings of suffocation, chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. Not everyone who experiences panic attacks will develop panic disorder.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD):

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a pattern of unwanted thoughts and fears (obsessions) that make people do the same things over and over again (compulsions) and interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress. People with OCD try to treat their obsessive thoughts with repetitive behaviours or rituals such as frequent hand washing, cleaning, organizing, checking, or counting.


An intense fear of or aversion to specific objects or situations; the fear people with a phobia disorder feel is out of proportion to the actual danger caused by the situation or object.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Most of the time, PTSD happens after a person goes through traumatic events that makes them feel afraid, shocked, or helpless. Post-traumatic stress disorder has long-term effects, including flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, intense anxiety, and other impacts on mental health.

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

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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 Behaviour Therapy (CBT): the leading and most effective therapy for generalized anxiety disorder through to post-traumatic stress disorder. CBT is the process of noticing how your thoughts impact your feelings and behaviours and moving toward thinking more intentionally.

Solution Focussed Therapy (SFT): a goal-oriented approach that focuses on problem-solving and building strategies for future outcomes while reducing anxiety.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): an evidence-based treatment that facilitates the accessing and reprocessing of past trauma, abuse, or distressing events to create opportunities for healing.

Exposure Therapy: treatment that helps you gradually confront your fears while learning relaxation techniques and strategies to regain your sense of control.

Psychodynamic Therapies: focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in the client's present behaviour. The focus is on self-awareness and understanding the influence of the past on present behaviour.

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

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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.

Our team of therapists helps the following clients:

Children and Teens

The adolescent years can be some of the most difficult years of our lives, both for the individual and their parents. The transformation that occurs during adolescence is confusing and all-encompassing. Trying to navigate through this difficult time brings a whole set of new challenges that can leave you feeling helpless and uncertain of what lies ahead.

It is a normal part of the adolescent years to need help dealing with relationships, emotions, family problems, academic concerns, or difficulty in social life. These demands can lead to self-esteem issues, anxiety in social situations, difficulty regulating emotions, and inappropriate coping skills (ex: cutting or  self-harm).


Anxiety specialists have identified that when people experience anxiety more often and more intensely than others, it can create significant disruption in their lives. This can make it hard or impossible for adults to do things like go to college, find meaningful work, enjoy social gatherings, avoid sports or recreation clubs, or be in relationships.


Some athletes develop anxiety about their ability to succeed in their athletic endeavours. Such anxiety can cause them to develop physical symptoms including: hyperventilation, shortness of breath, a racing heart, shakiness, stomachaches, or nausea. Often, these symptoms interfere with athletic performance or lead to the decision to quit the sport.

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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.