How Individual Therapy for Anxiety and Depression Helps


Anxiety and depression do not have a single treatment, and they affect different people differently. To manage anxious feelings or depression, you should learn as much as possible about the available treatment options and then tailor them to your specific needs. Based on her decades of experience, Jan Rakoff, LCSW, in San Diego, is an excellent therapist to consider.



Depression is a disabling condition that impairs a person’s ability to sleep, eat, and function normally, as well as their overall health. Depression is characterized by low self-esteem, low energy, and a lack of interest in normally enjoyable activities. When severe depression is present, the risk of suicide increases.

Signs of depression

Major Depressive Disorder is the most commonly diagnosed type of depression. Major depression is characterized by an overpowering sense of sadness or simply a loss of pleasure and interest in the majority of routine tasks for at least two weeks, in addition to several of the symptoms described below. Other indicators of depression include:

  • Sleeping disorders.
  • Fluctuations in weight and appetite
  • Anger, irritability, or anxiety issues
  • Chronic physical symptoms include pain, gastrointestinal issues, and headaches that will not improve with medication.
  • Energy depletion and fatigue
  • Chronic sadness, remorse, hopelessness, or a sense of worthlessness
  • Memory loss, difficulty focusing, or trouble making judgments are all examples of thinking problems.
  • Suicidal or death thoughts are common among people with severe depression.

Causes of Depression

Depression can be brought on by a variety of life events or circumstances, including those that are psychological, physical, emotional, social, environmental, or spiritual in nature. Depression can be brought on by underlying brain disorders or hereditary tendencies.

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety, like rage, sadness, and joy, is a normal human emotion. Anxiety is a common reaction to stress and can serve as a motivator to deal with difficult situations. In reality, we need a healthy dose of anxiety to keep us motivated and driven. Anxiety, on the other hand, may qualify as an anxiety disorder if it becomes excessively prevalent. Distress symptoms are caused by high levels of unwanted anxiety.

Typical anxiety conditions include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Panic Attacks
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Signs of anxiety disorders

Unexpected anxiety attacks are common, and the fear that they will occur again is intense. As a result, people suffering from anxiety disorders may isolate themselves and try to avoid certain people or environments.

Anxiety disorder’s emotional, bodily, and behavioral symptoms cause an uneasy feeling of uneasiness, fear, or concern. These symptoms may be severe enough to cause a panic or mild anxiety attack. Anxiety symptoms include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Fear
  • Headaches
  • Racing thoughts or panic attacks
  • Muscle tension
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • A feeling of impending doom
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Trembling or twitching
  • Sweating
  • Hot flashes

Causes of Anxiety

Anxiety disorders can be caused by a variety of medical conditions or life experiences, and it is common for a combination of factors to be involved. Anxiety can be inherited or caused by underlying neurological disorders in some cases. Environmental stress can also play a role in a variety of situations. Survivors of trauma may develop chronic anxiety as a result.

Benefits of Individual Therapy for Stress Management

Some of the benefits of personalized individual therapy include the following:

  • Manage Stress

Because therapy allows us to express our most private thoughts and emotions, it can help with stress management. In stress management treatment, solution-focused strategies are combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy, which identifies underlying negative attitudes and modifies them to change behaviors in order to effectively solve problems and relieve pressure.

  • Relieving Anxiety

Initially, therapy will focus on symptom relief by incorporating stress management techniques such as somatic practices, guided imagery, meditation, deep breathing routines, and gradual muscle relaxation exercises.

  • Overcoming Depression

Numerous studies have shown that counseling is extremely effective at treating and overcoming depression—often more effective than antidepressant medications. During therapy, you will have the opportunity to explore and express your emotions, ideas, and actions that are directly related to your depressive symptoms.

  • Life Transitions

All major life changes place some strain on the body, but the better you handle stressful situations, the less impact the change has on your life. You will learn to reframe your current situation and develop new coping mechanisms to deal with life’s inconsistencies by using solution-focused and cognitive-behavioral strategies.

  • Improving Communication skills

Because you were never taught how to properly send and receive messages, you may struggle from time to time. Our family therapist will provide you with specific guidelines for effective communication in therapy, which you will put into practice during your sessions.

  • Personal Life’s Difficulties and Growth

Therapy provides a safe space for you to explore who you have become and who you are capable of becoming given your unique path. The mirror provided by your family therapist allows us to see our true selves and potential. Throughout therapy sessions, new life possibilities emerge, goals are established, and more balance and clarity in your personal life are attained.

  • Pain Management

Therapy will provide you with the space you need to let go of painful emotions in everyday life, as well as new pain-relieving coping skills such as guided imagery, cognitive-behavioral, and meditation techniques. We will also work closely with your actual body, at times using moderate somatic experiential touch treatment, to repair your physical health and significantly reduce pain.

  • Emotional Eating

In therapy, you will learn cognitive techniques to identify the triggers that cause you to eat when you are not physically hungry. You can create a seamless connection between your body and mind by engaging in activities that encourage you to live in the present moment.

The Best Individual Therapy for Anxiety, San Diego, CA

Jan Rakoff, LCSW, is a licensed therapist in San Diego, CA, with over 30 years of experience assisting people with anxiety and depression.


To schedule a consultation with Jan, please call her office at 858-481-0425.