Panic Disorder


Panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy

Treatment Summary: The theory of Panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy (PFPP) was that there was an early life experience to which psychological conflict and unconscious motives exist. The conflict and motives drive the behavior of the patient and they develop defense mechanisms which are to be worked through. PFPP was conducted in 24 sessions, twice weekly for 12 weeks. The structured layout of the treatment allowed for the central psychodynamic conflicts to be identified. The feelings and emotions which triggered panic attacks were explored. Through the awareness of triggers and symptoms, the patient becomes educated in the dynamics of their own mind. The patient is, then, able to develop structured controlled mechanisms in order to prevent the onset of a panic attack. This direction of treatment appears to be effective in that it has the patient look deep into their own emotional turmoil and face it. PFPP has been shown to be efficient due to the emotional growth it promotes from the conscious awareness of the patients.

  • Reference: Sandberg, L., Busch, F., Schneier, F., Gerber, A., Caligor, E., & Milrod, B. (2012). Panic-Focused Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in a woman with Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Harv Rev Psychiatry, 20, 268-276.
  • Submitter: N/A
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