Loading Events

Level I: Part Two: Class 6 – The Pharmacological and Non-Pharmacological Treatment of Anxiety and Depression in Trauma Survivors

May 14 Join Zoom 8:30 am; Training 8:45 am - 4:15 pm (EST) , 6 CEUs Presenters:
Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA
Kevin Scott Ferentz, MD
Zoom, MD + Google Map

This class is only open to participants of the Level I program.

For information about the Level I Trauma Certificate Program, click here.

Workshop Description

Given the fact that countless traumatized clients suffer from co-morbid medical and mental health disorders, in this 6-hour workshop participants will learn about the etiology, epidemiology and diagnostic criteria for all of the affective and anxiety disorders in DSM-5. The first half of the workshop will be led by Dr. Kevin Ferentz, a primary care physician nationally recognized in the treatment of depression and anxiety. He will address the medical and mental health impact of these diagnoses, especially when they go undiagnosed and untreated.  Participants will get information about assessing for suicidality. They will learn about the most recent pharmacological treatment options, as well as their potential side effects. This will also include an important discussion about the difference between “response” to a drug and full “remission” and alleviation of symptoms. He will also discuss the research, benefits and risks associated with supplements, “medical” marijuana, ECT, and other alternative treatment approaches. The somatization of depressive symptoms will be explored, as clients often present in Doctor’s offices with physical, rather than emotional complaints.  An emphasis will be placed on a collaborative treatment approach between mental health providers and primary care physicians.

In the second half of the workshop, we will explore a variety of non-pharmacological treatment options for clients who either refuse medication or for clinicians to use in conjunction with pharmacological intervention. We will look at the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model and discuss the intra-psychic, inter-personal, and environmental stressors and life events that trigger or exacerbate depression and anxiety. Participants will learn how to address the “medication myths” that often make clients initially resistant to considering an anti-depressant or anxiolytic, so clients can make informed and educated decisions about medication. We will also process creative ways to help clients navigate depressed or anxious moods including: cognitive re-framing and positive self-talk: using art therapeutically; parts work; guided imagery and visualizations; journaling; and Solution-focused strategies.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the diagnostic criteria for assessing affective and anxiety disorders in trauma survivors.
  2. Identify the most commonly used anti-depressants and anxiolytics, and their potential side effects
  3. Identify at least six intra-psychic, inter-personal, or environmental stressors that can trigger or exacerbate an episode of depression.
  4. Describe at least four “medication myths” that add to client resistance and explain how to work through those misconceptions to increase compliance.
  5. Identify the disadvantages to using supplements or medical marijuana for the treatment of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, or PTSD
  6. Implement an appropriate assessment to address suicidal ideation.
  7. Explain at least four advantages to mental health providers working collaboratively with primary care physicians.
  8. Identify at least five cognitive distortions that often accompany an episode of depression.
  9. Distinguish between “response” to medication versus “remission” and why getting clients to remission is so important.
  10. Explain the role of the “parts perspective” in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders.
  11. Define and implement at least six non-pharmacological ways to treat depression and anxiety disorders in trauma survivors.


8:45-10:00 am

  • Depression: Epidemiology, etiology, diagnostic criteria, risk factors and co-morbid diagnoses
  • Physical symptoms and syndromes related to depression
  • Differential diagnoses: bi-polar I and II

10:00-10:07 am                 Break

10:07-11:00 am

  • Anxiety Disorders: panic, agoraphobia, social anxiety, OCD, PTSD and Acute Stress Disorder
  • Assessing for suicide

11:00-11:08 am                   Break

11:08-12:00 pm Pharmacological treatment options

  • Classes of medication
  • Understanding and working with potential side effects
  • Response versus remission
  • Supplements, medical marijuana, ECT

12:00-1:00 pm                    Lunch

1:00-2:00 pm

  • Putting clients in a bio-psycho-social context
  • Processing medication with depressed or anxious clients
  • Addressing clients’ “medication myths”

2:00-2:08 pm                      Break

2:08-3:00 pm

  • Creative non-pharmacological interventions: reframing cognitive distortions and increasing positive self-talk
  • Treating anxiety and depression through a parts perspective
  • Processing art prompts

3:00-3:07 pm                       Break

3:07-4:15 pm

  • Guided imagery and visualization, self-soothing techniques, Solution-focused strategies
Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C DAPA