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Don't Panic! How to Treat Panic, Social Anxiety and Phobias

In this fast-paced workshop, participants will learn the most direct therapeutic strategies for treatment of panic disorder and its related phobias, as well as social anxiety disorder. First, with panic disorder, we will review the essential knowledge base and therapist skills needed for comprehensive treatment. We will begin with psychosocial development that leads to the panic-prone personality, the benevolent purpose of symptoms, brief calming and focusing skills, skills for worries and anticipatory anxiety, and success imagery.  We will then venture into the world of permissive and provocative therapy, placing significant attention on shifting the patient’s orientation toward panic.  The standard cognitive-behavioral treatment of panic is now pushing further into the confrontational.  Participants will learn how to divide and conquer: to interrupt anticipatory anxiety and then to manage physical symptoms using cognitive strategies, paradox, pattern disruption, exposure and interoceptive exposure, and peeling away their ever-present “safety crutches.” 

We will distinguish changes in this cognitive-behavioral treatment to fit the needs of those with social anxiety, whether utilizing individual or group therapy. Underlying beliefs drive social anxiety and lead clients toward developing flawed treatment goals. Then we will highlight tasks in the initial interview, paradoxical interventions, exposure simulations, cognitive restructuring, principles of group work, and homework procedures.