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(p. 53) Introduction to the Program 

(p. 53) Introduction to the Program
Chapter:
(p. 53) Introduction to the Program
Author(s):

Michelle G. Craske

, and David H. Barlow

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780197584057.003.0004
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date: 20 May 2022

This chapter examines the introduction to the treatment program. The information presented in this initial stage of treatment is intended to clarify the purposes of the workbook and provide corrective information that assures clients that they are neither insane nor atypical and that there is a good chance of successful treatment. By describing the phenomenology of panic disorder and the particular clustering of symptoms that characterizes panic disorder, the therapist informs clients that they are not alone in their experiences. Similarly, the psychobiological conceptualization of panic is presented to demystify the experience of panic and provide a conceptual framework within which the treatment makes sense. At the same time, the psychobiological model introduces the notion that panic attacks themselves are not the main issue; more important is the anticipation of and behavioral avoidance of panic attacks. Given the physical sensations experienced during panic and anxiety, however, a medical or chemical explanation of panic attacks is often more credible to clients than is an explanation that takes into account psychological variables. In addition, a medical or chemical account may be perceived as less stigmatizing than a psychological account.

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