What should a good psychotherapist do at the beginning of a therapy for anxiety disorder?
Many patients with anxiety disorders have suffered for a very long time and tried a lot of different approaches to cope with their anxiety attacks of find some way to get a little bit relief. So it is very important the the therapist will respect these expierences of the client and offers a very calm and sensitive atmosphore to talk about the problem.
The most important messages for the patient with panic attacks are:
- it is very common = you are not alone !
- it is not life-threatening (but can be very unpleasant !)
- it is treatable!!!!!
To establish a good therapeutic relationsship is mainly done with:
- empathic listening to the patients concerns and indiviudal experiences with the anxiety disorder
- realistic reassurance and instillation of hope for a change for better
- Providing information about the symptoms and orign of panic attacks
Discussing the different components of panic disorder (panic attacks, anticipatory anxiety, avoidance behaviour) and options to treat these problems