Judith Bemis, a recovered agoraphobic, started experiencing panic attacks in 1965 while doing post-graduate work at the University of Minnesota. Thinking that it was a serious medical problem, she continually searched for answers concerning the cause, but to no avail. After a period of being semi-housebound, she managed to white-knuckle it until a major setback in 1981 prompted a renewed search for help. A year of cognitive therapy proved to be a turning point in her life. Wanting to share her new-found freedom with others, she founded Open Door Outreach, Inc., a network of support groups for people with agoraphobia and other anxiety disorders. She has served as director and facilitator for the organization since 1986.
She also publishes the Open Door Quarterly Newsletter. She is co-author of Embracing The Fear, Learning to Manage Anxiety and Panic Attacks. A second manuscript, The Gentle Voice Within, Gaining a New Perspective of Our Anxiety and Panic Attacks was recently completed and is unpublished at this time. She has been called on to speak to various groups in the Twin Cities on the subject of anxiety. She is committed to helping improve the lives of people with anxiety disorders and their families. Ms. Bemis holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from the University of Minnesota. She did post-graduate work at the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University. She has been a public school teacher for thirty-two years and has worked as a consultant at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital’s Behavioral Medicine Clinic in Minneapolis. She continues to do in vivo therapy with persons with panic disorder.