Anxiety and Stress Counseling


Counseling & Psychotherapy in SLO / the Central Coast / California

We live in the Age of Anxiety, wrote poet W.H. Auden.  Anxiety can be so painful, so terrible.  It might be the worst thing a person can experience.  You don't have to suffer like this.  I am a Central Coast counselor/therapist, located in San Luis Obispo (SLO), who specializes in treating anxiety, PTSD and stress. I am able to meet with local clients in person, and I see many clients by video as well.  By video I'm able to see clients from any part of California.  Let me know what you prefer, and we can talk about your options

Anxiety and stress are all too common for many people today.  The events of recent years have caused anxiety to skyrocket among a great many people.  I am especially concerned about how wave after wave of problems can keep you in a constant state of fight or flight reaction.  When you feel threatened by things all around you, all the time, you put your body into a state of chronic hyperarousal or sympathetic nervous system dominance.  This physical state is emotionally and psychologically painful to feel and experience, and it also actually shuts down your immune system, and can cause damage to your neurovascular system.  It is not a state you want to be in!  But I want you to know, anxiety can be overcome with counseling and psychotherapy. 

Beyond the stress of the state of the world, there is the anxiety you feel from your own individual life.  There's a lot that therapy can do to help get your anxiety under control, and hopefully totally eliminated.  Seeing my clients get free of their anxiety is so meaningful to me; I am so happy for them when they are able to come out of anxiety and feel calmness, confidence and peace of mind.  

Of all the mental / emotional issues you can have, I'd say that anxiety is probably the worst.  High-level anxiety may be the worst kind of psychological suffering you can experience.  It's a terrible way to live. There is so much suffering that comes with anxiety.  And even when anxiety is not intense, it can still be low-level and chronic, and either way it's still not how you are meant to live.  Not to mention that chronic anxiety can actually have a negative effect on your physical health.  The world probably isn't going to slow down or get any simpler, so it's very necessary for you to be proactive about fixing your life and getting proper help with your anxiety.  Please know, there is hope.

"The problem with anxious moods is that they often hide from us what it is we're actually concerned about. It feels like we're worrying about this or that, when in reality, the origin of our anxiety actually lies elsewhere. Here is a wonderfully simple tool to learn what is really on our mind - in order that we can start to address it and be liberated from it."  Alain deBatton

The One Question We Need to Ask Ourselves When We Feel Anxious

I specialize in treating anxiety, stress, trauma, and PTSD, and can help with whatever level or kind of anxiety you are experiencing.  Anxiety comes in a variety of forms -- sudden and intense anxiety over a specific situation; chronic, low-level anxiety over just about everything; social anxiety, health anxiety, phobias, and ongoing feelings of worry or dread all fall under the general category of anxiety.  PTSD and a range of trauma experiences affect a great many people as well, more than many people realize, I've observed.  Each of these specific problems need the specific kinds of interventions that will address them successfully and allow you to get free of them and their negative effects on you.

"While mindfulness is important and necessary for feeling calm, is it enough?"  The answer is that while mindfulness and meditation are very helpful, it may not be enough for most people dealing with significant anxiety issues, and that's where professional therapy comes in.  Some people are more prone to anxiety, depending on your personality type.  Knowing who you are in your nature, and working with your issues in a way that's tailored to your specific personality, needs, and situation is what's ultimatley needed to get free of anxiety.  Although mindfulness and meditation are always helpful things, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for anxiety.  Follow the link below for this article from Psychology Today:

When Mindfulness Is Not Enough: Why Mindfulness Meditation Is Not A Substitute For Psychotherapy, by Rande Brown, March 4, 2019

When Mindfulness Is Not Enough | Psychology Today

Quote from the article:  "In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in spiritually-based mindfulness meditation practices, and Jennings succinctly describes a phenomenon, generally known as a spiritual bypass, that can happen when we try to use these techniques to solve psychological problems and end up avoiding them instead. Mindfulness meditation increases the ability to live in the present moment and may produce profound insights into the nature of reality, both invaluable tools for crafting a conscious, well-lived life. But these practices were not designed to heal an injured heart.

Please feel free to call me at 805-868-0767 or contact me with any questions you might have.  I would be happy to talk with you.


This is a very good video, a 20-minute interview by Matt D'Avella with Johann Hari, author of Lost Connections, a new book about depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

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Erik Edler LMFT