Panicking On Purpose


Reid Wilson advocates intentionally triggering panic, in order to master it.

An hour-long visit to an island of calm—that’s what many clients who panic hope for when they go to a therapist.

But according to Reid Wilson, an expert on panic and other anxiety disorders, that’s the least beneficial thing we can provide. In fact, the safety of the consulting room makes it the ideal place for clients to intentionally trigger their panic. Then, with our support, they can move into the experience and master it.

In a recent conversation—part of our upcoming webcast series on the latest advances in treating anxiety—Reid illustrates the use of practical strategies for gradual exposure through which the client always comes out on top.

In this brief video clip, Reid explains how he prepares clients to “take the hit” that will allow him or her to step out of the victim position and onto the road to healing. Take just a few minutes to watch. I think you’ll find plenty you can use right away in your own work with clients who are anxious or given to panic attacks.

Reid Wilson is just one of the six innovators included in our upcoming video webcast series: Treating Anxiety: The Latest Advances. It offers a vivid look at the practical methods experts on anxiety treatment like Danie Beaulieu, Peg Wehrenberg, Steve Andreas, Lynn Lyons and David Burns have to offer that can expand your own clinical repertoire with psychotherapy’s most common presenting problem. To learn more about this exciting new webcast, click here.

Want to learn more about treating anxiety and panic? Here are 3 Free articles that are popular with your peers: "Facing Our Worst Fears: Finding the Courage to Stay in the Moment" by Reid Wilson, "The Ten Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques" by Margaret Wehrenberg, and "Nightmind: Making Darkness Our Friend Again" by Ruben Naiman.

Explore More in our FREE Popular Topic Library. You'll find lots of free articles on Anxiety, Depression, and Brain Science.

Need CEs? Audio Courses available include The Anxious Brain and Ten Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques, both by Margaret Wehrenberg.

About Reid Wilson: Reid is associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He runs www.anxieties.com, the largest, free anxiety self-help site on the Internet. He’s the author of Don’t Panic: Taking Control of Anxiety Attacks and Facing Panic: Self-Help for People with Panic Attacks.

09.12.2012   Posted In: NETWORKER EXCHANGE   By Psychotherapy Networker
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  • Not available avatar jane martin 09.12.2012 12:47
    Reid, seems as though you take panic to be a solely physiological problem. I believe you will miss out (and therefore the client will also) on the purpose of panic by doing so. How about ask, "What's the matter?". That will help you unfold the very useful purpose of the panic.
  • 0 avatar jeffrey von glahn 09.12.2012 13:13
    Why settle for "controlling" a panic attack or any of the various anxiety disorders? I'm convinced that they're caused by traumatic events. Crying in a therapeutic way for just a few minutes - or on occasion even less - can make them go away forever. See my article on therapeutic crying in the May/June 2012 issue.
  • Not available avatar Ron Klein 09.13.2012 14:58
    How is this different from implosion techniques? Milton Erickson, M.D. advocated therapeutic dissociation along with cognitive objectivity for the treatment of panic, etc. NLP Visual-Kinesthetic Dissociation is an offshoot of Erickson's approach and successfully treats phobia, PTSD, and panic without risking adverse iatrogenic side effects.
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