A lot of the feedback I receive from clients who visit the Panic Room revolves around praising how unique the practice is. As much as I take warmth from the compliments, it saddens me to think that accessible help for people with anxiety and panic disorder is scarce – with a lot of people placed on waiting lists in the healthcare system for treatments that may or may not be helpful. Further to this. there are symptoms of anxiety that make travelling to the practice difficult. For example, I realised that people who suffer from agoraphobia and social anxiety may be put under unnecessary stress to travel outside and navigate their way to help under duress.
To widen the Panic Room’s national influence and to also address these issues, I decided to place time aside in my weekly schedule to set up a telephone counselling service for The Panic Room. This would consist of me – in my practice – providing counselling over the phone for people who find it difficult leaving the house or who live far away. These clients would be treated just like any other client where all counselling is safe and bound under strict counselor / client confidentiality.
The benefits of telephone counselling come in abundance. The Panic Room telephone counselling service can:
- Be accessed from your own home or wherever you deem suitable (as long as it’s quiet!)
- No person looking at you. This can be helpful for social anxiety
- Your own personal space at no risk from invasion.
- Receive the call instead of making it. No added cost to your phone bill
- Flexible booking slots
- Available nationwide (UK)
- Make your own comfort – perhaps lying down, during a walk, sitting the sofa etc.
- Not required to leave the home
- Still confidential
Below is a review from one of my first clients who received telephone counselling:
“I discovered The Panic Room through reading Anxiety Panicking about Panic and thought that this type of counselling service would be beneficial to me and my situation. However I lived in Devon and travelling to Manchester was not practical for me. I enquired about a telephone service which Joshua agreed and we went from there! The first phone session was simply excellent. I was feeling a little nervy but it helped that my anxiety couldn’t be seen as I was a few hundred miles away! After my first session I felt my anxiety reduce ten-fold and felt in a funny way like I’d achieved something. Joshua is a very good listener and his practical advice has helped me to no end. For me, talking to someone who has lived with an anxiety condition is what made the whole service so special. I also know that if my panic attacks ever returned, I can use my phone to contact help. Thank you Joshua.”
Being a telephone counsellor was something different for me and I can’t begin to explain how positive it feels to be able to provide a service for those who either can’t visit or who live far away. Telephone counselling, particularly for anxiety and panic disorder, has its advantages as it automatically takes into account the potential symptoms the client may be experiencing.
In January 2009 the British Medical Journal included a research trial into the counselling of women with postnatal depression – including the use of telephone counselling. The study was conducted by Professor Cindy Dennis and the results concluded that this form of counselling was far more beneficial at reducing symptoms and enhanced the likelihood of the patients being able to overcome their depression. I found this article particularly intriguing and found it can relate in some ways to people who live with anxiety or a panic disorder.
If telephone counselling is something that interests you, or you feel it may be beneficial for someone you know, then please feel free to contact me at The Panic Room using the link / contact details below:
Effect of peer support on prevention of postnatal depression among high risk women: multisite randomised controlled trial
BMJ 2009; 338 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a3064 (Published 16 January 2009)