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Although cognitive therapy for panic attacks is a relatively recent development, it has attracted considerable interest; partly because of early reports of good long-term outcome. Cognitive treatment of panic focuses on the identification and modification of misinterpretations of bodily sensations. Outcome studies suggest that the treatment is highly effective and the theory upon which treatment is based is supported by a growing body of experimental evidence. The present article provides a brief outline of the details of treatment. As the treatment contains several elements, the extent to which re-appraisal of bodily symptoms is an active element is discussed and possible alternative explanations of treatment effectiveness are considered. The available evidence is consistent with the view that cognitive factors are at least partly responsible for the effectiveness of treatment. Ways in which clinicians might maximize treatment effectiveness are also discussed.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly

Publication Date

01/12/1991

Volume

5

Pages

215 - 226