Recovery from panic attacks in Calgary, Alberta

The Calgary EMDR Clinic offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) as an effective therapy for recovering from panic attacks.

EMDR can give you relief from symptoms of panic attacks including intense fear of having another panic attack.

You can heal from dread, fear and feeling completely overwhelmed.

Panic attacks can often come from what seems like nowhere. They can hit you with intense physical symptoms and create real fears of dying. If you have had a panic attack you know some of its symptoms – tingling sensations, tightness in the chest, having a hard time breathing, nausea, heart palpitations. The symptoms of a panic attack are all-consuming – sweating, trembling, chest pain, chills or sweats and dizziness.

Panic attacks are terrifying and probably the worst symptom is feeling like you are “going crazy” and even worse – a very real fear of dying. You may feel hopeless and overwhelmed, worried you may never overcome you panic and fear of another attack. The problem with panic attacks is that after you have one panic attack, you begin to fear having another.

This fear of having another panic attack can intensify and actually cause another panic attack. The fear of panic attacks can result in other psychological symptoms such as fears (phobias) about going places because people are afraid of having a panic attack in public. You may find yourself staying isolated more and more because of the fear.

Once this fear kicks in, so does adrenaline, which increases heart rate and elevates stress hormones.

What if you never had a panic attack again?

Imagine feeling free to go about daily activities without worrying about when the next panic attack will hit. You would be able to feel confident about meeting any of life’s challenges. You will be able to breath, feel relaxed and hopeful. Your heart beats at a normal rate and you no longer live in fear.

You won’t be afraid of being in public because you will no longer have panic attacks. When your panic attacks are gone, your overall anxiety will diminish and you will be able to do things you want to do without feeling restricted because of panic.

EMDR for panic attacks
EMDR for panic attacks

EMDR desensitizes anxiety and the fear panic causes.

After undergoing EMDR your nervous system will be regulated. You will discover the root of what is causing the panic and be able to view the world in a more adaptive way. The “fight, flight, freeze” reactions associated with panic attacks and hyper vigilance will be reprocessed.

How does EMDR for panic attacks work?

EMDR resolves panic attacks. EMDR is a therapy that takes traumatic events that happened in the past from the long-term memory and moves those events to the active working memory. When you focus on image of the traumatic event while the therapist uses a light bar and hand buzzers the working memory is taxed intensely and can therefore process a lot of information. When this happens, the image of the traumatic event is blurred and loses its emotional charge.

With panic attacks, the therapist may ask to to remember the first time you had a panic attack and think about the worst part of that. This is because the actual event of having the panic attack can create the trauma. Sometimes with EMDR the image will be the fear of what will happen in the future – fear of going to the grocery store; going to the cinema, fear of dying from a panic attack. Also the therapist may facilitate activating events from the past, even into early childhood, to explore any root causes. When these images and fears are activated in the working memory, the therapist works to desensitize the material. It is then reprocessed so there is no emotional charge left.

EMDR for panic attacks FAQ

EMDR is a an effective treatment for panic attacks. It is an evidenced-based psychotherapy proven to help people recover from panic. It is endorsed by The World Health Organization, the American Psychological Association, and the Department of Veterans Affairs as a preferred treatment method for trauma and PTSD.

There are several reasons why EMDR works. It mimics the rapid eye movements of the REM sleep phase, a critical period for processing daily experiences and emotions. By intentionally guiding the client through specific eye movements, EMDR may facilitate the reorganization of traumatic memories, aligning them more with a person’s adaptive beliefs. It is also a memory reconsolidation therapy where pressure (using hand-held buzzers and a light bar) is placed on the working memory while someone is thinking about disturbing memories and events.

Anyone who has experienced a panic attack and knows how limiting they can be can benefit from EMDR.

Each one-hour session is $200 and is covered my most insurance providers. Check your insurance details for coverage under psychology benefits.

This depends on different factors such as the nature of the problem, your history, and your ability to tolerate short periods of emotional distress during the session (when the memory is activated). The length of time can vary from two to three sessions, several weeks or months. In complex cases it could take much longer. However when EMDR is administered effectively by a trained therapist the length of time is often much less than traditional talk therapy.

If you feel burdened by panic attacks and the symptoms they cause then EMDR can help. It is also recommended for people who have engaged in “talk therapy” but feel they have not recovered through that process.

Sessions are booked based on client preference. They can take place once a week or more and can be booked longer than one hour.

Get started
with EMDR for panic attacks

If you would like to discuss how you can heal from panic attacks please schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation on our booking page. You can also call or text at (587) 844-0443 or email us at Calgary EMDR Clinic is pleased to support you in your growth and recovery.