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Psychotherapy for Panic Disorder

M. Katherine Shear, M.D., and Kim Weiner, Ph.D.

Published: July 1, 1997

Article Abstract

Although medications and panic-focused cognitive behavior therapy are considered standard treatmentsfor panic disorder, other types of psychotherapy may also be helpful. Many patients with panicdisorder have some residual underlying vulnerability, as suggested by the continued occurrence ofsymptoms. These patients may benefit from a more broad-based psychotherapy, as might those inwhom comorbid symptoms occur. Some patients are unable or choose not to participate in a structuredprescriptive treatment requiring homework. Our psychotherapeutic approach to treating panic disorder,called emotion-focused treatment, targets identifying and managing negative emotions, especiallyas they relate to common psychological themes of fear of separation, fear of constriction, and the needfor interpersonal control.

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Volume: 58

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