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Panic Disorder

Getting overwhelmed and even panicking is completely natural at times. Everyone goes through high stress and high stakes situations that can challenge our ability to cope. When low stakes situations or situations where there is no easy escape route trigger panic, this is considered panic disorder.

If you experience panic attacks regularly or you feel as though you’re always waiting for the next panic attack, let’s work together to make a change through therapy for panic disorder at The Center for CBT in New York City.

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What is Panic Disorder?

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety condition. People who struggle with panic disorder will often experience panic attacks. These are intense and overwhelming episodes of fear, worry, or anxiety. When panic attacks occur (often out of the blue), individuals may experience frightening and painful physical symptoms that can be misinterpreted as being heart attacks or other life-threatening physical conditions. While most people experience panic attacks while under extreme duress, people with panic disorder experience these attacks frequently or experience constant fear of having a panic attack. Moreover, they tend to start avoiding situations where they have had a panic attack or escape might be difficult in the case of a panic attack.

What are the signs of Panic Disorder?

No two people will experience panic disorder or panic attacks in the same way. However, if you can relate to any of the following statements from people who struggle with panic disorder, it may be time to visit The Center for CBT in New York City:

How does CBT help with Panic Disorder?

Research shows that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the ideal option for treating Panic Disorder. Panic disorder is typically caused by a combination of overwhelming thoughts and feelings that can influence behavior and trigger certain responses. CBT helps people to develop the skills to recognize the warning signs of panic attacks and respond to the effects of panic in healthy and beneficial ways. Through CBT, people learn the physiology of panic attacks and how to not be triggered by subtle physiological changes in their body. If someone with panic disorder is avoiding situations, they partner with their therapist and learn tools to re-enter these situations with confidence. CBT therapy guides a client to process the overpowering emotions, thoughts and physiological responses panic attacks cause.

How does exposure therapy help with Panic Disorder?

To overcome the effects of panic disorder, we may also utilize exposure therapy. This therapy technique involves controlled exposure to increase a client’s resilience, decrease panic response, and improve overall experience in situations where panic attacks are common. Like CBT, exposure therapy involves developing a greater understanding of how you think, feel, and act during times of panic. In order to accomplish this, you’ll begin with hypothetical or imagined situations that may cause panic. As you talk through these hypothetical situations, your therapist will guide you to recognize how you’re feeling, what negative thoughts are coming up, and what physical reactions you’re experiencing. Then, your therapist will help you develop a plan to minimize these panic responses. When you feel ready, we may start to apply the strategies you planned in therapy to real life events, but it’s important to remember that you always set the pace in therapy. If you don’t feel comfortable with a planned exposure, let us know, and we’ll adjust your plan.

What Can I Expect During Therapy?

When you first visit us for therapy, we’ll spend the initial session discussing any relevant medical history, past experience with therapy, how you’ve been experiencing panic attacks, and what your goals are in working with your therapist. Together, we’ll create a plan to help you achieve your desired outcomes. Over the course of your sessions, we’ll rely on CBT, exposure therapy, and other research-supported therapy approaches to help you develop strategies and tools to address panic attacks as they arise and reduce the number or severity of panic attacks in the future.

Who offers therapy for Panic Disorder?

Each of our clinicians has years of unique training and experience that allow them to provide therapy using specific approaches that work best for certain clients. Our clinicians who offer therapy for panic disorder are featured below, and you can learn more about them by visiting our team page.

What Should I Do Next?

When you’re ready to begin therapy, we hope you’ll consider contacting The Center for CBT in New York City. We offer a safe space where you are free to be who you really are and express yourself and your values authentically. We embrace, value, and welcome people of all sexual orientations, genders, and racial identities. The Center for CBT in New York City makes beginning your therapy journey simple. You can get started any time by completing our online consultation request form. One of our team members will be in touch within 24 business hours to answer your questions.

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