Agoraphobia Treatment Center
Anxiety & Panic Disorders
Treating an anxiety disorder like agoraphobia requires a safe, serene setting and culture like that at the Agoraphobia Treatment & Rehab Center of Morningside Recovery. Overcoming agoraphobia involves understanding how anxiety affects the mind and body. The goal of our agoraphobia treatment center is to help clients free themselves from fear and return to a functional lifestyle. Since agoraphobia often co-occurs with substance abuse, agoraphobia treatment at Morningside takes a comprehensive approach that combines therapies to address all co-occurring disorders. Clients don’t begin behavioral therapy unless the majority of panic-attack symptoms are being managed. Morningside Recovery’s mental health specialists will discuss all of the agoraphobia treatment options with the client and family. For example, they will explain the advantages of each type of agoraphobia treatment therapy with the client and family. Different therapeutic approaches suit different people, so the best agoraphobia treatment approach will depend on co-occurring conditions, health considerations, and the severity of the client’s disorder.
Individual and group therapy have proven benefits, and they are the recommended form of agoraphobia treatment for clients with this disorder. Individual agoraphobia treatment therapy will usually be some style of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is based on the idea that the way you feel is partly dependent on the way you think about things. CBT teaches clients to maximize their best self by challenging negative thoughts.
Therapy will also teach clients ways of changing their behavior, which makes it easier to deal with the panic attacks associated with agoraphobia. For example, a therapist might show a client breathing techniques that he or she can use to help keep calm during the stress of a panic attack. Meanwhile, a staff nutrition expert can coach clients on limiting or avoiding caffeine, sweets and tobacco. Other Morningside staff assists with the regular exercise that burns off stress chemicals and reduces anxiety levels.
Later in agoraphobia treatment clients may try exposure therapy, another type of psychotherapy that is sometimes used to treat agoraphobia. It involves being gradually exposed to the object or situation that is feared, and using relaxation techniques to help reduce anxiety. This systematic desensitization can take place in a simple, office setting. Clients slowly get relaxed, then imagine the things that cause the anxiety, working from the least fearful to the most fearful. Gradual exposure to the real-life situation also been used at Morningside to help people overcome their fears. Therapists will also work with clients on the physical symptoms of anxiety. For example, hyperventilation causes a feedback loop in the body that affects the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood. These levels are involved with the regulation of the body’s reaction to anxiety and panic. Clients will practice breathing from their belly, rather than their chest, to prevent hyperventilation.
Agoraphobia treatment seems to be most effective if instituted early in the development of the agoraphobia, and it generally takes some time before all symptoms diminish. However, many clients report that simply studying relaxation techniques offers immediate relief and hope. At Morningside, learning to relax includes methods such as meditation, hypnotherapy or regular exercise. The Agoraphobia Treatment Center at Morningside offers the environment and the culture for clients to change their lives.