Panic attacks can range from low impact to severe and prohibitive and can be scary while they’re happening. Here’s our top 5 tips for managing a panic attack as it happens.
There is an increasing body of evidence on how to tackle fears and phobias quickly. EMDR focuses on the perceived threat image and by taxing working memory, the emotional effect is removed. Fears and phobias can be learned by observing someone’s behaviour i.e. a mother is always expressing fear when seeing spiders, so the child then learns that spiders are dangerous.
Phobias can also develop as a consequence of a bad experience i.e. having lived through a car accident and subsequently developing a fear of driving. Whilst a CBT approach tackles fears by carrying out behavioural experiments, encouraging the client to face their fear until the threat dissipates, in EMDR, the client is asked to think about the worst image they are fearful of, allowing the emotion to dissipate very fast.
It is not unusual to get freed from the phobia within one session. Fears can have a wider background, such as feeling fearful of giving presentations.
There can be many reasons that have caused this fear. In this case, one session is not enough but background information is also important to explore, and fears or other beliefs need to be tackled as well before the fear is removed.
In EMDR therapy there are also ‘homework’ tasks given, which are usually to monitor changes or to try and test out new responses. For example, getting over fear of flying using imagery in session and then going to fly shortly after.
Our approach is a combination of CBT and EMDR, using both techniques together where necessary.