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(p. 179) Involving Others 

(p. 179) Involving Others
Chapter:
(p. 179) Involving Others
Author(s):

David H. Barlow

, and Michelle G. Craske

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780197584095.003.0010
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date: 20 May 2022

This chapter presents ways for incorporating significant others to help one confront one’s fears of agoraphobia situations. Research suggests that involving spouses, life partners, family, or friends in the therapy process can lead to continued improvement, especially after formal therapy is over. Helpers can learn about panic and agoraphobia by reading this workbook, by having a mental health professional explain things to them, or by asking the client to explain things to them in as objective a way as possible. The helper may aid the client by discussing the task before the client attempts it and after it is over, prompting the client to use their thinking skills and breathing, and helping them to evaluate their accomplishments objectively. Also, the helper can join the client as they complete their exposure practice. However, it is important to remember that if the helper or partner accompanies the client, they could become a safety signal. Therefore, it is essential that, eventually, the client is able to face the symptoms or situation on their own, without their helper.

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