I can tell you all from experience that Claire Weekes’ treatment for anxiety cure is the surest way to recovery. It is is based on four concepts:
1. Facing 2. Accepting 3. Floating 4. Letting time pass
- FACING requires the individual to acknowledge and understand that the cure comes from within. It means facing the things and situations that make us fearful as well as facing the nervous symptoms than many of us would rather avoid. According to Dr Weekes the notion of facing fearful situations but having the option of retreating if we panic or go beyond our ‘comfort zone’ does not facilitate a long-term cure. Instead, it is necessary to face fear and panic symptoms and to learn to deal with them. The long term goal is for the individual to learn to cope with panic so that it no longer matters if it does happen. An old Chinese proverb ‘Go straight to the heart of danger, for there you will find safety’ reflects this concept.
- ACCEPTING involves learning to co-exist in a kind of truce with the physical symptoms of anxiety and panic no matter how uncomfortable they can get. Fighting fear and its often terrible physical symptoms can spark more fear and thus perpetuate anxiety and panic. De-sensitisation to fear lies in acknowledging the physical symptoms and discomfort and to trying to flow with it. The aim of acceptance is to try not to fuel existing fear with more fear. Obviously this isn’t easy and requires practice. Dr Weekes states that by practicing accepting, “…you earn the little voice that says, ‘It doesn’t matter anymore if panic comes!’ this is the only voice to listen to. It is your staff, and will always come to help you in setbacks, even if you find yourself almost helpless on the floor”.
- FLOATING encapsulates the idea that instead of fighting and forcing our way past anxiety and fear it is more effective to physically and mentally take the path of least resistance and float towards, through and past the anxiety. Dr Weekes likens the sensation to floating on a cloud or water. The aim of floating appears to be to remove the rigid and exhausting physical and mental fight that panic and anxiety sufferers find themselves involved in when confronting fear thus removing another source of fear. Indeed, floating can be a very pleasant antidote to fear and panic.
- LETTING TIME PASS asks from us an understanding that recovery can take time. It takes time for a nervously sensitised physical body to heal and for the heightened memory of fear and panic to gradually extinguish. We live in a society that fosters an expectation that life can be instant and fast, and these concepts can be counterproductive to a recovery that requires time. Dr Weekes counsels that setbacks on the road to recovery should not create dismay, but instead be expected and accepted. Setbacks provide us with an opportunity to build and forge our recovery on repeated practice and experience so that the techniques become truly ingrained in us.
Good luck on your quests to recovery!