Have you ever had an anxious client who, after doing everything you knew how to do, was still just as anxious? I know – I’ve been there too. Sometimes my interventions would stick, but other times they would not. Part of the reason is that I was treating all “anxiety” the same way. That’s when I learned “anxiety” is actually a catch-all term for a lot of different specific experiences that all need to be treated in different ways. In this workshop you will how to help clients right from the first session, increasing their confidence about what to do when anxiety shows up. By providing anxious patients with a powerful experience right in the first session, therapists can build their motivation and hope for treatment while providing a road map for treatment right at the start. The strategies we will explore will go beyond basic relaxation and deep breathing and will incorporate cognitive, somatic, hypnotic, and guided imagery techniques. Participants will develop a practical assessment of anxiety that identifies the different “ingredients” that are causing clients to feel anxious and target them directly. We will also process clients’ stories and beliefs about their anxiety and how to identify the secondary gains.
In addition, we will also explore a brief overview of how treating panic disorder is different from treating other anxiety disorders and the critical things to know about panic attacks. The specific DSM-5 Diagnoses that apply to this training include: Generalized Anxiety Disorders; Unspecified Anxiety Disorders; Panic Disorders; Adjustment Disorders with Anxiety; and Major Depressive Disorder with Anxious Distress. Several case studies from the presenter’s clinical practice will be discussed to demonstrate how this trans-theoretical approach to anxiety treatment has worked in real clients’ lives.
Explain why the content of what a person is anxious or worried about doesn’t matter so much as the process of how they “do” anxiety.
Describe a strengths-based perspective to educate and empower patients about how their particular anxiety works and how they have the inner resources to change.
Implement at least 10 stories and metaphors as quick and powerful communication tools for explaining complex anxious processes.
Utilize specific body-based (somatic) skills, hypnosis and guided imagery and how to apply them quickly in session to reduce anxiety in the moment and in the long-term.
Identify specific cognitive skills that you can teach in your next session to help clients break the worry cycle in the moment.
Describe and utilize anxiety-specific interventions from several psychotherapy models including Internal Family Systems, Paradoxical Therapy, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Focusing, Mindfulness-Based CBT, Ericksonian Hypnosis, David Burn’s TEAM-CBT model and more.
8:45 – 10:30: Getting Started
Assessment keys for all types of anxiety, worry, and panic
What to know about medications for anxiety
Differential diagnoses that must be ruled out
Identifying and addressing secondary gains
Making a difference in the first session and improving retention
10:30 am – 10:45 BREAK
10:45 – 12 pm: The Principles
How to develop quick treatment goals that make sense to clients
Anxiety vs. worry – why you must know the difference
Courage vs. calm – how chasing calm can negatively reinforce anxiety and what to do instead
Process vs. content – how focusing on content can lead to an endless game of whack-a-mole, and what to do instead
Mapping the Anxiety spiral – why catching it early is the single most effective intervention and how to do it
12 – 1:00 pm LUNCH
1 – 2:30 pm: The Interventions
Somatic interventions – keys to muscle tension and breath work
Cognitive interventions – keys to break worry and rumination
The educational interventions – central keys clients must understand about their condition
Behavioral interventions – key behavior changes that can short circuit the anxiety spiral
Psychodynamic interventions – keys to making meaning and using parts work in anxiety treatment
Lifestyle interventions – you don’t need to become a yoga master, but these key changes can make all the difference