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(NEW) Anxiety, Worry and Panic: Practical Treatment Strategies for the Toughest Clients

April 16 Breakfast 8:30am-8:45am   Training 8:45am-4:00pm $159, 6 CEUs Presenter: Zachary R. Taylor, MA, LPC, NCC Doubletree Hilton Hotel, 1726 Reisterstown Road Baltimore, MD 21208 United States + Google Map

Have you ever had an anxious client who, after doing everything you knew how to do, was still just as anxious?

In this workshop we will focus on a practical, “what-works” approach developed over 10 years in clinical practice based in evidence-based theories of psychotherapy, with a focus on helping patients right from the first session.

We will cover a wide variety of techniques that 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 factors that are causing clients to feel anxious and target those factors 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.

Learning Objectives

  • 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
  • Psycho-somatic interventions – keys behind relaxation, guided imagery, and hypnotic suggestion

2:30 – 2:40 pm BREAK

2:40 – 4 pm

  • Special considerations for panic
  • Understanding pseudo-panic (and how it’s treated differently)
  • What to do before a panic attack
  • What to do during a panic attack
  • New directions in exposure treatment – moving from habituation to inhibitory learning
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