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Fear of Bodily Sensations

The fear of bodily sensations is a core component of conditions such as panic disorder, heath anxiety, or chronic subjective dizziness. This CBT formulation diagram illustrates possible maintaining factors leading-to- and consequences stemming-from- a fear of bodily sensations. Helpful treatment approached for this difficulty include: psychoeducation, cognitive restructuring, and interoceptive exposure exercises.

This is a Psychology Tools information handout. Suggested uses include:

  • Client handout - use as a psychoeducation resource
  • Discussion point - use to provoke a discussion and explore client beliefs
  • Therapist learning tool - improve your familiarity with a psychological construct
  • Teaching resource - use as a learning tool during training
  • Chambless, D. L., & Gracely, E. J. (1989). Fear of fear and the anxiety disorders. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 13(1), 9-20. ed.gov archive.org
  • Clark, D. M., Salkovskis, P. M., Öst, L. G., Breitholtz, E., Koehler, K. A., Westling, B. E., ... & Gelder, M. (1997). Misinterpretation of body sensations in panic disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65(2), 203.



Fear of Bodily Sensations