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Top-Rated Health Anxiety Therapist NYC

Takeaway: It's Friday afternoon. You're about to close your laptop and get ready for the weekend when you notice a lump on your neck. You think: "Well that wasn't there yesterday"...before frantically reopening your laptop to search for what this mysterious bump could be. You try to keep calm, but all that goes out the window when our friend WebMD tells us that the bump is likely cancerous and there's a good chance we won't fare well. So much for a weekend filled with fun.

While your friends and family might think you're being dramatic, a hypochondriac, or just exaggerating, you know the stress, upset, and rumination that comes with having health anxiety.

At Authentically Living Psychological Services, our clinicians specialize in generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and health anxiety. We have experience working with illness anxiety disorder and somatic symptom disorder, and we understand the fear associated with serious illness, serious disease, cancer, and many of the unknowns associated with such conditions.

If physical symptoms, even minor symptoms, send you into a tailspin read on to learn more about how our services can help you overcome health anxiety.

health anxiety therapist near me

About Authentically Living Psychological Services

Health anxiety, which often is treated through traditional cognitive behavior therapy, can be understood as a manifestation of deeper existential concerns. At Authentically Living Psychological Services our health anxiety treatment is a blend of mindfulness, stress reduction exercises, and confrontation of existential fears that are often at the root of our angst.

Fear of Dying: For many who experience health anxiety or a health anxiety "disorder," it's often exacerbated due to fears of death, dying, insufferable pain, or the possible chronic implications of an actual illness. Our services address fears of mortality towards accepting our aging process and how to manage bodily changes, disease, and demise.

Fear of the Unknown: Like having a fear of dying, many who experience health anxiety disorder may fear the unknowns associated with a symptom or possible condition. As humans, we are comforted with predictability. When we notice something different about our bodies, there is a period of unknowing, lack of predictability, and instability, igniting nervousness and a stream of questioning. Our services address how to sit with the discomfort of the unknowns and learn how to be still and more at peace with such life circumstances.

Desire for Control: Health anxiety can also be sparked by our innate human desire for control. We may seek and search for answers to our observed symptoms to feel more in control of our ever-changing bodies. Our services address when and how to relinquish control. 

Avoiding Responsibilities: Focusing on a particular symptom or change in bodily functioning may be a way of avoiding responsibility. We can easily get wrapped up in scrolling the internet for the best treatment protocol for the toe fungus we think we have, instead of focusing on alternative life goals, major decisions, and our creation of meaning. Our therapy focuses on addressing our distractions and what it is we are distracting ourselves from, in an effort to face those worries and be an active participant in our own lives. 

Meet Dr. Cynthia Shaw | Top-rated health anxiety specialist in NYC

Cynthia Shaw

Dr. Cynthia Shaw is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and owner of Authentically Living Psychological Services. She founded the practice to provide services to those interested in depth-oriented work and for those who struggle with low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression, and in their relationships with others, themselves, and their larger world context. She envisioned a group practice where holistic and philosophical approaches to practice are encouraged and used to support clients make sense of their existence in a world that feels overwhelming and where one can get lost in the chaos of life. Learn more about Dr. Shaw below.

  • Credentials:

    • Licensed Clinical Psychologist

    • Grief Informed Professional

    • Approved Clinical Supervisor

  • License numbers:

    • PsyPact: 14381

    • New York: 025643

    • New Jersey: 35SI00702400

    • Illinois: 071.010599

    • North Carolina: 6535

  • Education/degree:

    • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

    • Generalist Adult Track

    • Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology

    • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in English

  • Teletherapy

    • PsyPact Certified to practice in 40 states. Find out if your state is included here.

    • Additional licenses in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and North Carolina

  • Providing therapy since 2015

    • Experience: private practice, psychiatric in-patient hospitals, health psychology/in-patient, forensic unit/hospital, schools, assisted living facilities, methadone maintenance clinics.

    • Past clientele:

      • children, adolescents, and adults

      • psychotic disorders, substance use disorders, personality disorders, anxiety and mood disorders, trauma disorders, neurodevelopment disorders, eating disorders, sexual disorders, conduct disorders, neurocognitive disorders, and paraphilic disorders.

    • Current clientele:

      • adolescents and adults

      • existential anxiety, health anxiety, social anxiety, low self-esteem, death anxiety, poor sense of self, depression, loneliness, difficulty forming genuine relationships, entrepreneurs, perfectionists, high achievers, nostalgic thinkers, emotionally sensitive, men's issues, spiritual questioning.

  • Modalities used:

    • existential philosophy (phenomenology)

    • humanistic and relational

    • acceptance and commitment therapy

    • gestalt therapy

    • logotherapy

    • person-centered

    • process and strengths-based

    • trauma-informed

    • compassion-focused

    • mindfulness-based.

  • Read More Here

Jaclyn Paradise

Dr. Shaw works alongside Ms. Jaclyn Paradise, a New Jersey-based Licensed Associate Counselor who specializes in working with anxiety disorders, and who enjoys working from a holistic and mindfulness-based approach to help those struggling with mental health conditions such as low self-esteem, panic attacks, health anxiety, and trauma.

  • Credentials:

    • Licensed Associate Counselor

    • Certified Trauma Professional

    • Certified Mindfulness Informed Professional

    • Yoga Teacher Certified

  • License numbers:

    • New Jersey: 37AC00745300

  • Education/degree:

    • Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

  • Teletherapy

    • New Jersey

    • Additional licenses upon receiving LPC

  • Providing therapy since 2021

    • Experience: substance-use clinics, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient settings, private practice, intake coordination

    • Past clientele:

      • adolescents and adults

      • mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, trauma disorders, personality disorders

    • Current clientele:

      • adults

      • anxiety, panic attacks, low self-esteem, poor sense of self, trauma, first responders, military personnel, codependency and other relationship difficulties, assertiveness development, identity development, inner-child needs, perfectionists, high achievers, emotionally sensitive, men's issues.

  • Modalities used:

    • trauma-informed

    • mindfulness-based.

    • holistic and somatic

    • humanistic and relational

    • person-centered

    • psychodynamic

    • process and strengths-based

    • compassion-focused

    • yoga-philosophy

    • dialectical behavior therapy

    • cognitive behavioral therapy

  • Read More Here

Health anxiety therapy

Who our health anxiety therapy services are for
Health anxiety therapy can be helpful for those who experience excessive and persistent worry about the state of their health, who, despite reassurance from medical professionals, continue to fear they are at health risks or will develop a serious illness. If you find yourself in any of the categories below, you may benefit from our health anxiety treatment. 

1

You're already diagnosed with a health anxiety disorder.

 If you already hold a health anxiety disorder, such as hypochondriasis, you may experience a chronic pattern of worrying about your health. 

2

You experience high levels
of health-related anxiety
and distress.

Regardless of being formally diagnosed, experiencing stress related to health and wellness can become fatiguing and consuming. 

3

You're diagnosed with a chronic illness or chronic pain. 

Those who have illness or chronic conditions may develop anxiety around their health, due to fear of getting worse or developing complications. 

5

You have a history of trauma.

If you've been in a near-death experience, observed a loved one pass, or taken care of someone with a serious illness, the trauma associated with these experiences may lead to health-related anxiety. 

6

You are highly sensitive to bodily sensations.

As someone who is overly aware and sensitive to bodily sensations and changes, we may misinterpret a normal functioning as a sign of a serious illness, increasing health related anxieties. 

4

You have a history of other anxiety disorders or mood disorders.

For those who have baseline levels of anxiety or depression, you may be more susceptible to additional anxieties, such as that involving your health. 

7

You regularly schedule wellness visits.

If you find yourself looking for regular reassurance, requesting unnecessary medical tests, or spend significant time researching the latest medical procedures, this may be a sign you are struggling with health anxiety. 

8

You're feeling stuck in life

If you're life is feeling meaningless, unsatisfying, and lonely, it is common for you to occupy your energy in your health. While this may seem positive, it is a form of avoidance. 

9

You have fears of dying and future unknowns.

For those who struggle to accept that time is passing, we are aging, and there is a lot about the future that is unknown to us, it's common for us to be preoccupied with the state of our health, in efforts to avoid these inevitable experiences. 

10

You have a hard time focusing and relying on distractions.

When tasked with other responsibilities in life, it can feel overwhelming. In efforts to protect ourselves from having to make decisions, focus on the present moment, and be the author of our life, we may rely on health as a means of distraction. 

Overall, health anxiety can be helpful for anyone who experiences distress related to their health, those who are sensitive to bodily sensations and changes, those who struggle to accept aging and illness, as well as those who experience existential fears. 

therapist for health anxiety

Understanding the process of health anxiety treatment

  • What type of counseling is best for grief?
    There are many different types of counseling practices for addressing grief. The choice of modality is specific to the provider, as well as the assessment of client needs, preferences, and the nature of grief. Below are common counseling services typically provided for grief: Existential & Humanistic Therapy: Existential and humanistic therapy are interconnected therapies that focus on self-understanding while confronting limitations to being human, such as death, illness, and demise, responsibilities and freedom to make choices, and what it means to be authentic. The therapies highlight the integration of exploring meaning, purpose, and personal fulfillment while recognizing and challenging the irony of pointlessness and the inevitability of loss. Positive Psychology: Positive psychology has similarities to existential and humanistic therapy, as it focuses on promoting wellness and self-growth despite loss. Positive psychology is more strength-based and relies on personal resiliency, meaningful goals, and gratitude to navigate grief. Art & Expressive Therapy: Expressive therapies include the use of creative art interventions such as drawing, writing, painting, singing, dancing, and acting to process grief and loss. The use of mainstream talk therapy can sometimes be challenging for those who are grieving, and thus resorting to nonverbal forms of expression can be cathartic and supportive. Narrative Therapy: Similar to Expressive therapies and Positive Psychology, Narrative therapy focuses on allowing a person to story and describe their experience of loss. Identifying personal resiliency and noted strengths, narrative therapy further focuses on the re-narrating or re-storying of the loss; It provides an opportunity to notice new perspectives as we move through loss. Mindfulness-Based Therapy: Helpful as an additive to all modalities, especially for those grieving, Mindfulness-Based Therapy focuses on incorporating stress reduction tools, meditation practices, and mindfulness exercises to aid in down-regulating one's heightened nervous system, self-soothe, and ground an individual. Logotherapy: A branch of Existential therapy, Logotherapy is also an additive therapy that focuses specifically on creating meaning. Even in the face of suffering, Logotherapy highlight how we can still choose to create meaning. For unchanging situations, such as after loss, incorporating attitudinal shifts is a primary focus of logotherapy. Transpersonal Psychology & Grief Therapy: Known as a spiritual and holistic form of therapy, Transpersonal psychology focuses on experiences of interconnectedness such as during states of flow, sereneness, and meditation, and while using certain therapeutic substances, such as psychedelics. In the context of grief, this modality can help a person striving for connection with nature, and greater self alignment, and those interested in exploring their spiritual and religious beliefs and connections. Group & Family Therapy: As highlighted above, Group and Family therapy are effective modalities for those looking for greater communal support, collective processing, and learning how to better communicate and connect. Our practice offers a variety of the modalities presented above. If you have questions about a modality that you do not see listed, please contact us and a member of our staff will return your inquiry in 24-48 hours.
  • Is group therapy good for grief?
    Group therapy is a supportive modality for addressing grief, as it provides a space for peer support, communal validation, decreased isolation and loneliness, normalization of certain experiences, and an opportunity to share without fear of judgment. Group therapy encourages the expression of difficult emotions that may be more challenging to have with friends and colleagues, and is a platform for practicing how to advocate for your needs. Our grief therapy group offers a unique opportunity to utilize creative practices to express and address grief, that doesn't solely rely on the use of verbal processing. We have found that grief is often difficult to talk about and that words do not always express our experiences justly. In addition to creative interventions, such as writing, drawing, and painting, our incorporation of mindfulness exercises aids in down-regulating your nervous system at the end of group, and are additional tools for you to practice at your leisure when overwhelmed with the distress of grief. If you are interested in learning more about our grief group and whether this might be a good fit for you, reach out by clicking here. A member of our staff will return your inquiry in 24-48 hours.
  • How soon should you have bereavement counseling?
    The timing for starting bereavement therapy is different from person to person. Taking into account the nature of a loss, a person's readiness and interest in therapy, availability of supportive factors and coping skills, and cultural factors can influence when and if a person will seek bereavement counseling. It's important to remember that the healing process is unique for everyone and so there is no right or wrong time to seek therapy and that regardless of when your loss occurred, it is never too late to start grief therapy.
  • What type of counseling is best for grief?
    There are many different types of counseling practices for addressing grief. The choice of modality is specific to the provider, as well as the assessment of client needs, preferences, and the nature of grief. Below are common counseling services typically provided for grief: Existential & Humanistic Therapy: Existential and humanistic therapy are interconnected therapies that focus on self-understanding while confronting limitations to being human, such as death, illness, and demise, responsibilities and freedom to make choices, and what it means to be authentic. The therapies highlight the integration of exploring meaning, purpose, and personal fulfillment while recognizing and challenging the irony of pointlessness and the inevitability of loss. Positive Psychology: Positive psychology has similarities to existential and humanistic therapy, as it focuses on promoting wellness and self-growth despite loss. Positive psychology is more strength-based and relies on personal resiliency, meaningful goals, and gratitude to navigate grief. Art & Expressive Therapy: Expressive therapies include the use of creative art interventions such as drawing, writing, painting, singing, dancing, and acting to process grief and loss. The use of mainstream talk therapy can sometimes be challenging for those who are grieving, and thus resorting to nonverbal forms of expression can be cathartic and supportive. Narrative Therapy: Similar to Expressive therapies and Positive Psychology, Narrative therapy focuses on allowing a person to story and describe their experience of loss. Identifying personal resiliency and noted strengths, narrative therapy further focuses on the re-narrating or re-storying of the loss; It provides an opportunity to notice new perspectives as we move through loss. Mindfulness-Based Therapy: Helpful as an additive to all modalities, especially for those grieving, Mindfulness-Based Therapy focuses on incorporating stress reduction tools, meditation practices, and mindfulness exercises to aid in down-regulating one's heightened nervous system, self-soothe, and ground an individual. Logotherapy: A branch of Existential therapy, Logotherapy is also an additive therapy that focuses specifically on creating meaning. Even in the face of suffering, Logotherapy highlight how we can still choose to create meaning. For unchanging situations, such as after loss, incorporating attitudinal shifts is a primary focus of logotherapy. Transpersonal Psychology & Grief Therapy: Known as a spiritual and holistic form of therapy, Transpersonal psychology focuses on experiences of interconnectedness such as during states of flow, sereneness, and meditation, and while using certain therapeutic substances, such as psychedelics. In the context of grief, this modality can help a person striving for connection with nature, and greater self alignment, and those interested in exploring their spiritual and religious beliefs and connections. Group & Family Therapy: As highlighted above, Group and Family therapy are effective modalities for those looking for greater communal support, collective processing, and learning how to better communicate and connect. Our practice offers a variety of the modalities presented above. If you have questions about a modality that you do not see listed, please contact us and a member of our staff will return your inquiry in 24-48 hours.
  • Is group therapy good for grief?
    Group therapy is a supportive modality for addressing grief, as it provides a space for peer support, communal validation, decreased isolation and loneliness, normalization of certain experiences, and an opportunity to share without fear of judgment. Group therapy encourages the expression of difficult emotions that may be more challenging to have with friends and colleagues, and is a platform for practicing how to advocate for your needs. Our grief therapy group offers a unique opportunity to utilize creative practices to express and address grief, that doesn't solely rely on the use of verbal processing. We have found that grief is often difficult to talk about and that words do not always express our experiences justly. In addition to creative interventions, such as writing, drawing, and painting, our incorporation of mindfulness exercises aids in down-regulating your nervous system at the end of group, and are additional tools for you to practice at your leisure when overwhelmed with the distress of grief. If you are interested in learning more about our grief group and whether this might be a good fit for you, reach out by clicking here. A member of our staff will return your inquiry in 24-48 hours.
  • How soon should you have bereavement counseling?
    The timing for starting bereavement therapy is different from person to person. Taking into account the nature of a loss, a person's readiness and interest in therapy, availability of supportive factors and coping skills, and cultural factors can influence when and if a person will seek bereavement counseling. It's important to remember that the healing process is unique for everyone and so there is no right or wrong time to seek therapy and that regardless of when your loss occurred, it is never too late to start grief therapy.

Learn how to feel more grounded and secure with health anxiety therapy.

At Authentically Living Psychological Services our therapists understand the weight of anxious thoughts and rumination, as well as the difficulties that come with accepting aging and illness, forming genuine relationships, and creating a life that is meaningful. Our services focus on grounding, understanding, building confidence, and letting go of worry. If you frequently visit the doctor, are afraid of falling ill, panic at any signs of illness, feel anxious about death and future unknowns, are constantly checking your blood pressure and other major vital signs, are easily alarmed by normal bodily sensations, have so much distress and worry excessively about your health status and whether you might have a serious medical condition then we encourage you to reach out today.

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