chapter  94
Panic and anxiety can be understood in person-centred terms
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In person-centred terms, anxiety is seen primarily as a product of incongruence. It exists when a person's self-concept is under threat. In other words, according to Bryant-Jefferies (in press), we are anxious when experiences that have been or are being denied to awareness or distorted in how they are symbolised in awareness (in order to maintain consistency within the person's self-concept) are threatening to, or are beginning to, break into awareness. In this sense, anxiety arises from the promptings of the actualising tendency to somehow deal with the denied or distorted experience. Anxiety and panic may be seen as `symptoms', effects, evidence of deeper psychological processes, of con¯icts within the person's psychological make-up. Anxiety tells us something about ourselves, it is a kind of warning sign that something is happening, something is moving and shifting within us, some form of psychological con¯ict or dissonance is threatening to break into awareness.