Counseling & Psychotherapy - Southampton, NJ 08088
Counseling & Psychotherapy - Southampton, NJ 08088
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Treating Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia

There have been a significant number of research studies examining the effects of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for treatment of panic disorder. The studies have been done at Oxford University in England, the State University of New York at Albany, the University of Pennsylvania, and many other universities and medical schools throughout the world. Over a course of 20-25 sessions, the effectiveness rates of cognitive-behavioral therapy for panic disorder are approximately 90%. In addition, the studies show that once treatment is terminated, the majority of people who are tested a year or more later have sustained their improvement.

Some people believe that because they have panic attacks, they must have a deep-rooted psychological problem. Other people may believe that because they have had panic attacks and/or agoraphobia for many years, and because traditional therapy and/or medications have not been helpful for these problems, they can never improve. Of course, anyone with or without panic may have deeper problems, but panic disorder and agoraphobia are not necessarily related to deeper psychological problems. Panic, in itself, can be treated effectively without long-term therapy that explores your childhood or other past experiences. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, with or without medication, has been proven effective for the treatment of panic disorder, and it is essential treatment for any phobia associated with anxiety, including agoraphobia.

Although panic disorder can be treated effectively without medication, all patients should be given the option of medication as part of their treatment. A number of medications have been proven effective in inhibiting panic attacks; however, once you terminate the medication, panic symptoms most often return. Consequently, even if you use medication for panic disorder and agoraphobia, it is best that you also get therapy.