Treatment of panic disorder with EMDR


This presentation will focus on incorporating EMDR into the treatment of panic and phobia. Emphasis will be given to the preparation phase of EMDR: an educational model will be presented which is a necessary prerequisite to processing. A three-level approach to processing will be presented, targeting different cognitions and affect at each level. Level three includes the behavioral aspect of overcoming phobia avoidance. It is Whisman’s experience that a panic disorder can be its own origin (i.e., panic from on overdose of caffeine perpetuates itself because the client does not have the knowledge that s/he experienced a caffeine/adrenaline reaction, not symptoms of impending mental or physical catastrophe); however, panic and phobia can also be symptoms of underlying trauma, acute stress disorder, or PTSD. These distinctions will be discussed and relevant case material will be offered. Targeting, negative and positive cognitions, cognitive interweaves, and resource installation will be addressed as each level is discussed. A videotaped session will be shown: the client enters this session experiencing anxiety, dissociation, and trauma response. Clinical observation and client self-report are demonstrating that EMDR can be an effective treatment component for panic/phobia.






Marcia Whisman

Original Work Citation

Whisman, M. (2000, May). Treatment of panic disorder with EMDR. Presentation at the 1st EMDR Europe Association Conference, Utrecht, Netherlands



“Treatment of panic disorder with EMDR,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed April 18, 2021,

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