“Thought Stopping†therapy for Panic Attacks!

February 28, 2011 by moi 

Thought Stopping can have a rapid effect of lessening the duration and severity of a Panic Attack.   For a number of years, psychological professional have been using a process called Self-Talk to create positive affirmations in the minds of patients.  This kind of technique – while typically taking longer to engage – is also effective with patients who are habitually self-haters.  

In recent years, moreover, there has arisen a subset of this technique in regard to rapid, short-term relief for extreme sufferers of an Anxiety Attack.  The regimen we’re referring to here is called Thought Stopping. ~ This technique is known as Thought Stopping.}  As the name suggests this technique has the patient in charge of a reduction technique that intends to stop the emotional anxiety before it can become a full-fledged attack.   Previous attempts to achieve such short-term effects were relatively unsuccessful because they were driven solely on a “stop it” focus only.  Recently, however, this approach has been supplanted with a double-ended technique that eliminates the negative thought process by replacing it with positive thoughts or affirmations.   The result is a replaced technique that has been shown to achieve not only good results but to achieve them quite quickly in clinical time and to result in an improvement in the frequency attack scenarios in the future – leading to eventual diminished effect.

Thought Stopping begins with the repeated process of focusing on the most severe attack scenarios and thinking through in detail what the specific thoughts typically are that set up the spiraling-panic process.  The patient is instructed to be detailed and analytical – so as to see themselves as self-helping – in regard to documenting what the thoughts are and how they escalate into an anxiety attack.

The patient is then coached to document a series of positive thought affirmations that can be re-experienced when self-administering the therapy.  The actual process is defined as follows:  1) A recognition that panic-thoughts are occurring and building up; 2) An out-loud barking/shouting of “Stop it!” is repeated several times; 3) the positive or reassuring affirmations are read and repeated, with a repetition of the steps as needed until the beginnings of the attack subside.  Over time the patient is expected to see a greatly improved self-administration of the technique and a growing success rate.

While there are specific theories regarding the need and/or wisdom of varying and increasing the intensity of self-help with this technique, it is the basic process as presented herein that seems to be of significant benefit to Anxiety Disorder patients who previously had no real short-term expectations of relief.  


Comments are closed.