Phenomenology, Assessment, and the Cognitive Model of Panic
Phenomenology and assessment are closely linked in function. Research into the comparative phenomenology of particular disorders may serve to generate working hypotheses about the nature of the conditions being investigated because general phenomena more characteristic of one disorder than another can be identified. Such work should lead to the formulation of hypotheses regarding the etiology and maintainance of the disorder, and hence to treatment strategies. On the other hand, the main function of assessment is to identify the presence and probable importance of variables which may be involved in the etiology or maintainance of a disorder (or both) for any particular patient. This allows the clinician to formulate individualized treatment goals and tactics. In this way, there is an intimate link between phenomenology, theoretical models, and the processes of assessment and treatment. Two other chapters in this volume have examined more general aspects of phenomenology and assessment of panic (Barlow and Craske, this volume; Turner, Beidel, and Jacob, this volume). This chapter will consider aspects of phenomenology and assessment of panic attacks and panic disorder which have implications for the cognitive model, described by Clark (l986a) and Salkovskis and Clark (l986a).