Overcoming Panic (Just a Thought) course

Overcoming Panic (Just a Thought) course

  • This course is useful for people who experience frequent panic attacks if they're already engaged with a health professional who can work alongside them. They will need to be self-motivated and have good English language ability.
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Overcoming Panic course By Just A Thought


  • Information sheets (PDF) that can be downloaded and printed.
  • Progress that can be monitored.
  • Save as you go option which allows the user flexibility to choose how long then engage in the programme at any one time.
Country of origin New Zealand
Clinical review 

4 star review

Read a clinical review of this course below.

Security and privacy Does the course:
  • Collect medical information? Yes – if chosen can complete mental health screens which are saved and can be sent through to health support person.
  • Require a login? Yes
  • Have password protection? Yes
  • Have a privacy policy? Yes
  • Require internet access to use? Yes

Read more about safety and security when using apps.

Tips to improve your privacy and security [PNG, 200 KB] Health Navigator Charitable Trust, NZ
Staying safe online(external link) Netsafe, NZ

Cost Free
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How to access the course

In this online course users learn all about panic and effective ways to break the ‘cycle of panic’. The content is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) skills.

The first course 'Overcoming Panic' consists of 3 parts:
1) What is panic? – in this part users learn about panic and why it happens and managing uncomfortable symptoms with some relaxation breathing skills.
2) Tackling unhelpful thoughts - in this part users focus on anxious thoughts, which often drive panic and how to manage these
3) Avoidance and safety behaviours - in this part users learn how to approach things in life that they may have been avoiding because of panic.

The second course 'Overcoming Panic – next steps' is about learning how to manage panic over the long-term. It also has 3 parts:
1) Sitting with sensations – in this part users learn how to use 'panic exercises' to tackle the physical sensations of panic.
2) Troubleshooting panic – in this part users learn about common roadblocks people face when working on panic, and how to deal with them when they come up.
3) Overcoming Setbacks – in this part users learn how to combine the previous learned skills to manage future challenges and setbacks.

The course recommends taking a week to complete each part (3 weeks in total for each course), however users are able to go at their own pace and save their progress as they go.

Each part of the course is broken down into 3 segments:
a) Story – reading through the story of Penny, a New Zealand based fictional character who experiences panic attacks and following her treatment journey.
b) Lesson – working through the lesson that relates to the chosen part’s topic.
c) Action Plan – reviewing key points and planning activities to practice between lessons.

Users can work through the course with the support of a health practitioner who can monitor their progress.

The course provides a source of accurate information about anxiety and panic attacks and a clear treatment process to follow to deal with panic when it arises.

The course teaches useful techniques to practice in the Tools and Tips section and also provides the opportunity to connect with other people who are experiencing similar challenges.

For the complete app description, go to the course website(external link) or, for a more detailed review, see reviews below.


Good source of accurate information about anxiety and panic symptoms. It explains the important role anxiety plays in our life (eg, what is normal anxiety) and helps to distinguish when it becomes problematic (eg, out of control).

Has clear definitions and uses easy to understand language.

New Zealand-based case example (with effective visual graphics) for clients to identify with and provide a more personalised experience.

Offers research-based interventions that have high efficacy when practiced consistently.

Encourages the setting of goals and outlines clear actionable exercises to elicit behavioural change.

Interactive exercises which encourage clients to enter personal information that's then saved and summarised at the end of each part.

Able to complete with the support of a health practitioner and have them directly monitor your progress.

Reference to online support groups.


Limited variety with a lot of reading content (clicking through the many slides of the story can feel quite tedious). This may be hard for people who struggle with self-motivation, or have difficulty concentrating for longer periods of time.

The content may feel overwhelming without a health professional support person to oversee the user's progress and process questions and concerns.

Clinical review

4 star review

: David Bloore, Clinical Psychologist, David Bloore Psychology Ltd (private practice)
Date of review: September 2023
Platform: No app, website suitable both android/apple 
Comments: This review has focussed on the Overcoming Panic, Part 1 and Part 2 courses, for people who suffer panic attacks. It is part of the Just a Thought website and draws from treatment practices which have demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of panic attacks. Each of the courses comprises 3 parts. The first course provides information about anxiety, panic attacks, and skills to manage; and the second course focuses on how to manage these symptoms in the long-term. The course is designed to be completed in around 2 to 3 months, but can be done at the chosen pace of the user.
While users have the option to complete it on their own, it is recommended that they work through the programme with the support of an experienced health professional. This is due to the large amount of information, which may prove to be overwhelming or possibly confusing without having someone to help guide them through the process. (This may not be a problem for people who are motivated or enjoy self-learning.) Also some of the ‘panic exercises’ recommended in part 2 of the course would be best attempted with some oversight.
Overall, these 2 courses provide the user with accurate and valuable information about anxiety and panic attacks and offer a robust treatment process to help understand and manage panic symptoms effectively. While the content lacks variety (written material only) it is an easy platform to navigate and a worthwhile treatment option for people who experience panic attacks and a useful tool for health professionals to use with their clients.
New Zealand relevanceYes.
Safety concerns: No, but I would want to reiterate that if clients are experiencing what they think are panic attacks, it would be important to initially seek the support of an experienced health/mental health practitioner (eg, their GP) before starting a programme like this.

Disclaimer: The NZ Health App Library is a free consumer service to help you decide whether a health app would be suitable for you. Our review process is independent. We have no relationship with the app developers or companies and no responsibility for the service they provide. This means that if you have an issue with one of the apps we have reviewed, you will need to contact the app developer or company directly.

Credits: Healthify editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.