Anxiety is very common in the United States. In fact it is the most common emotional disorder. It’s estimated that one in five Americans suffer from a clinical anxiety disorder although we suspect that number is under-reported. We know, for instance, that only one-third of the individuals in America are suffering from an anxiety disorder actually seek out direct treatment for that disorder. Anxiety very much tends to run in families. In fact, at this level it’s kind of a double whammy. For instance, if one or both of your parents suffers from anxiety whether or not it’s been diagnosed you’re likely to inherit at the biological or genetic level, the tendency toward anxiety but this is where the double whammy comes in because one of your parents, or both of your parents suffers from anxiety they’re likely to parent you in a way that brings your anxiety forward. Without intending to, an anxious parent is modeling for you what it means to be an adult, which means in their mind, to have a lot of anxiety, to have a chronic state of worry. One of the most frustrating symptoms of an anxiety disorder is something that we call anticipatory dread. This works as follows: Suppose you’re called upon to give a presentation in a business meeting but you get very nervous, you feel paralyzed with anxiety, maybe you even have a full blown panic attack, unfortunately that experience create a clear memory, a negative memory, so even if you know that you have a business meeting, a presentation, coming up six weeks in advance you may, already start to anticipate that, you may already started to dread that well in advance. So you may find two weeks before this business meeting that you’re losing sleep, that you’re already worrying about it, you’re obsessing about it. So part of what we have to work with in treating an anxiety disorder is lessen this anticipatory dread, teaching the client to be more in the here and now not creating problems for themselves in the future.