Is it true that you didn’t address your underlying factors until several years after you had achieved Level One recovery?
That's correct. At that time, no one knew much about the underlying factors of anxiety. After I achieved Level One recovery, I started investigating, uncovering, understanding, and addressing the factors that led to my struggle with anxiety.
I wish more would have been known back then, as addressing Level Two recovery concepts while working at Level One recovery would have not only made anxiety, its causes, and its effects make more sense but it would have also dramatically shortened my overall recovery, including Level One.
Since I had to figure everything out as I went, my recovery took much longer than it would have had the information I know today been available back then.
I am a proponent of working at both levels of recovery simultaneously as Level Two concepts can make Level One recovery much easier and shorter. While the initial Level One recovery work focuses on education, reducing fears about anxiety symptoms, reassurance, and containment, shortly after this work is addressed, I like to immediately involve Level Two concepts so that the factors at the root of problematic anxiety don’t continue to sabotage Level One recovery work. Dealing with those factors sooner rather than later can make Level One recovery work more effective, which can lead to more meaningful stress reduction and recovery.
So again, yes, I achieved Level One recovery before addressing Level Two. But that was only because I had no other choice. Much more is known about the cause of problematic anxiety today. My recommendation is addressing both levels of recovery at the same time as this approach will lead to a faster and more complete result.
This is not to say addressing Level Two recovery later on is less effective, but that the sooner you address Level Two recovery work the better off you’ll be in both the short and long terms.
For more information about the Two Levels of Anxiety Disorder Recovery.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - we call these core causes the underlying factors of anxiety - a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.
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Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated July 2016.