Effects of cognitive therapy and relaxation for generalized anxiety and panic disorder.
Researchers from the Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, compared the relative efficacy of cognitive therapy (CT) and relaxation therapy (RT) in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder without agoraphobia (PD).
For Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Cognitive Therapy and Relaxation Therapy were equivalent. For Panic Disorder, however, Cognitive Therapy, out-performed Relaxation Therapy on all panic-related measures, as well as on indices of clinically significant change.
There is ample evidence that both CT and RT qualify as bona fide treatments for both GAD and PD, and that they are efficacious for both. The finding that CT and RT do not differ in the treatment of GAD, but do for PD, is a further refinement in our knowledge base, showing the importance of specificity of treatment to the disorder, even for 2 treatments within a CBT class, and for 2 disorders within an anxiety class.
Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award