Wall Street Journal: For better talk therapy, try taking a nap

Lavanya Bhaskara

Psychotherapy sessions are best in the morning when levels of helpful hormone are high

Patients make more progress toward overcoming anxiety, fears and phobias when their therapy sessions are scheduled in the morning, new research suggests. An SMU study found that morning sessions helped psychotherapy patients overcome their panic and anxiety and phobic avoidance better, in part, because levels of cortisol — a naturally occurring hormone — are at their highest then, said clinical psychologist Alicia E. Meuret.

Cosmopolitan: Feeling stressed and panicked? Don’t take a deep breath!

Meuret%20400x300%2072dpi.jpgA new treatment that helps people with panic disorder normalize their breathing works better to reduce panic symptoms and hyperventilation than traditional cognitive therapy, says SMU psychologist Alicia E. Meuret.

Cosmopolitan magazine has taken note of Meuret's research with a Jan. 3 article that warns readers to forget about taking a deep breath when they're feeling stressed and hyperventilating — it will only make the problem worse.

Live Science: Less is more when breathing to relieve panic

Meuret%20400x300%2072dpi.jpgA new treatment that helps people with panic disorder normalize their breathing works better to reduce panic symptoms and hyperventilation than traditional cognitive therapy, says SMU psychologist Alicia E. Meuret.

Live Science news site interviewed the SMU psychology department's Meuret for an article about her research findings that the feeling of suffocation that comes with panic attacks can be alleviated by breathing less — not more. The Dec. 26 article "To Stave Off Panic, Don't Take a Deep Breath " tells readers that deep breathing reduces carbon dioxide in the system, which in turn causes symptoms like dizziness and numbness.

A new breathing therapy reduces panic and anxiety by reversing hyperventilation

Meuret%20400x300%2072dpi.jpgA new treatment that helps people with panic disorder normalize their breathing works better to reduce panic symptoms and hyperventilation than traditional cognitive therapy, says SMU psychologist Alicia E. Meuret.

Photo: Dr. Alicia Meuret demonstrates the CART breathing technique. (Credit: Hillsman Jackson)

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