Panic Attack Treatment in London & Online

Panic attacks can be a scary experience, where fear overwhelms you and anxiety symptoms suddenly peak, leaving you feeling out of control. These sudden attacks, though short-lived, can have profound effects on your daily life, influencing your work, relationships, and personal time. If you find yourself constantly worried about the possibility of the next panic attack, especially without any clear triggers, you might be facing panic disorder – a mental health condition that goes beyond the occasional anxiety spike.

At Therapy Central, we understand the complexities of panic attacks and panic disorders. Our London-based and online therapists are not only highly experienced but deeply committed to helping you navigate and recover from these challenges. We employ the most evidence-based, effective approaches, including CBT, to empower you not just to manage, but to overcome panic attacks, reclaiming your freedom to live a fulfilling life.

Ready to Take the First Step? Work with our qualified Panic Attack therapists. Start Your Journey to Recovery Today.

Schedule Your Free Consultation Now.

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Discover Panic Attack Treatment

What are Panic Attacks?

Panic attacks involve a sudden strong increase in anxiety, fear and panic. You may be able to identify the trigger for panic episodes, but they can also occur when there is no identifiable trigger. Keep in mind that having a panic attack does not necessarily mean that you have panic disorder.

a person experiencing a panic attack

Understanding Panic disorder

Experiencing an intense moment of fear or discomfort, known as a panic attack, can feel isolating. If you’re noticing panic attacks are reoccurring, it’s possible you may be dealing with a panic disorder, one of the most common mental disorders. Panic disorder is a well understood mental health issue, one of many anxiety disorders, defined mainly by the anticipation and fear of having panic attacks. If you’re dealing with panic disorder then it’s likely you’re experiencing meaningful changes in behaviour, including avoiding situations that have triggered panic episodes in the past.

Having one panic attack does’t mean you have panic disorder. However, if they are happening often, they can have a significant impact on your day-to-day life. Panic disorder will require professional help to be treated. Luckily, our supportive therapists are experts in understanding the symptoms of a panic episode and the scenarios in which panic attacks happen, their causes and impact on you and can provide therapy designed specifically for your unique challenges.

Take the First Step to Understand Your Panic

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Panic Disorder?

People experience panic attacks in a variety of ways. However, when you’re having one, you can experience a variety of physical symptoms, including: 

  • struggle to breathe
  • feel dizzy
  • feel nauseous
  • have palpitations (i.e., increased heart rate)
  • have an urge to go to the toilet
  • feel numb
  • have tingling sensations
  • feel faint

These physical symptoms are the body’s response to a perceived threat and, although highly unpleasant, they are not dangerous. However, their intensity can lead to strong emotional responses, such as fears that:

• you might stop breathing
• you might faint
• you might have a heart attack or die
• you might get of control or crazy
• you might vomit
• you might have symptoms of a panic episode

These fears, in turn, can make the physical symptoms worse, which further fuels the fears and so on. This cycle makes panic attacks an extremely unpleasant experience, often leaving you exhausted and afraid to experience another attack.

Recognise These Symptoms? Get in Touch Today to Work with a Specialist

depiction of panic disorder symptoms, including a heart symbol to represent palpitations and a swirling motif for dizziness

How are Panic Attacks Maintained?

After experiencing one or more panic episodes, it’s common to develop a fear of having future panic attacks. As a result, you may avoid situations altogether where you fear you are likely to experience another panic attack. If you choose to go into feared situations, you might do it only by taking precautions, like making sure you have medication on hand, bringing a friend for support, carrying a water bottle, or staying close to an exit for a quick escape if you start to feel overwhelmed. The problem is that this inadvertently makes panic attacks worse. 

Someone with panic disorder, who fears they might have a panic attack in a social setting, may choose to stay near an exit so they can escape quickly should panic set in. Following experiencing one or many panic attacks, you may lose your confidence in situations where you previously felt secure.

In essence, panic attacks often persist due to a mix of:

  1. Fear of future attacks
  2. Unchallenged misinterpretations of physical symptoms as danger signs, and
  3. Avoidance behaviours that inadvertently maintain the cycle

Therapy typically tackles both the cognitive aspect – changing how you interpret these symptoms – and the behavioural side – reducing avoidance to break the cycle.

Break the Cycle of Panic Attacks – Connect with Our Therapists

the cycle of panic attacks featuring a central figure surrounded by symbols of worry, avoidance, and anxiety-inducing situations, forming a loop to represent the perpetuating cycle

What’s the Difference Between a Panic Attack and an Anxiety Attack?

Sometimes you hear the terms panic attack and anxiety attack used as if they’re the same. In fact, they are quite different experiences. Here’s how:

  • Panic attacks: are intense episodes where you might feel like you’re losing control, having a heart attack, or even fear dying. They come on suddenly and are often not directly triggered by anything you can pinpoint. If panic attack happen regularly, you might have panic disorder.
  • Anxiety attacks: while not an official term used by therapists, generally describe a period of high worry and stress. This type of anxiety doesn’t hit as suddenly as a panic attack but builds up over time, often due to a specific situation or problem (e.g., job loss, relationship breakup, etc.)

Here’s a simple breakdown of the differences:

Feature Panic Attack Anxiety Attack
Onset Sudden and without warning Gradual build-up related to a perceived stressor
Duration Brief and intense, often peaking within minutes Can last for a long time, as long as the stressor is present
Symptoms Palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, feeling of choking, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, fear of losing control or “going crazy”, fear of dying Muscle tension, restlessness, excessive worry, irritability, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems
Trigger Often unprovoked or spontaneous Specific stressor or worry
Treatment CBT, medication, relaxation techniques, exposure therapy CBT, stress management, relaxation techniques, counseling

Both panic attacks and anxiety can be treated with our help. Our therapists are trained to be responsive to what you’re going through, whether it’s the sudden fear of a panic attack or the ongoing stress of anxiety.

Ready to tackle your anxiety or panic attacks? Reach out to us for a personalised treatment plan.

Find Clarity: Contact us Today

Illustration contrasting panic attacks and anxiety: one side shows a person in the midst of a sudden, intense panic attack, while the other depicts gradual stress and worry typical of anxiety

What Causes Unexpected Panic Attacks?

There is no single known cause of panic attacks for everyone. Many factors are believed to be important to develop panic disorder. However, the impact of these is different from person to person:

Genetic Factors: There is no single gene known to cause panic attacks, however, studies show that if you have a first-degree relative who experiences them, it’s more likely that you will experience panic symptoms at some point in your life

Psychological Factors: Various psychological factors, frequently explored during therapy for panic attacks, are believed to increase the likelihood of experiencing these episodes. These include:

  • chronic  stress
  • being taught from a young age that internal physical sensations are worrying and you should pay close attention to them
  • being encouraged to rest and recover at the early sign of any different physical sensation
  • having another existing mental health difficulty, such as depression, OCD, PTSD, phobias, generalised anxiety disorder and social anxiety
  • having a strong internal focus/being hypervigilant to changes in your body
  • low self-esteem

Environmental Factors:

  • Experiencing a recent bereavement
  • Facing a major stressful life event (e.g., loss of a job, moving home, breakdown in a relationship)
  • Having a physical illness

Uncover the Causes of Your Panic Attacks

The origins of panic attacks, featuring symbolic elements for emotional stress, lifestyle, genetics, and environmental factors

When Should I Get Treatment for Panic Attacks?

It can be helpful to seek help for panic attacks, whether your struggle with these has just begun or whether you have been struggling with this condition for some time. If you relate to any of the signs of panic disorder outlined above, then it can be beneficial to seek psychological therapy so that they no longer have a hold on you. It’s also important to rule out any potential medical condition that could account for your symptoms. Always reach out to your GP about your symptoms, before seeking help from a mental health professional and look at your treatment options.

The general rule of thumb is this: if your panic episodes are starting to affect your ability to work, cultivate and maintain relationships and enjoy life in general, then the right time to ask for help is now.

Get in touch today and tell us more about how panic attacks are affecting you.

A visual metaphor for deciding to seek treatment for panic attacks, showing a person on a pathway towards healing

What is the Best Therapy for Panic Disorder?

In order to manage and treat panic attacks, finding the right therapy can be a transformative step toward regaining control of your life. The best therapy is one that not only addresses the symptoms but also works to unravel the underlying causes of your panic attacks, so that they don’t return in the future.

CBT for Panic Disorder

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is widely recognised as one of the most effective approaches to treat anxiety and panic disorder and many other anxiety disorders. CBT focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing thinking and behaviour patterns. In CBT, you and your therapist will work together as a team to uncover the thoughts that trigger your panic attacks and learn new, healthier ways to respond to them.

For example, imagine that you tend to have panic attacks when in crowded environments. In therapy, we will assist you in recognising any automatic unhelpful thoughts, like ‘crowds are dangerous‘, that set off your panic. CBT will help you question and change this belief to something less alarming like ‘although crowds might be uncomfortable, they are not inherently a danger.’ By modifying your thought patterns this way, the emotional and bodily reactions to the trigger may change, which in turn can decrease the intensity and frequency of your symptoms of panic.

Other Approaches to Tackle Symptoms of Panic

Beyond CBT, other therapeutic approaches such as Mindfulness-Based Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Exposure Therapy have also been beneficial in treating anxiety disorders, like panic.

Mindfulness practices help you stay grounded in the present moment, reducing frequency and intensity of panic attacks. With mindfulness-based therapy, you can gain a greater awareness of your body and mind, recognising the signs of anxiety before they escalate into a full-blown panic attack.

The approach works by disrupting the automatic response that leads to a panic attack. Instead of being swept away by a wave of anxiety, mindfulness-based therapy equips you with the ability to ride the wave and remain anchored in the now. Over time, this practice can reduce the frequency and intensity of panic attacks by enhancing your capacity to manage stress and anxiety proactively

Psychodynamic therapy offers a deep exploration into past experiences and emotional conflicts that may be at the root of your panic disorder. It helps you uncover unconscious patterns influencing current thoughts and behaviours, providing precious insights that can lead to meaningful change. This understanding can empower you to resolve these underlying issues and in doing so reducing the occurrence of panic attacks and improving emotional resilience.

Exposure therapy is a process that carefully and gradually exposes you to the situations or objects you fear, in a safe and controlled environment. Over time, doing this lessen the intense panic response by gradually increasing your comfort level with the feared situations or symptoms (e.g., body sensation). It’s a powerful way to build up your tolerance and reduce avoidance behaviours, teaching you that the feared outcome is less likely or severe than anticipated, which can significantly diminish the power of panic attacks.

In most cases, a combination of therapies or an integrative approach may be the most effective course of action. This is because panic disorder is a personal experience, and what works best can vary from person to person. Our therapists at Therapy Central, trained in a variety of therapy approaches, understand this and are committed to creating a personalised therapy plan that suits your unique needs.

Ready to explore which therapy might work best for you? Contact us for a free 15-minute consultation.

An uplifting illustration of an individual radiating joy and relief after recovering from panic disorder

Panic Attacks Therapy: What does it Involve?

Let’s use CBT Therapy for Panic Disorders as an example as it’s supported by strong evidence of its effectiveness on adults, including from randomised control trials [1].

The first step will be psychoeducation. This will involve, for instance, learning that unpleasant physical sensations are your body’s normal response to a perceived threat and are not dangerous. It’s actually your body trying to protect you!

While progressing on your Panic Attack Treatment, relaxation techniques are introduced to help reduce the unpleasant physical symptoms. With your therapist, you will address your fears through questioning and challenging them using cognitive techniques. One way to challenge your fears is by testing them out via gradually confronting your fears. This phase of therapy for panic is one that includes behavioural and exposure techniques.

As you progress, you will learn that although avoiding situations and taking precautions when entering feared situations help to ease anxiety in the short term, in the longer term, they keep the anxiety and panic disorder going. This is how a Panic Vicious Cycle is maintained. Your therapist will guide you to gradually confront these situations and rely less on precautions. This will help you improve your anxiety and confidence.

Confronting your fears may sound scary and is the opposite of what your brain and body are telling you to do. However, while working on treating panic attacks, you will see that this will soon get you on the road to recovery. You are not alone. Your therapist, a skilled mental health professional, will be by your side in helping you decide when it is the right time to take the next step.

Ready to Start Therapy? Contact Us to Schedule Your Session Now

Panic Attack Treatment CBT Cycle

What are the Benefits of Panic Attacks Treatment?

Research and clinical experience show that people can gain various benefits from therapy for panic attacks:

  • Reduction in the frequency of panic attacks
  • More control over anxiety and panic
  • Ability to face previously feared situations with less anxiety and panic
  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved confidence

Would you like to experience the benefits yourself?

How Long does Therapy for Panic Attacks Last?

Some people can make a significant improvement in their panic attack symptoms in around six sessions. However, others may need additional sessions to get their panic disorder treated. This is to allow time to learn more tools to tackle this condition and ensure it does not return in the future, and prevent future panic attacks. Usually, between six and sixteen sessions have shown to be highly effective to manage symptoms and recover from panic attacks.

Our therapists specialised in Panic Attacks

All of our therapists are qualified psychologists, psychotherapists or counsellors registered with several professional bodies. These include the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the British Psychological Society (BPS), as well as, BACP, UKCP and BABCP.

Our therapists use CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), psychodynamic, humanistic and integrative approaches tailored around your needs to help you deal with your unique challenges and reach your goals.

Dr. Raffaello Antonino

Clinical Director, Counselling Psychologist

Dr. Sheetal Dandgey

Clinical Director, Counselling Psychologist

Dr. Amy Smith

Clinical Director, Counselling Psychologist

Dr. Anna Hovris

Counselling Psychologist

Dr. Samantha Harris

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Alana Whitlock

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Yasmeen Jaina

Counselling Psychologist

Dr Gail Freedman

Counselling Psychologist

Maryam Keshavarz


Dr Joanne Warren

Clinical Psychologist

Dr Lydia Garmon-Jones

Clinical Psychologist

Dr Nicholas Sarantakis

Counselling Psychologist

Anita Sommers


Dr Didem Altay

Counselling Psychologist

Imogen Hg-Johnson


Anna Orlowska

Counselling Psychologist

Joanne Videtzky

Clinical Psychologist

Dr Lara Lopes de Jesus

Counselling Psychologist

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Fees & Insurances

Therapy, Counselling and CBT sessions are 50 minutes long and are usually held at regular weekly time slots.

15 Minute Initial
Phone Consultation

£80 - £125
Psychological Therapy/
Counselling (Self-funded)

£115 - £150
Couples Therapy/
Family Therapy

Covered by
Your Private Healthcare Insurance Provider

Our therapists are registered with several insurance providers, such as AXAPPP, Simplyhealth, Bupa, Aviva, Cigna (UK/US), and WPA. If you wish to use your personal or employee private healthcare insurance to cover your sessions, please highlight this in your contact form below.

Start Your Journey to Recovery with Therapy Central

No one should navigate the challenges of panic attacks alone. At Therapy Central, we’re dedicated to guiding you through every step of your recovery journey. Our expert therapists are ready to work with you, employing a range of proven therapies tailored to your unique needs. From the intricate understanding of panic disorder to evidence-based, effective treatment strategies, we’re here to ensure that panic no longer defines your life.

Take the first step towards a life free from the constraints of panic. Contact us for a free 15 min consultation with one of our psychology associates. Discover how our tailored and integrative approach to panic attack treatment can fit your needs and start your path to balance and fulfilment. Reach out via email at or call us at (+44) 020 348 82797. You can work with our therapists flexibly, in-person at our Oxford Circus, Central London offices, or Online.

Don’t Let Panic Define Your Life

Reassuring Therapy Context where to find a solution to relationship disconnection.

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    What happens after I make an enquiry?

    After receiving your enquiry we’ll contact you to organise a FREE phone consultation. You will be able to tell us more about your specific circumstances and needs and ask any questions you have. Then, if you want to proceed with therapy or counselling, we’ll match you with the therapist(s) with the best expertise to help you with your challenges and send you a list of their available appointment slots. If you’re satisfied with one of these, we can then go ahead and book your first appointment. You can also request to work with a specific practitioner and, depending on availability we’ll try accomodate this.

    What happens at my first appointment with the therapist?

    Your first session will likely be different than future appointments. You and your therapist will get to know each other and will begin to build a working alliance. It will be a chance to have the confidential space to express your circumstances, feelings and thoughts and being listened to with depth, attention, empathy and without judgement . Your therapist will likely ask you more about your reasons for seeking therapy, and any symptoms you’re experiencing. You may also be asked questions about your past and the history of your issues, as well as how they currently impact your life in the present. Finally, your first session may be a powerful place to discuss what you would like to achieve with therapy and agree on the length, methods and approaches of treatment.

    Is online therapy effective?

    If you choose online over in-person therapy rest assured that this has been proven to be just as effective as regular face to face therapy, and in some cases even more effective. In addition, choosing online therapy brings additional benefits, for example avoiding longer waiting times, greater flexibility with appointments and you won’t need to travel to our practice. You can enjoy online therapy from the comfort of your home.

    How long the Therapy/counselling sessions last?

    Therapy/counselling sessions last 50 minutes and are held at regular weekly time slots. On occasions we are able to allow some flexibility. This can be discussed with your therapist.

    Do you offer reduced rates/concessions?

    We offer low-cost rates to people with a low income, unemployed or students. Please let us know in your enquiry if you would like a concession rate and how you qualify for this. Depending on the availability of our therapists, we’ll do our best to accommodate your request.

    Do you have a cancellation policy?

    We have a 48 hours no-fee cancellation policy. However you will be charged for sessions missed without giving the full notice.

    Our Practice in Central London

    Our comfortable and confidential therapy rooms are conveniently located 3 min walk from Oxford Circus station, in Central London (see map below). Change starts with Talking!


    Dr Amy Smith, Counselling Psychologist

    Dr Raffaello Antonino, Counselling Psychologist


    Learn more:

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    [1] Otte, C. (2011). Cognitive behavioral therapy in anxiety disorders: current state of the evidence. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience13(4), 413.



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