Presenting problem: BWRT for Health Anxiety
Treatment modality: BWRT®
Number of sessions: 1
X had been suffering with anxiety for the last two years or so and was spending less time sleeping and more time working, trying to occupy her mind away from all the things she was worrying about.
At the consultation she explained that she lived half-way round the world from home and twice a year had to take a long-haul flight to visit family.
Always an anxious flyer, she had managed to contain her fears fairly well until, halfway through a flight the Christmas before, the anxiety had surged into a full and frightening panic attack. Convinced she was about to die, she had fainted and was consequently transported to the local Accident and Emergency department upon landing.
Hospital tests found no underlying medical cause and she was discharged with a bottle of pills to calm her anxiety. After a brief few hours of respite, the following day X went back to the hospital, certain that her racing heart was about to explode. Once more, she was sent home with medication, and the advice to relax.
Since the incident on the plane, X said she had developed a fear of death so extreme that she was unable to shut off the increasingly obsessive thoughts in her mind, brought about by the slightest ailment: heart-burn was bound to be stomach or liver cancer; a headache would surely mean a brain tumour.
An ambitious and gifted academic in the world of science, one of the issues which had been so troubling to X was the thought that an early death would rob her of the opportunities to achieve all the things she so desired in life.
Exploring this further, X revealed that although the thought of dying too soon was devastating, she also held a deeply spiritual belief in life after death. This held the key for X and we incorporated this ideology into the subsequent therapy session, where BWRT® helped her to align the unwanted thoughts and feelings with her faith that death is not final.
Applying herself to the therapeutic process with the same vigour she gave elsewhere, X experienced a rapid and profound change; at the end of the session she declared in puzzlement that all the issues she had brought into the consulting room no longer seemed to bother her.
Delighted that she had sought BWRT for Health Anxiety, this session turned out to be the only one that X needed.
In an email, a week later, she wrote that something ‘weird’ had happened: During her spiritual reflections she had come to realise that the panic attack on the plane was not just something awful to forget about. Now that the fear and panic was no longer present she could see it had been a powerful lesson to learn, one which had taught her so much that she was almost sorry it had gone.
To find out more about BWRT for Health Anxiety, contact us today!