Fear of Fear Essay

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Clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for panic disorder but the mechanism responsible for the improvement are lacking. The reduction of fear of fear (FOF), or the tendency to respond fearfully to benign bodily sensations, is believed to underlie the improvement resulting from CBT. Research has provided evidence consistent with the FOF hypothesis. Descriptive studies consistently show that panic disorder patients score significantly higher on self-report measures tapping fear of bodily sensations. Those who score high on measures tapping FOF display heightened emotional responding to challenge compared with those who score low on these same FOF measures (M. …show more content…

Of the 130 participants ( 99 women and 31 men), 40 were randomly assigned to a waitlist condition, and 90 participants received treatment previously described by Telch (Telch et al., 1993, 1995). This multicomponent group CBT treatment consists of four major treatment components: education and corrective information concerning the nature, causes, and maintenance of anxiety and panic; cognitive therapy techniques helping patient identify, examine, and challenge faulty beliefs of danger and harm associated with panic, anxiety, and phobic avoidance; training in methods of slow diaphragmatic breathing to help patients eliminate hyperventilation symptoms and reduce physiological arousal; interoceptive exposure exercises designed to reduce patients’ fear of somatic sensations through repeated exposure to various activities; and self-directed exposure to patients; feared situation designed to reduce agoraphobic avoidance.
Treatment conststed of twelve 2 hour structured sessions conducted over and 8 week period. Sessions were conducted twice weekly for the first 4 weeks and once each week for the remaining 4 weeks. Patients were required to tape-record each session. Assessment of clinical status and FOF occurred pretreatment and then again post treatment. For the Texas Panic Attack Record Form, participants were provided with daily panic diary forms. Patients had to record the date, time, duration,

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