Agoraphobia is a disorder that involves avoidance of ordinary activities or places. Avoidance usually develops in response to a panic attack. Agoraphobia causes intense fear of:
- using public transportation
- being in open spaces
- being in enclosed spaces
- standing in line
- being in a crowd
- being outside of the home alone
People with agoraphobia restrict the zone where they feel safe. Situations are often avoided for fear that escape would be difficult or that help may not be available if needed.
We can effectively treat your agoraphobic behavior with exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP). ERP will involve facing your fears in a gradual way. We will work together on a program to address your anxiety that has kept you stuck in avoidant behavior. We will identify new ways of relating to your fearful thoughts so you can face your triggers using acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).
You will define the pace at which we will work on exposure tasks. ERP tasks will be practiced wherever you experience triggers, including school, work, or public places.
Practice between sessions is crucial to see good results.
Helpful Treatment Augmentations
Family therapy is often useful so that your family members have a plan to support you in ways that will help you reach your goals. We will address problematic behaviors that affect your relationships and interfere with your progress. Together, we will find alternative strategies that can help you.
Compassion focused therapy is useful for clients who feel guilty, are self-critical and lack self-compassion.
Medication can be a helpful addition to your therapy. If you are not currently taking medication for your anxiety, and we determine that it may be useful, a referral to a physician will be provided.