Global Specialist turning Anxiety into Positivity
‘Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and affect nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives.’
Caroline Cavanagh suffered from anxiety for years, until she used it positively to succeed. Today, she is a Global Anxiety Specialist, Author, Public Speaker and Award-winning Therapist. She was awarded ‘Consultant of the Year’ by the Association of Professional Coaches and Training Consultants in 2016.
Based in the UK, Caroline is the Founder of Caroline Cavanagh Ltd, and consults in the areas of Anxiety and Phobias, Teenage Anxiety, and Hypnotherapy.
“The passion that drives me is seeing someone leave a session feeling mentally stronger. Knowing that there are people alive today who may have left this world had they not learned the skills they gained in our sessions is a legacy few will know, but that will make my final breath a very easy one to take. The greatest passion, however, is working with teenagers and seeing them transform their futures, knowing they will also pass that learning on to the next generation,” says Caroline.
Caroline was always fascinated by what makes people ‘tick’ and intended studying Psychology at University. However, anxiety prevented her from going to University. She didn’t even fulfill her potential as a promising gymnast due to anxiety, and slowly, anxiety started to determine the direction of her life. But all that changed in early adulthood.
Newly married, Caroline’s husband who was in the military was deployed overseas for six months leaving Caroline alone. “One weekend a friend called saying she was doing an NLP course. I replied ‘I have no idea what NLP is but I am coming too’. And from there, I’ve never looked back. NLP helped me to start understanding the mind and our emotions. Next came a Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy. I was learning skills to use anxiety to grow and thrive,” recalls Caroline.
Empathetic and transparent, Caroline is very open about moving from ‘suffering’ with anxiety to using anxiety positively. She opines anxiety is not a bad thing; its role is to keep us safe. It is how you use it that changes your path through life. Whilst many people struggle with this concept initially, when they see how to change, it creates a powerful impact on their lives. “At the core of my business is serving my clients. All of the interventions I apply, I have used myself, and as a therapist, I believe ‘practicing what you preach’ is key to establishing trust and respect with clients,” she adds.
Caroline put many of the techniques and tools she uses in one-to-one sessions for people to transform
their anxiety into resilience, in a book she authored – Anxiety Alchemy, in 2016. In addition, she continues
to be a sought after public speaker internationally. However, she says her greatest pride is having raised two incredible children who will make their own impact on the world as they now venture out as adults: “Being able to be the mother I wanted to be and still juggle work alongside has been an incredible honour. I have never missed a school play or sports day which was important to me, and my teenage children have become very emotionally mature after meeting clients and seeing the challenges people have in life,” she says, adding it was something similar that gave her a direction in life.
“As a child, I had a humble upbringing where there was not enough money to go around but love and
laughter were abundant. But a great change in direction came when my big brother had a massive
brain injury that left him severely disabled. Despite his challenges, he never gave up. That gave me the
determination to live my life to the fullest, explore every opportunity, rise to any challenge – be the best
version of myself! And this is something I aim to now do every day,” shares Caroline.
While Caroline possesses a sense of balance and practicability in abundance, she feels it is ‘curiosity’ that has helped her through her journey: “Curiosity has led me on a path of continuous learning. I work in an area where scientific research is continually delivering new understanding about the mind which will continue to keep my curiosity alive and my knowledge growing.”
With time, Caroline has learned to ensure self-care is a high priority. Speaking about why this is important, she says, “There is so much focus on physical health and exercise. It is time to now balance this with a focus on mental health and strength. Your mind is your greatest asset and it will serve you well; nurture it, give it leadership, embrace anxiety, and live every day to the fullest.”