Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.
I can imagine how distressing and overwhelming this situation must be for you. The archives is giving a message right now from the system that it is unavailable; you're asking for someone to reply who hasn't before, so I assume you've asked about your anxiety and panic attacks previously. I don't recall your question, so unless it was a while ago I haven't replied yet. But I also don't have access to the archives to see what was recommended to you previously. Okay?
As I said, this clearly seems overwhelming. The anxiety has built after 1 year of CBT. The phobia that developed hasn't abated. That's a clear indication of a deeper problem. You've given here what you believe is that deeper problem:
You were fired from a firm. And not a normal case of being fired but a trauma, as you termed it. And it sounds like it would have been a trauma the way you describe it: one day you're a valued employee, the very next day you're being forced out. I wish this was very rare, but it is not so rare. But it is still a true trauma for the person experiencing it. I've seen one person who truly was traumatized to the point that his marriage collapsed.
And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. I would recommend after we've seen that CBT didn't help enough that you consider now treatment for PTSD. I know that you don't have true PTSD in the sense of a full blown disorder. But we are looking at the anxiety and panic symptoms and the resultant phobia of a heart attack as produced by the trauma. And so treating the trauma is perhaps the next step to explore. I'd like to recommend two possibilities: one is EMDR or other exposure therapy and then hypnotherapy.
I have found EMDR can be very useful especially for trauma that had been treated and now reappears with anxiety and panic. It is a type of therapy specifically for PTSD originally. Here is the International Society's website:
On the web you will find many opinions on EMDR both for and against. I am trained in it and have found it useful. Exposure therapy is also very helpful. However, I have found that you need to combine these types of therapy with a more introspective, humanistic approach. If we actually look inside, we can find great relief and meaning. And we can feel whole in ourselves in ways that we haven't for decades. So ask for referrals for individual therapy as well.
Two: I rarely recommend hypnotherapy. But here I'm going to. Why? Because there is no other symptom of a life problem that is debilitating going on. Please note I am talking about only hypnotherapy, which is a recognized form of psychotherapy used by psychologists and psychotherapists. So I'm not talking about people who put in ads in newspapers for hypnosis. Maybe those are useful or maybe not, I can't say. But a psychologist trained in hypnotherapy is a real licensed therapist. Even so, here's the important statement about hypnotherapy: hypnotherapy can help with a specific problem and that's why I'm thinking of it. HOWEVER, there are good and honest hypnotherapists and there are other types. Your only way of assessing is two ways: first, make sure he or she is a licensed psychologist. Don't let anyone tell you they are a licensed hypnotherapist. There is no licensure in most states that I know of. It's all a "self-licensing" which is not good enough. So you want to know his or her license number as a psychologist and call the state licensing board to make sure there have been no complaints filed. Please do not skip this step.
Okay, I wish you the very best!
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