Jim, hereby some thoughts:
I would certainly validate her concern. ,,Yes I can imagine you having this concern. It is not totally impossible that in the future there may be another heart-attack. And yes- if you will have another heart-attack it is not totally impossible that it may happen in a situation where you will be all with yourself. But... you should also ask yourself the following questions:
1. In your best estimate how high is the probability that you will have another attack and second given that probability how big is the probabity it will happen while driving alone. I guess the p value will be very low ( it wil not be 0 but let us say 2-5 percent?
So it means that there is a probabilit of 90% 0r 95% it will not happen. Now here comes the main thing:
are you willing to give up a more independent way of living- that is under your control and which you can realize, and instead live an empty life but with absolute certainty that you will not have a heart-attack while driving - do you prefer this to an active, more independ life for which you will have to pay the price of a small percentage of uncertainty about a negative outcome.
In other words what do you CHOOSE: absolute certainty but no life to speak of, or an absolute life to speak of with a small degree of uncertainty, anxiety and realistic concern" .
If she chooses an absolute productive life with a small degree of uncertainty and concern it is important that she will remind herself of this thought whenever she feels the anxiety. Otherwise the counterconditioning or restructuring does not happen.
I hope this is of some use to you.
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