The cognitive model of panic and cognitive-behavioral therapy were evaluated. It was argued that the cognitive model is not clear about the definition of threat, and that panic is evoked by the fear of the dissolution of the self. Furthermore, panic attacks will not lead to panic disorder unless the individual is experiencing general anxiety and is concerned with his/her physical or mental state. Controlled studies have demonstrated that cognitive-behavioral therapy is superior to other treatments for panic—85% of patients are panic-free at posttreatment and improvements are maintained at follow-up. However, 26% of waiting-list controls are also panic-free making the net percentage of panic-free treated patients 59%. There is room for improvement in at least 50% of patients, and a substantial number of patients continue to take medication and seek additional treatment. There is a need to determine the essential components of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It was predicted that exposure will prove to be the most crucial component. Exposure to phobic situations and interoceptive cues should be extended to the underlying causes of panic disorder, such as concerns with identity and dependency needs.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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