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Using CBT for Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder: 4 Important Reasons this Anxiety Treatment Works So Well (and quickly)

CBT for Panic Attacks - pic of person experiencing panic

If you know what it feels like to have a panic attack or anxiety attack, then you understand how difficult it may feel to recover from one. Anxiety disorders including panic disorder have an awful way of wreaking havoc on our bodies and minds long after they’re over. Anxiety treatment for panic attacks using CBT can be very helpful.

For many, it’s hard to find short or long-term relief from panic attack symptoms. Unfortunately for many people, the strategies they use to manage or prevent panic attacks, actually make things a lot worse. Anxiety treatment using CBT for panic attacks works well for many people.

The Mayo Clinic defines a panic attack as, “a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack, or even dying.”

CBT For Panic Attacks Teaches You Life Changing Tools

The great thing about anxiety treatment using  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for panic attacks is that it can teach you the tools you need to counteract negative thoughts and behaviors.  

These negative thoughts and behaviors often cause you to panic and go into the “fight, flight or freeze” mode (alarm) that is common with people who suffer from anxiety or panic attacks.

CBT for panic attacks gives you the chance to understand how you can prevent panic attacks from happening in the future.

CBT Teaches You How to Quiet Your Inner Critic 

Panic attacks often stem from the negative voice inside your head. It’s that voice that wrongly tells you that you aren’t enough. It’s the voice inside of you that gives you a million reasons to be scared of a new situation and to be scared of fear and anxiety. 

Negative self-talk is common among all people, but for many, this inner critic is the start of worsening anxiety symptoms, eventually leading to full-blown panic attacks. CBT, either online or in-person, as an anxiety treatment teaches you to recognize this voice and silence it before it takes control over your thoughts, behaviors and life.

CBT for panic attacks and anxiety also provides you with the opportunity to recognize the negative and unhelpful thoughts that take root in your mind. Instead of dwelling on these thoughts, CBT for panic attacks actually retrains your brain to counteract them with supportive and helpful thoughts.

Your inner critic says, “You are not enough” or “It’s your fault you are having a panic attack”, after you make a small mistake or feel anxiety creeping in. Anxiety treatment using CBT for panic attacks teaches you to fire back with, “I may have made this one mistake, but that does not mean I am not worthy. I will try again tomorrow.” 

CBT for panic attacks teaches you to say to yourself, “It is not my fault I am experiencing a panic attack and I can and will manage this. I’m not alone. Lots of people have panic attacks and I will get through this.”

CBT Helps You With Anxiety Management In General

A vital component of learning how to prevent panic attacks before they happen is knowing how to better manage anxiety symptoms. CBT anxiety treatment will provide you with the best tools possible to learn how to manage your anxiety once and for all. 

When your heart is racing and your breathing starts to become heavier, CBT teaches you the best ways to calm your body down. By knowing how to calm your body and mind down, you can prevent these symptoms from spiraling into a full panic attack.

Moving our bodies, drinking enough water, and getting out in nature are remarkable methods to lower your baseline anxiety. With a lower baseline anxiety the chance of having a panic attack goes way down. 

You can think of it like fuel – if there isn’t enough anxious fuel in your emotional tank, then it makes it hard for a panic attack to even occur. But if one does, you will learn how to manage this and grow your confidence in how you handle all anxiety, not just panic attacks. 

With anxiety treatment using CBT for panic attacks, you’ll recognize how your thoughts influence your actions and vice versa. It’s an opportunity to look inside and understand how everything is a domino effect. Yes, it will take some practice and time, but eventually (and for most people this is just a few months), you’ll find that you’re better prepared to handle your anxiety in a healthier manner.

CBT For Panic Attacks is Not Just a Temporary Solution to Anxiety!

It’s common for people to think that therapy will only help them with their anxiety symptoms while they are actively participating in counseling. However, that isn’t the case at all. CBT provides long-term solutions and skills to help you manage your panic attacks and panic disorder better, long after you stop seeing an anxiety therapist.

If we choose to work together on your panic attacks and anxiety, you’ll develop skills that will take you way beyond the sessions. From the very first session, I will be thinking about how to help you become your own therapist / coach so that you regain your independence and confidence as quickly as possible.

While receiving this anxiety treatment, together we will figure out which tried and tested CBT tools are likely to help you the most, now and for the rest of your life.

It might take time and the process might feel uncomfortable at times (think of this as growing pains), but as you work towards your goal of managing panic attacks, you’ll realize how much it helps. 

Even after just a few months, once our time together is done, you will still have the skills and mindset to prevent panic attacks. In fact, in the vast majority of people I have provided anxiety treatment using CBT for panic attacks over the last 15 years, very few people need to come back for additional help. CBT for panic attacks can be extremely beneficial. 

Over the years, I’ve seen CBT help many individuals learn brain science based tools to not only manage panic attacks, but also to prevent them in the first place. If you’re ready to begin your journey of not letting panic attacks control your life anymore, please feel free to reach out to me. Click to read more about this highly effective anxiety treatment for panic attacks.


I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Hawaii and an Accredited CBT Therapist in the UK with over 15 years of experience. I specialize in anxiety treatments and have received advanced specialist training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy. Please feel free to contact me at my Honolulu or London clinic to set up a an online CBT Test Drive.

CBT Test Drive

The right approach, tools and fit is a game changer. For this reason, I offer an Initial Test Drive session to see if working together could be a great fit for you. Each Test Drive lasts between 45-60 minutes and takes place within my Video Consulting Room. Based on the latest evidence, science, and my experience, I will aim to make concrete suggestions as to what I think can be most helpful for you.