Cognitive-behavioral therapy is not a passive experience for patients. It requires your active involvement to work. You are expected to come to sessions weekly (sometimes more than once per week), to fill out forms that evaluate your problems, and to do self-help homework that you and your therapist plan and assign. As indicated earlier, most patients who participate in this treatment experience improvement in their panic disorder and agoraphobia-some experience rapid improvement. Even if you experience rapid improvement, however, you should complete the full treatment package. Premature dropout from treatment increases the likelihood that you will have relapses.
The course of treatment is planned for 12 sessions. The first few sessions are used for evaluation and explanation of the treatment. The last few sessions of the treatment are mainly for follow-up these are scheduled twice a week and then once per month. The treatment package that we use combines the excellent treatment techniques developed at Oxford University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the State University of New York at Albany. We view the treatment as a way in which you can learn how to help yourself. That is why doing homework in therapy is so important.