Attention fixation training: Training people to form cognitive maps help to control symptoms of panic disorder with agoraphobia

János Kállai, P. éter Kosztolányi, Anikó Osváth, W. Jake Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nine individuals diagnosed with panic with agoraphobia received three elements of Attentional Fixation Training (AFT): Directed attention to the external environment, directed topographical synthesis, and directed orientation in space-time to control characteristics of panic. They then walked a standard 2.5km route and practiced these elements upon entering one of the five panic-inducing situations: (a) walking alone near a busy street with the examiner following at 20m, (b) walking alone near a busy street with the examiner out of client's visual field, (c) shopping with the examiner present, (d) traveling on a bus alone, and (e) shopping alone. Heart rate was monitored in each of these five situations. Except for the case of using public transport, heart rate activity decreased to a considerable extent during AFT practice suggesting AFT elements provided a good way to control symptoms of panic in vivo. Results were discussed within the confines of a model suggesting that an attentional deficit, which produces a spatial disorientation disorder that maintains both panic and agoraphobia, can efficiently be overcome by means of all three AFT tools. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-288
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

Keywords

  • Agoraphobia
  • Attention fixation training
  • Cognitive maps
  • Spatial orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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