CBT for Panic Disorder

Examples of Amanda's online exercises


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Amanda's Stress Log Exercises Watch the Thought Challenge Tutorial

Amanda's Thought Challenge Example - 1

Amanda chose to challenge the thought "I am dying right now" because when she was having this panic attack, this was the most disturbing and most anxiety provoking automatic negative thought she had at the moment.

I want to challenge my own thoughts

I am dying right now

I felt like I was dying

How could I not be dying if I can't breath

With every breath I take my lungs do get inflated

There has to be oxygen in the air inside the bus because everybody else seems to be breathing without problems

I've been to the ER twice already and after many tests they told me these are panic attacks and that I'm not going to die from a panic attack

I'm having a terrible panic attack. It feels awful, but I'm not dying

I am dying right now


I am dying right now



After challenging her negative thoughts about impending doom, Amanda learned to interpret physical symptoms (like shortness of breath) without always assuming the worst


Amanda's Thought Challenge Example - 2

Amanda chose to challenge the thought "Going in that elevator will ruin my career" because she recognized that thought as the main source of her anxiety at the moment.

Going in that elevator will ruin my career

The last 2 times I went into an elevator I had a panic attack so I'll most likely have another one

My boss will be able to tell that something's happening to me

My boss will never see me with the same eyes, or assess my performance in the same way

If the ride in the elevator is not that long or crowded maybe my anxiety won't be so noticeable

My boss might tell I'm nervous and not make a big deal of it

Maybe even if my boss knew I have frequent panic attacks he wouldn't think they'll affect my performance

If I have a major panic attack in the elevator it might have a short term impact in the way my boss evaluates me

Going in that elevator will ruin my career


Going in that elevator will ruin my career



Amanda's new "Balanced Thought" is still a rather negative assessment of her stressful situation, but not as extreme. If she interprets a similar stressful situation in the future in this more balanced way, she is still likely to feel anxious, but her anxiety will also not be as extreme