Eliminating Anxiety and Panic

One of the most common problems faced by many people is anxiety. Many with anxiety also experience what are called “panic” attacks. This is where the anxiety becomes so severe that the person literally thinks that they are dying or that something is seriously wrong with them. They often wind up in an emergency room or seeking medical treatment.  The usual treatment for anxiety is for the physician to prescribe medications to treat the symptoms. The most common medications used for treating anxiety are the benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, or others). SSRI anti-depressants are also prescribed. These medication often provide some symptom relief, but in the case of benzodiazepines they can become habit forming and may require increasingly higher dosages to achieve the desired effects. For many years I have treated people with anxiety related disorders. The most common therapy for treating these problems has been Cognitive-Behavioral therapy. This approach has been somewhat effective and is the most common aprroach used by psychotherapists. 

Over the past few years I have begun to use a new approach to treatment called Rapid Resolution Therapy, This approach, developed by Dr. Jon Connelly, is quite different than other forms of therapy, which may explain why it is so effective. With this approach the person learns how to eliminate the physical sensations caused from the anxiety response, thus disabling them. Common physical sensations associated with anxiety are: rapid heart beat and breathing, light headedness, tingling, fainting, tension, nausea, numbness, to name a few. The person learns to recognize these sensations and eliminate them before they become too intense. After only 1-3 sessions, most clients have reported that their anxiety has drastically diminished and/or completely disappeared. Panic attacks disappear and are no longer problematic. All of this is done without medication. In fact, most of my clients report that they no longer need to rely on their anti-anxiety medications. (Note: please do not stop taking medications without your physcician’s advice).

Anxiety and panic attacks can be successfully treated and eliminated. Needless suffering can be stopped. One can return to a normal life without feelings of dread or fear. To find out more about this approach please visit my website.

What Is Depression?


 In light of several recent studies that show the harmful side effects and lack of effectiveness of antidepressant medications I have begun to rethink my approach to depression. Many believe depression to be a combination of psychological and biological factors that often leave a person in a debilitated state of functioning. People with depression often become hopeless and some are even led to suicide as a result of this hopelessness. I have had tremendous success in eliminating depression with Rapid Resolution Therapy.  A recent case of a 54 year old man comes to mind. He had suffered from severe depression for most of his life. He had been on many medications with little or no relief of his symptoms. He had been hospitalized at least twice and was giving up hope on ever feeling better. After just one session of Rapid Resolution Therapy he walked out of my office stating that “he had never felt this good in his entire life”. He reported later that he was a “changed man”. His depression had lifted and he had a new outlook on life. How could this be? I believe that depression (for many) is the result of the mind becoming “stuck” responding to emotional impressions left by traumatic or disturbing experiences. Usually there is associated anger, shame, guilt, or frozen grief that accompanies the depression (or causes it in the first place). These emotions drain the body and prevent the mind from maintenance, repair, and natural healing. In other words, the mind and body are in a constant state of emergency and all vital resources are diverted to prepare the mind and body for survival. This natural response to a percieved threat is meant to be temporary, as it is in nature. In the case of depression, the mind and body remain in this emergency state for months or even years. With Rapid Resolution Therapy, the mind is updated and adjusted so that it can return to it’s natural state. Once it has returned to this natural state it can move forward towards what is possible and beneficial. Natural healing, maintenance, and repair begins immediately and the perons “symptoms” disappear. The same immediate results are found with anxiety and panic as well. To find out more about this revolutionary process, please visit my website. Relief is possible and available without painful suffering and without medication!

Help For Anxiety in Los Angeles

If you are reading this I am guessing that you or someone that you care about is suffering from anxiety or panic. Like many of my clients, they have been experiencing unpleasant and sometimes debilitating symptoms like nervousness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, faintness, trouble concentrating, and extreme panic. Many of my clients have wound up in an emergency room because they think that they are having a serious medical problem. I wanted to tell you about a recent client who had been having severe panic attacks for about a year or so. She had her first attack while driving on the freeway. Since then she has completely avoided all freeway driving. This is a hard thing to do if you live in Los Angeles! Now even the thought of driving on the freeway caused her to experience extreme anxiety. She had tried to fight this on her own and had even had previous therapy that did not work. The problem with the previous therapy was that the therapist tried to focus on “why” she was anxious. The theory being that if one could gain insight into “why” they were anxious, they would stop being anxious. Well, that works in theory, but for this person it did not work in practice. I use a technique called Rapid Resolution Therapy. It is designed to address the subconscious minds troubling emotional response. Traditional therapies do not gain access to this part of the mind. Rather than focusing on “why” a person is anxious, we focus on the uncomfortable physical sensations caused by the emotional response to whatever the person is thinking. In this client’s case, it was the thought of driving on the freeway. We eliminate the emotional response so that it is no longer causing the physical sensations, and the anxiety disappears. Still not a believer? Well, after one session the client was anxiety free. She was excited and felt transformed. Then the big test came the next day when she decided to test driving on the freeway. She reported that she was able to get on the freeway and drive to a meeting without experiencing any anxiety or panic. She just used the techniques that she had learned in our session and she was fine. Her case is not unusual. I have been sucessfully eliminating anxiety with numerous clients using Rapid Resolution Therapy. I would invite you to give it a try. You will be amazed at the results. Visit my website to find out more about Rapid Resolution Therapy or give me a call to schedule a consultation.

Los Angeles Depression Therapy



I have been writing on my recent work with clients who have been depressed. I have found that by using Rapid Resolution Therapy techniques I can quickly eliminate the feelings and beliefs that have fueled the depression. What I have noticed about depression is that when external events occur (such as relationship problems, financial worries, or other stressful situations) our subconscious mind responds to these situations based upon how it has responded to similar situations in the past. For example, a recent client told me that when she was a child her father would never accept her or acknowledge her accomplisments. He was emotionally distant and unavailable to her. To make matters worse, his attention was directed towards her older brother because he was a star athlete. The belief she formed about herself was that she was unworthy and undeserving of his love and attention. Since childhood she has viewed the world through this filter. As a result she has been in a series of relationships with emotionally unavaiable men who put her down and reinforced her feelings of being unworthy and flawed. She has experienced depression for a long time because when things happen in her life that seem to confirm her worst beliefs about herself, she becomes even more self critical and self depricating. She never realized or understood that she has been drawn to these relationships and situations because they were similar to those that occurred when she was a child. Of course, she keeps responding emotionally to the present situation in the same way she responded in the past. Her subconscious mind cannot differentiate the past from the present. Since the past no longer exists it is impossible to “go back” and get her father to love her and give his approval. Using Rapid Resolution Therapy we were able to adjust her mind so that she no longer responded emotionally to her thoughts and beliefs about her father. We moved her into the present, where she was able to see herself for the person that she is not the person she believed she was. She is no longer depressed.

If you live in the greater Los Angeles area and want to eliminate depression, anxiety, shame, guilt, or other troubling feelings and behaviors I can help. This stuff works! Go to my website and give me a call.

Depression Therapy Using Rapid Resolution in Los Angeles

I have been writing on the benefits of therapy for depression in light of recent evidence that antidepressant medications are no more effective than placebos (fake pills) in treating mild to moderate depression. I recently saw a client who has been treated with antidepressants for over three years. She continued to have depression to the extent that she didn’t have the energy to get out of bed or do her daily activities. She had horrible feelings of inadequacy and felt like a complete failure. These feelings had troubled her for most of her life, beginning in her childhood. She was the target of her mother’s criticism and favoritism of her siblings. She felt like an outcast and never felt that she was wanted. This client had never tried therapy for her depression. After one session we eliminated the depression and shame that she had been feeling for a lifetime! I used Rapid Resolution Therapy to eliminate her feelings of shame and inadequacy. She was smiling and felt relieved. I will be seeing her again to continue the process and support her gains from our initial therapy session. Therapy for depression need not be a lengthy and painful process. Many people avoid therapy because they believe it will be too costly. Effective therapy is actually less costly than medications and the effects will be permanent and lasting. Finding the right therapist is the most important ingredient in determining the success of the therapy process. I specialize in a new form of therapy called Rapid Resolution Therapy. In short, it works by eliminating painful and troubling emotions related to past emotional traumas. While we cannot change the history of events and experiences in our lives, we can change our emotional response to these events. Once this is done there are no more bad or painful feelings. I asked my client to see if she could cause herself to feel depressed (to have her test the effectiveness). She tried really hard, but she was unable to feel depressed. She laughed with relief.

If you or a loved one is experiencing depression, anxiety, shame, guilt, or other emotional troubles then therapy should be the next step. I am available for a free consultation. If you live in the Los Angeles or Orange County areas give me a call. For more information, visit my website by following the highlighted link.

The Benefits Of Therapy for Depression



A new study was just published showing that anti-depressant medications were no more effective than placebos in treating mild to moderated depression. There was some benefit shown for those with severe depression. This is disturbing to me because we are bombarded by advertisements for anti-depressant medications on TV and other media. These ads suggest that by taking a pill, all of your troubles will disappear. As a psychotherapist, I have recommended the use of anti-depressants for many of my clients. I will now have to re-evaluate these recommendations. I am not against the use of these medications, but there have been several studies that have consistently shown that psychotherapy is as beneficial as medication in alleviating depression. You don’t even hear any mention of psychotherapy in combination with medication or as an alternative to medication in any of the pharmaceutical companies’ ads. Depression is a complex disorder. In my experience most people become depressed because of situational issues, losses, and the inability to alleviate troubling emotions from past emotional traumas. These problems do not disappear when one takes a pill. For many, they continue to persist. Psychotherapy will help a person to resolve these problems and eliminate the emotional responses to them.

I had a recent client who came to me with depression. Current stressors had triggered a long standing belief that he was a “failure” and that he was “worthless”. These beliefs were formed when he was a child when he suffered emotional and physical abuse from his parents and also from his siblings. These beliefs became the “operating system” through which everything he experiences is filtered. For over forty years this man has believed that he was worthless and less than. Whenever he experiences a stressor or a loss, he immediately responds to it from this place and sees his situation as proof of his inadequacies. No wonder he is depressed! To treat this I use a three step approach:  1) Identify and expose these “core” beliefs that reside in his “operating system”. 2) Challenge and critically analyze the validity of these beliefs. 3) Use Rapid Resolution Therapy techniques to eliminate the shame, guilt, anger, and other troubling emotions that contribute to the depression. Oh, by the way, did I mention that this client has been on anti-depressants for quite some time? They have had no effect on his depression because he was continuing to struggle with his belief that he was worthless and inadequate. This battle has raged within him for a lifetime. He is exhausted and has lost hope of ever feeling better. He avoided psychotherapy because he thought he “should” be able to resolve these problems himself. His inability to do so reinforced his belief that he was a failure. After only one session he felt relieved and was able to laugh and smile. He was more hopeful that he could actually feel happy and his depression was already beginning to lift. We will continue to work on these problems in future sessions, but his response was immediate. We will build on this as we progress.

If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, psychotherapy is a proven approach that works! I want to help you. If you live in the greater Los Angeles or Orange County areas I will be happy to give you a free consultation. To contact me, visit my website. If you have tried other therapy and have been dissatisfied with the results or if you have avoided therapy, I would encourage you to give me a call. Psychotherapy need not be lengthy or painful.

Rapid Resolution Therapy For The New Year

Happy New Year everyone!  As many of us look at the new year ahead we assess the years gone by and hope that the new year will be a better one and one that will lead us closer to our goals. Getting healthier and happier is high on the list for the majority of us. How about making a vow this year to get a Rapid Resolution of troubling problems and emotions that have been impeding your progress in life or have been disrupting your peace and happiness. Rapid Resolution Therapy is designed to quickly and effortlessly eliminate and resolve troubling emotions such as shame, guilt, anger, grief, anxiety, and depression. It will work in only a few sessions without requiring a person to re-live painful experiences. People often remain stuck in thinking about or re-experiencing painful or traumatic events from their past. Some get stuck worrying about future events that have yet to occur. Neither the past or the future exist in the moment, but the painful emotions associated with these events are experienced in the present and can become disabling. Without resolution a person can become depressed, experience anxiety or panic, abuse alcohol/drugs, and never experience a sense of peace and calm. For those who have suffered from depression, anxiety, and substance abuse the light at the end of the tunnel seems almost non-existent. I can help you get that train back on the track and bring you rapidly to that place of calm and peace, moving you forward to the person that you desire yourself to be. If you have tried other therapies unsuccessfully or if you have avoided getting help for fear of experiencing more emotional pain please delay no longer. Rapid relief is available. Invest in yourself this year and get on track towards becoming the person that you have wanted to be. If you live in the Los Angeles or Orange County areas and would like to arrange an appointment or get further information about Rapid Resolution Therapy, please visit my webite at www.johnsmithphd.com .

Eliminate Anxiety and Panic in Los Angeles


Many people suffer from anxiety. Some also experience severe anxiety episodes that we call panic attacks. These attacks can become debilitating and lead to agoraphobia (fear of open places). People with this disorder often become homebound. What they are actually experiencing is fear of another panic attack. When a person experiences severe anxiety they become focused on the sensations associated with the body’s reaction such as heart palpitatons, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, and other unpleasant symptoms. Medications can be helpful, but most anti-anxiety medications are extremely habit forming and are only indicated for short-term use. Therapy is helpful as well, but depending upon the approach used by the therapist, it may take longer than is desireable. I was trained in a new approach called Rapid Resolution Therapy. It was developed by Dr. Jon Connelly.  I have had excellent success in eliminating anxiety and panic in only a few sessions. I was working with a client last week who has been experiencing severe anxiety and panic attacks for about eight years. He has tried other therapies, but has not found the relief that he was seeking. He came to see me in a highly anxious state. We discussed how anxiety is a very complex thing. That is actually a good thing, because the more complex something is, the easier it is to “break” it. Think of a hammer. It is a very simple tool. If you drop the hammer it will probably still work. Now think of your computer. If you drop the computer, in fact if you even breathe on it, it will probably not work. The computer is a very complex piece of equipment. In Rapid Resolution Therapy we do not focus on “why” you are anxious. We focus on only one aspect, the sensations one experiences during an anxiety episode. We aim to “disassemble” one’s response to the physical sensations experienced in the body. Once this is done, the sensations lose their power, and generally go away. This was true for my client. He left the office feeling calm and peaceful. I saw him a week later and he reported that he had not had any panic attacks or experienced severe anxiety. He told me that when he started to experience the sensations, he just used the tools that I had taught him and the sensations disappeared. We did some more work to reinforce what he learned during the first session and he again left feeling calm and peaceful. If you are in the Los Angeles or anywhere in Southern California, I can help you to eliminate anxiety and panic. Please vist my website or click on Dr. Connelley’s link above in order to find out more about Rapid Resolution Therapy.

Eliminate Alcohol and Drug Cravings


A common problem that people face when they are trying to stop using drugs and alcohol is that they have a hard time not succumbing to powerful cravings urging them to use. Many times these cravings are brought about by emotional cues or “triggers”. Sometimes there are no obvious “triggers”. I have talked with many who relapsed when things were going well. There is a technique for eliminating cravings that I learned during a recent clinical training for Rapid Resolution Therapy. Rapid Resolution Therapy has been effective in eliminating troubling emotions and behaviors that get in the way of a person’s happiness and peace of mind.  It works well for eliminating shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, past trauma, and alcohol & drug cravings. It works by helping change the subconscious mind’s response to whatever is causing the craving. It is different for each person.  Sometimes it is caused by a stressful of painful emotion and sometimes it is caused from something positive. In order for this technique to be the most effective it is recommended that the person be alcohol and drug free for a brief period before undergoing this treatment. It may be necessary for that person to undergo detoxification from drugs and alcohol first. In fact, if the person has been using alcohol or drugs heavily for a significant period of time, they may require detoxification in order to avoid any serious medical complications or problems. Once the person has become drug and alcohol free, they would be appropriate for this technique. The good news about this technique is that it works quickly. In most cases it will work in one or two sessions. If you are in the greater Los Angeles area and would like to find out more about Rapid Resolution Therapy, visit my website . I would be happy to talk with you further about how this process works. To find out more about Rapid Resolution Therapy, please visit the link to Dr. Jon Conelley’s website. He is the developer of this new technique and has trained hundreds of therapists in his method.

Therapy For Emotional Trauma In Los Angeles

There has been alot written on trauma lately. When most people hear the word “trauma” they think of physical trauma from an accident or from some violent act. They may think of some type of physical injury. Of course this certainly constitutes “trauma”, but many people do not realize that there are many types of “trauma”. I define trauma as anything that is perceived as a threat to one’s physical or emotional survival. This can include many things that happen to almost all of us. Imagine a small child who is watching his parents argue and fight. This can be very traumatic to the child because he may percieve this as a “threat” to his survival. When something traumatic occurs, the deeper parts of the brain (the subconcious) respond to this by storing this information as high priority. The body gears up physically and emotionally to survive. We call this the “fight or flight” response. According to Dr. Jon Connelly, a world renowned psychotherapist, trainer, and author, the traumatic experience slams into our awareness and leaves an impression. He uses the analogy of a handprint in the sand. For many, this impression is so powerful that we continue to respond to the traumatic experience as if it were actually happening over and over again. Everytime we encounter experiences that are structurally similar to the traumatic event, we will respond emotionally the same way that we responded to the original traumatic event. This is because our subconscious mind hasn’t gottent the word that the original trauma is over and we have survived. It still thinks that the original trauma is occurring over and over again. It will impact our life significantly. Additionally, we may attach distorted meanings to the traumatic event that make our emotional responses even more disturbing. That child who saw his parents arguing may have believed that it was his fault that his parents were fighting, so he believes that if he were only “better” then they wouldn’t fight. He may believe that they are fighting becuase he is “bad” and begins defining themselves as “bad”. He begins to feel shame. He may try to fix his parents relationship by striving to be “good”, thinking that it is his fault that they are fighting. If he continues to believe that he is “bad” then he will either strive to be “better” or “good enough” or he will behave accordingly by being “bad” and doing “bad” things. This pattern may continue on into his adult life and impact many decisions, behaviors, and relationships. His shame will run deep. His fear will keep him from having fulfilling relationships.

I work every day with people who have experienced trauma that has profoundly impacted their lives. Things like sexual abuse, rape, violence, and other significant traumas can lead to a host of problems like substance abuse, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and many others. Interestingly, it doesn’t always require abuse or violence to cause the same problems. Anything that causes a person to feel shame, guilt, fear, anger, or grief can cause a person to develop these same problems. If these emotional responses are “frozen” from past experiences, a person can continue to have them throughout their life and develop the above listed problems as a result. Fortunately, there are some new approaches for helping people quickly and painlessly eliminate these troubling emotions and behaviors. One approach that is quite promising is called Rapid Resolution Therapy, a technique developed by Dr. Jon Connelly, quoted earlier in this blog. To find out more about this approach or to get help for any of these problems I invite you to visit my website.