Panic disorder is characterized by recurring panic attacks and persistent fear of having panic attacks. To diagnose this disorder, doctors typically look for symptoms and distress that last longer than a month.
Panic attacks are defined by the DSM-5 as abrupt surges of intense fear and distress that peak within a short timeframe, possibly within minutes. A panic attack can occur with no definite cause. Physical symptoms include increased heart rate, shaking or trembling, vertigo, hyperventilation, and sweating.
Patients who seek treatment often undergo individual psychotherapy or take medications. However, group therapy is another viable option for panic disorder treatment.
What Is Group Therapy?
Group therapy is the administration of psychotherapy in a group setting. Therapists may use this method in tandem with individual therapy and medication for panic disorder treatment, among other conditions. One or more therapists are involved with facilitating sessions. Group therapy is available in various locations such as hospitals, mental health clinics, private practice offices, and community centers.
What Are The Benefits Of Group Therapy For Panic Disorder Treatment?
Having this condition can be stressful and overwhelming. Despite this, you can control the symptoms of panic disorder with treatment. Seeking professional help and sticking to your treatment plan is vital to improving your quality of life.
According to the American Psychological Association, group therapy meets the Society of Clinical Psychology’s efficacy standards for panic disorder treatment. Here are the benefits of group therapy:
Group therapy can provide patients with a safe space with people who can best understand what it’s like living with panic disorder. Group therapy can give you a sense of belonging, which can counter the feelings of loneliness that panic disorder may induce.
Joining a therapy group for panic disorder treatment will allow you to surround yourself with people working toward the same objective. People are more likely to progress faster and reach goals when supervised or when others are holding them accountable. Likewise, it can be inspiring to see other group members as they succeed with their goals.
You may foster personal growth through the discourse and feedback obtained from group therapy. The group may introduce you to trying new ways to cope with panic disorder. Other positive effects of this treatment are improvement of self-esteem, emotional regulation, and anxiety management.
Group therapy primarily functions to control symptoms, so you can improve your overall quality of life. The presence of skilled facilitators who guide the group with established methods and the group’s company can help you create healthy and sustainable habits to control panic disorder symptoms.
The therapist can see first-hand how patients respond in social situations, which gives way for more precise feedback during treatment. Because group therapy allows for conversations between the therapist and other members, other participants’ feedback may also increase self-awareness.
How Does Group Therapy Work?
Group therapy sessions are set in private locations and last for one to two hours. Sessions may run for a limited period or be more open-ended, depending on what the psychiatrist sees fit. Group size is usually kept to 5 to 15 people. Depending on the participants and facilitator, the group may either be closed to maintaining the same set of members until the end of the program or open to introducing new members midway.
The group therapy process usually occurs in stages: forming, working, and closing. At the beginning of the program, the participants introduce themselves to the group. The next step is the working stage, wherein the focus shifts into deeper learning about the condition and problem-solving. Lastly, in the closing stage, participants transition toward creating a mindset to apply when they are independent of the group.
Panic Disorder Treatment In New York And Southbury, CT
Seeking treatment can be challenging for many people with mental health conditions. You may think you’re alone in your struggles, but you are not – and help is available. For instance, group therapy is a viable and beneficial instrument for panic disorder treatment.
There are many institutions that offer group therapy. Finding the right fit is critical to get the best out of your treatment. Here at Psy-Visions, we understand that treatment is a dynamic, complex, and long-term process. You can rest assured that we only have your best interests at heart. Our very own Dr. Mark Stracks can create a customized panic disorder treatment plan for you.
To consult with us, you may visit our offices located in New York, New York, or Southbury, Connecticut. For inquiries and other concerns, call (718) 887-2918, or request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you heal!