Woodbridge Panic Attack Disorder Therapy

Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder in Woodbridge, VA—Therapists and Counselors

Feeling relaxed and excited for her weekend, Melissa set out for an easy walk around her neighborhood, but just a few minutes in, she was doubled over with stomach pain. Out of the blue, she was cold, shaking, and dizzy, even though it was a warm day. Melissa sat down and called a friend to pick her up. Within a few minutes, the symptoms had stopped, but Melissa was exhausted and scared. What had just happened? At the doctor’s office later that day, Melissa learned she had a panic attack.

There is not always clear reason or a warning that a panic attack will be sparked. They can strike without a trigger, and when they occur repeatedly and when they disrupt people’s normal routine, they may have developed into a panic disorder.

Have you or has someone you love lived through a panic attack? You know how they devastate and disrupt. As a natural and understandable reaction, people may rearrange their lives to avoid them, but in doing so, they also are missing out on opportunities for professional advancement, time with friends, and family time. Some people may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the discomfort, but these only make the attacks worse.

Psychological treatments, however, have proven effective in treating panic attacks and a panic disorder. That is why Thriveworks Woodbridge offers counseling for panic disorders. We want everyone to live free from panic.

How Do Panic Disorders Develop?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines what a panic disorder (DSM-5 300.01 [F41.0]) is and how it develops:

  • If people experience multiple (more than one) panic attacks that include feeling severe physical and emotional discomfort that builds for several minutes and then abates, then they may have panic disorder. The panic attacks must have at least four of these symptoms:
    • Chest discomfort/pain
    • Fear of going crazy or losing control
    • Fear of dying
    • Excessive perspiration
    • Palpitations or abnormally rapid heart beat
    • Shaking or trembling
    • Feeling detached from oneself
    • Numbness or tingling sensations
    • Dizziness or faintness
    • Hot flashes or chills
    • A choking feeling
    • Shortened breath or feeling smothered
    • Abdominal pain or nausea
  • Following one or more attacks, also engaging in one or both of these behaviors for a period of at least one month.
    • Switching up one’s normal work or personal schedule, trying to evade another panic attack.
    • Experiencing constant worry about having another panic attack, stroke, or heart attack.

Panic attacks, unfortunately, can be caused by many different disorders or behaviors, and for a panic disorder to be diagnosed, the attacks cannot be caused by another physical health problem, mental health disorder, and/or drug use.

Treatments for Soothing Panic

Instead of missing opportunity, fun, and connection in order to avoid panic attacks, what if there were a better way? What if panic subsided and daily life flourished? Panic attacks have been responsive to several psychological treatments, and a skilled therapist may even combine treatments to meet people’s individual needs and diagnoses.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy examines foundational causes of the panic attacks and seeks to resolve them. Often, childhood abuse or life trauma can disrupt people’s lives and allow negative thought patterns to take hold. Therapy may teach people how to work through the trauma and equipment them with healthy coping skills.
  • Medication may alleviate or control symptom. When combined with other therapies, medicine often increases their effectiveness. When used under the supervision of a therapist, benzodiazepines and antidepressants have helped many people overcome panic attacks.
  • Exposure therapy allows people to feel a lessened form of a panic attack but within a safe space and with the supervision of a trained therapist. People can then get used to the feelings and sensations. They can also build coping skills. When the feeling of panic is normalized and when people are equipped with healthy responses, the attacks often subside if not completely cease.

Setting Up Counseling at Thriveworks Woodbridge for Panic Attacks

Have you had a panic attack? Have you had multiple attacks? Living your normal life without panic is possible. Many people have reclaimed their daily routines through psychological treatments for panic disorders, and Thriveworks Woodbridge has appointments available. Our professionals are dedicated to finding the right combination of therapies that meets each client’s individual needs and symptoms.

Living with a panic disorder is hard enough; scheduling therapy should be easy. That is why many new Thriveworks clients see their therapist within 24 hours of their call. It is also why we work with most major insurance providers and most insurance plans. We also offer weekend and evening appointments.

Are you ready to live free from panic attacks? Call Thriveworks Woodbridge, VA today.

Thriveworks Counseling Woodbridge

People Love Our Providers!

Overall Rating: 5★★★★★ based on 11 5 1 11 reviews. See all reviews
Thriveworks Counseling Woodbridge

Answers to my prayers

Johanna Lee has been my therapist for the past 7 months and I am extremely pleased with her! She is very professional and goes above and beyond to meet my needs. Thriveworks makes the whole process easy because I can text them to solve any issues I’m having.
Thriveworks Counseling Woodbridge

Discerning & Thoughtful

I mentored Sharon in her master’s and doctoral studies where I found her to be thoughtful and discerning. She always generated a sincere sense of passion as her desire was not just to obtain degrees but to build the skills and knowledge base to support people within her community. Transparent in all her interactions with me and fellow students, she was unapologetically true to Biblical standards as the foundation of her interactions with others. I am confident that she will continue to be a thoughtful and wise counselor to all who seek her guidance and compassion.
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People Person

Sharon is the epitome of integrity. She operates in humility and truth. She embodies what I call the three Cs: Caring, Considerate, and Compassionate. She sees you, hears you, and listens attentively and intuitively to your concerns. Her advice is sound and non-judgmental. Sharon's quiet, calm, and peaceful spirit puts you at ease, and makes you feel comfortable. I often seek her advice when life becomes difficult. I highly recommend Sharon for those that are broken, and in need of much healing and inner peace.
Thriveworks Counseling Woodbridge


Sharon Fernandez excels in Professionalism, Prepardness, and Integrity. Her ability to express concern about sensitive subject matter is very comforting.
Thriveworks Counseling Woodbridge


Sharon shows a great deal of compassion, wisdom and kindness when sharing my concerns/issues with her. She is professional yet very personal as she guides and provides the help I need. If you are looking for a counselor that cares Ms. Sharon is an excellent choice.
Thriveworks Counseling Woodbridge


Sharon Fernandez is an active listener and a calm, cool and thorough presence. My wife and I enjoy talking to her because we always walk away better than when we began the conversation. It is obvious that Sharon has something special that causes her to work at a level of professionalism that causes her to deliver exceptional effectiveness.
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Outstanding Service

Sharon Fernandez is super supportive, patient, and provides awesome service with a great standard of professionalism. She is very easy to talk to, is a great listener, and gives honest feedback. Overall, I feel like she relates to my situations well which is super helpful and allows me to be more vulnerable in sharing with her. I would highly recommend her to my friends and family members that are in need of stellar counseling services.
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Sharon Fernandez

Sharon Fernandez is a very kind, caring, thoughtful and very compassionate person. You can't ask for a better person to listen to you and help with your needs.
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Pleasant and professional counseling

Sharon provided exceptional service. I sincerely appreciate her professionalism and attentiveness to my concerns. I truly felt her genuine care as she help me with my shortcomings. She really made my experience pleasant which allowed me to be more vulnerable. I would highly recommend her to my family and friends and to you who may come across this review for counseling needs.
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Karmaria Negron

If you’re looking for a excellent therapist, look no more. I have worked with Karmaria Negron and am well positioned to say that she is a gifted, highly intelligent and compassionate therapist who truly cares about her clients. Ms. Negron is a gift and blessing to everyone that she encounters. She has consistently guided her clients through challenging and painful waters to mental and emotional healing and success. She is authentic and I highly recommend her for those who want to heal and grow.
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Althilia Moore

I have been seeing my therapist for several months now. She is awesome! Each time I see her she is ready to help me through what ever issue I have that week. She actually listens to what I have to say and has responses ready along with coping skills on how to make it though each situation. We have recently started EMDR therapy and I am hopeful this will help me face my demons of my past. I give Thriveworks and Althilia Moore 5 Stars!!
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Thriveworks Counseling & Psychiatry Woodbridge

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  • 2501 Hunter Pl Suite 202,
    Woodbridge, VA 22192

  • Mon-Fri:7AM-9:30PM

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