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An Integrated Approach to Treating Panic Disorder
Harriet Hollander, PhD
Evolving research supports a view of panic disorder (PD) as a familial based breathing disorder. Subtypes are persons who induce panic with hyperventilation, those who induce panic with breath holding, and those who primarily have depersonalization symptoms. Persons with panic can have overlapping symptoms. Triggers include, but are not limited, to anxiety laden stimuli, often occurring outside awareness. The workshop will present background research and identify core trigger events associated with panic attacks. An integrated approach will present and demonstrate hypnotic interventions that can be used to retrain maladaptive breathing patterns, and increase awareness of triggers. Also presented and demonstrated will be the use of ECEM (eye closure, eye movements) adapted from the bilateral eye movement component of EMDR, involving self‐generated eye movements during hypnotic processing that can be used by clients to reduce anticipatory fear of panic.
Attendees will be able to quickly identify subtypes of panic disorder in persons with differing symptoms by supplementing formal interview questions with observational techniques demonstrated in the workshop. They will be able to teach self‐hypnotic techniques described and demonstrated in the workshop to their clients as a way to rapidly end a panic attack and to ward off a developing episode. Attendees who have training in EMDR will be able to incorporate ECEM (eye closure, eye, movement), adapted from the bilateral eye movement component of EMDR, into hypnotic treatment of panic disorder to modify anticipatory anxiety symptoms. Therapists not trained in EMDR will be apply to apply desensitization techniques during hypnosis to modify fears of panic episodes. Therapists will be able to apply an integrated approach to panic disorder to give clients an understanding of their disorder, how to manage it, and how to avoid letting panic disorder interfere with their functioning in work and personal relationships.