Dr. Russell Todd Crawford, himself a survivor of depression and anxiety, emphasizes a compassionate approach to psychotherapy. Based in Virginia Beach, Russell Todd Crawford has extensive experience in treating complex issues such as self-injury and panic disorder.
Panic attacks and phobias are prevalent in U.S. society, with some 29 percent of adults experiencing them over the course of a lifetime. At the center of these disorders is emotional memory, which encompasses the full range of experiences and associated stimuli, and the resulting emotional responses.
Past embarrassment in public situations may result in social phobia, while an assault can lead to intense fear of walking along a darkened street. The common thread is that situations previously thought of as harmless are now linked with a sense of dread.
Therapeutic approaches to phobias currently involve exposure therapy, through which the feared situation or object is presented again and again, such that more recent, safe memories supplant the frightening memory. This effectively suppresses the fear, although new traumatizing events can reawaken the negative memory.
As highlighted in a New York Times’ article, recent research focuses on the use of the drug propranolol. This seems to inhibit the effects on the brain of norepinephrine, which plays a role in the way a memory is put back in storage after it is retrieved, and may present a way of permanently eliminating phobias.