My girlfriend suffers from agoraphobia and is heavily dependent on her mum. She's unable to go into busy/open/enclosed places, nor travel a long way from home. She hasn't tried therapy for many years after some bad experiences the first time round. When she first became ill, she tried counselling, CBT and group therapy, but did not find them very useful. The counsellors were not very understanding, they seemed to think that there must be something real and physical that she is afraid of, as with other phobias. When she tried to explain that that is not the case, that it is the fear of having a panic attack that is so debilitating, they did not seem to get it.
The CBT was not very effective either, she had to go to the hospital for the sessions, which in itself she found very difficult. She described one session which was particularly bad, when she had a panic attack in a hospital hallway. The therapist was on hand but tried to let her deal with it herself, telling her to breathe through it. Her mum was nearby but was told not to come and help her - just thinking of that day brings back the awful sensations of the experience. As a result she remains sceptical about the effectiveness of CBT.
The group therapy was in a closed-off room that was not conducive to learning how to overcome the agoraphobia.
The only other therapy she has tried, and which worked best than any of the others, was a short course of EFT - tapping etc. This seemed to resonate with her better than anything else.
It seems to me she has been unfortunate in the therapy she received. The good news is that she is willing to give it another go, and will be contacting a therapist recommended to her.
What types of therapy would you recommend for someone like my girlfriend who suffers from agoraphobia?