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A Novel Strategy for Treating Anxiety Disorders

In this 6 minute video, Dr. Wilson talks about the possibility of and advantages of perceiving treatment as a mental game.

From "Strategic Treatment of Anxiety Disorders". To view the full course, including 6 CE credits, go to http://www.psychsem.com/onlineCourses...

Course Description: Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental disorder, affecting nearly 1 in 5 adults each year. They take over peoples' lives by causing them to develop seemingly irrational rules in order to cope. Five anxiety disorders -phobias, panic, social anxiety, generalized anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)- control people by generating an absolute standard for certainty and comfort. This workshop will examine the common psychological aspects of this mental game, along with specific manifestations for each disorder. Using cognitive-behavioral principles, therapists will learn a strategic approach on how to help their patients find the courage and motivation to challenge their old beliefs and attitudes and rid themselves of this debilitating fear by confronting it head-on. Practical methods will be presented and demonstrated to enable patients to ignore the content of their obsessive worries and to explore the feeling of uncertainty rather than fleeing from it. After the presentation of general concepts, the workshop will focus on the treatment of panic disorder and OCD. For panic disorder, 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 peel away the ever-present "safety crutches." For OCD patients, participants will learn that persuading patients to adopt a new frame of reference is the therapist's primary task. This persuasive strategy, begun in the first session, will frame the entire treatment protocol. Concrete examples of interventions for both obsessions and rituals will be offered.