Panic Attacks

From my experience panic attacks seem to occur from two types of circumstances. One is when you face a major decision and both have consequences. For example, it could be trying to decide if you should keep your current job which is safe but unfulfilling, or take a new job in a new city that could be exciting but means uprooting your life. Trying to decide between the two could be paralyzing.

In other cases, I’ve seen people have panic attacks just be getting in the car and planning to go to a store. The prospect of talking to people and possibly making a social mistake and being judged can bring on panic attacks.

What to Do:

Solution focused therapy can help you learn to manage your panic attacks. We start by helping you visualize what you’ll be doing when you’re calm under these circumstancesare not happening. Having a specific idea of what you’re trying to go for helps you plan for it. Next we help you find a very small but comfortable way to start moving toward the goal of no panic attacks. Sounds simple I know, but the trick is to find something so small it seems ridiculously simple, then build up from there.

Each time you face the situation that results in the anxiety attack you can work towards going a little bit further each time until you reach your goal. We can also apply some behavioral techniques that will make it that much easier to make it happen.

How to Get Started

For more information about how solution focused therapy works, contact me at 616-914-9874.

Gary Watson is a Solution Focused Therapist in Grand Rapids Michigan.  He provides counseling for couples, teenagers, and adults.  He can help with anxiety, depression, stress, college and work stress, relationship problems, and more.  For more information, please visit the website at