Helping the Anxious Client: Strategies That Really Work

Helping the Anxious Client: Strategies That Really Work


The anxiety disorders manipulate people by injecting rules into consciousness, then using that set of laws to take over mental territory.  Five anxiety disorders—phobias, panic, social anxiety, generalized anxiety and OCD—control people by generating an absolute standard for certainty and comfort.  We will look at the common denominators of this mental game, and isolate its manifestations in each disorder.  Then we will explore how the therapist can teach clients to gain ground by engineering their own tactics and strategies, including the second-order change of switching game boards altogether! This brief strategic approach to cognitive-behavioral therapy helps clients find the courage and motivation to challenge their old beliefs and attitudes.  Practical methods enable clients to ignore the content of their obsessive worries and to explore the feeling of uncertainty rather than fleeing from it.  The cutting-edge anxiety treatment is now pushing further into the confrontational.  You will learn how to help clients purposely to seek out anxiety as their ticket to freedom from crippling fear. 

We will begin by studying how all anxiety disorders generate an absolute standard for certainty and comfort, thus manipulating people into worry. You will learn specific skills within the three targets of treatment for both worry and generalized anxiety disorder: physiological, cognitive, and behavioral. With all the anxiety disorders, therapists can teach clients to purposely seek out anxiety as their ticket to freedom from crippling fear.  For panic disorder and its phobias, you will learn how to divide and conquer: to interrupt anticipatory anxiety and to manage physical symptoms. Therapist skills will include 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. For OCD clients, persuading them to adopt a new frame of reference is the therapist’s primary task. You will learn a persuasive strategy—built out of whole cloth within the first session—that will frame the entire treatment protocol. We will support this approach with concrete interventions for both obsessions and rituals.

Build 1- or 2-Day trainings by combining any of our topics
(other topics can be designed for your needs)

For further information, contact:
Reid Wilson, Ph.D.
421 Bennett Orchard Trail
Chapel Hill, NC 27516