Fear learning can be broadly divided into two categories: the acquisition of fear reactions, modeled by Pavlovian conditioning, and the acquisition of fear actions, modeled by instrumental avoidance/escape conditioning. Brain research on Pavlovian conditioning has been especially successful at delineating the cellular and molecular mechanisms of fear-reaction learning. Instrumental conditioning research is beginning to shed light on fear-action learning at the brain systems level. In the present chapter we review recent advances in both fields and suggest that the Escape from Fear (EFF) paradigm is an excellent model for studying how these two types of learning interact to subserve fear behavior. The mechanisms of such learning may be related to passive versus active coping strategies in humans suffering from pathological fear and understanding these mechanisms may have important treatment implications.