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Going to Therapy

Information on Therapy for Panic Disorder

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Updated May 29, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Are you considering professional help for panic disorder? Psychotherapy is currently one of the most popular treatment options for panic disorder. Deciding to go to therapy can be a tremendous step forward in your recovery process. However, attending therapy on a regular basis requires an investment of your time, energy, and money. Therefore, it is important that you get the most out of the therapeutic process.

Whether you have just started to attend therapy or have been going for some time now, you may benefit from the following tips. Here you will find information on where to get help and what to expect at your very first session. Plus, learn about how to be the most productive while in therapy and find out what to do when therapy ends or if it doesn't seem to be working for you.

Finding the Help You Need

Panic disorder, panic attacks, and agoraphobia can be extremely difficult conditions to deal with. Fortunately, you do not have to learn to manage your condition on your own. There are many types of professionals who are qualified to treat mental health disorders. Getting started in treatment and therapy begins by contacting these mental health specialists. Find out how to locate professionals who treat panic disorder and learn about scheduling your first session.

Attending Your First Therapy Session

Once you have scheduled your first therapy session, you may be wondering what to expect when you attend this initial meeting. Going to therapy for the first time can be an intimidating and anxiety-provoking experience. However, your therapist will be anticipating your nervous feelings and will offer you support, empathy, and understanding. Learn more about what to expect at your first session and throughout the therapy process.

Getting the Most Out of Therapy

Attending therapy is an investment of your time, energy, and resources. Once you have begun to attend therapy on a regular basis, it is important that you benefit from your participation in therapy. The therapeutic process should help you manage your symptoms and cope with your condition. This will take some effort on both you and your therapist’s behalf.

Therapy will require your active participation both in and out of your sessions. Getting the most out of therapy involves good communication with your therapist, doing the necessary work between sessions, and staying on track in achieving your treatment plan goals. Learn how you can be the most productive while attending therapy.

Why Isn’t Therapy Working?

Despite being one of the most common treatment options for panic disorder, therapy is not always effective for every person. There are numerous reasons why therapy may not work out for you. For example, your therapist may not be the right fit for you or you may have little support outside of your therapy sessions. Perhaps you do not have the time to put into therapy right now or maybe you are not willing to make the effort. Learn more about the most common obstacles to effective therapy and potential ways to work through these issues to get the help you need.

Maintaining Success After Treatment

Through the therapeutic process, you may have learned how to successfully cope with panic attacks and other physical symptoms of panic and anxiety. Perhaps you learned new ways of thinking and behaving that helped you to manage stress, overcome negative thinking, and cope with your condition. Your therapist may have assisted you in mending emotional scars, improving your self-esteem, working on building your relationships, and learning to forgive those who have hurt you. However, you may be wondering how to maintain your success once therapy is over. Find out how to continue on your path to recovery after therapy has ended.

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