Panic Disorder – Dr Catherine Hynes

Dr Catherine Hynes   Quals: Phd (Clinical Psychology & Clinical Neuropsychology), MA (Cognitive Neuroscience), BA Hons (Philosophy & Neuroscience)

Panic Disorder: Over the course of evolution, our bodies have developed sophisticated systems for identifying danger and problems. Significant portions of the nervous system are devoted to preparing the body for addressing threats, and mounting the “fight or flight” response, during which we are prepared for a serious threat such as an attack by a wild animal.

For some people, this system can become over-active, and they may experience a full blown fight or flight response when faced with a relatively small threat, or even the idea of a threat, or the experience of stress. These people can experience “panic attacks” when the threat systems gets triggered, and their bodies throw them repeatedly into fight or flight mode.

Counselling Approach: I work with people who experience panic attacks to help them to understand the physiological, behavioural and cognitive events that surround their panic attacks. This understanding often provides a lot of relief for people. Working collaboratively with the person, we may choose to develop self-soothing skills to help them settle their bodies, or work on the very understandable but not-so-helpful tendency to avoid things that produce anxiety, and to look at how thought patterns are contributing to stress and anxiety.

The usual approach I would adopt for panic disorder is CBT, but my treatment plans are always individually tailored, and may include other approaches to herapy. Where the difficulty is long-standing and the causes originated in childhood or adolescence, therapy may involve healing those old injuries using a scheme focused therapy approach. When a person spends a lot of time worrying about the past or the future, an acceptance and commitment therapy approach may be helpful. If a person is extremely self-critical, therapy may involve developing compassion and empathy for oneself, using a compassion focused therapy approach.

Dr Catherine Hynes Psychologist

Current Availability: Usually 2- 4 week waiting list.

Fees: $220 per hour (Initial appt $260).  Please contact Dr Hynes before booking if you require a discounted rate.

Practice Location: 1420 Logan Rd, Mt Gravatt.

Appointments: (07) 3088 5422