Psychological Models of Phobic Disorders and Panic

Sheila R. Woody and Elizabeth Nosen

in Oxford Handbook of Anxiety and Related Disorders

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780195307030
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Psychological Models of Phobic Disorders and Panic

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  • Clinical Psychology



This chapter provides a brief survey of major elements of psychodynamic, behavioral, and cognitive theories of the etiology and maintenance of panic and phobias. Each approach is described in turn, including relevant findings from psychopathology research. The chapter touches on theories that spring from diverse foundations, including intrapsychic accounts, conditioning theories such as Mowrer's two-factor model accounting for the role of avoidance, and cognitive formulations of social phobia and panic. Other psychological factors in phobic disorders and panic, including anxiety sensitivity, temperament, evolutionary pressures, and culture, are also discussed. The chapter concludes with a discussion of commonalities across these diverse theories on points such as the importance of life events and beliefs about feared stimuli and the consequences of anxiety.

Keywords: behavioral; cognitive; etiological models; fear; panic; phobias; psychodynamic; social anxiety

Article.  11606 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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