Optimizing Exposure Therapy for Anxiety and OCD Through Inhibitory Learning

General Information

Title: Desirable Difficulties: Optimizing Exposure Therapy for Anxiety & OCD Through Inhibitory Learning

Presenter: Jonathan S. Abramowitz, PhD

Date: July 20, 2023: 9:00 AM--4:30 PM ET

Fee: $300 (Earlybird discount until 5/1 $195)

Venue: Online Webinar

Includes full technical support, handouts, and CE credits.

Optimizing Exposure Therapy for Anxiety and OCD Through Inhibitory Learning

Description

A large proportion of therapists’ caseloads includes patients with clinical anxiety. Although exposure therapy is highly effective for these conditions, many individuals fail to benefit and/or experience a return of fear (“relapse”) at some point after treatment. Cutting-edge models of exposure therapy focus on an inhibitory learning theory of fear extinction, derived from basic research on learning and memory, which points to specific implementation techniques to optimize short- and long-term gains. Collectively, inhibitory learning strategies emphasize distress tolerance, as opposed to habituation of distress, and introduce “desirable difficulties” into exposure sessions by challenging patients to consolidate and generalize learning via novel therapeutic strategies. This workshop aims to help clinicians understand and apply this model to optimize exposure therapy.

The inhibitory learning model will first be described and distinguished from traditional approaches to exposure. Numerous strategies to optimize inhibitory learning will then be introduced and illustrated in detail using case descriptions and videos. These strategies include framing exposure to disconfirm threat-based expectations (and thus selectively using cognitive therapy), introducing variability into exposure to decontextualize safety learning, deepening and augmenting safety learning (by combining fear cues, labeling affect, and targeting attentional focus), and eliminating (or judiciously using) safety behaviors. Each strategy will be discussed in terms of its theory and research, as well as clinical implementation. Applying the inhibitory learning model of exposure to complex, diverse, and comorbid symptom presentations will also be discussed. The workshop will be interactive and include case examples, video demonstrations, and experiential exercises. 

 

Instructor

Jonathan Abramowitz, PhD is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, and Director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic at the University of North Carolina. An internationally recognized expert on anxiety and related disorders, he has published over 300 research articles, books, and book chapters. Jonathan is a Past President of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and served as the Founding Editor of the Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. He is a regular presenter at professional conferences and has received numerous awards for his contributions to the field. 

Optimizing Exposure Therapy for Anxiety and OCD Through Inhibitory Learning

Objectives

  1. 1. • Distinguish the inhibitory learning approach to exposure from the traditional emotional processing approach.
  2. 2. • Explain why it is important to foster distress tolerance during exposure, as opposed to relying solely on habituation (reduction) of distress.
  3. 3. • Describe methods of tracking changes in expectations during exposure therapy, rather than subjective units of distress.
  4. 4. I• Describe how to introduce variability into exposure sessions.

Application Deadline

July 18, 2023 or until all training spaces are filled, whichever comes first.

Notification of Acceptance

Applicants will be notified, via email, of acceptance when registration is complete, and payment is received.

Refund/Cancellation Policy 

Tuition/registration payments are refundable (minus $25) until June 20, 2023.  Cancellations after this date are non-refundable. In this situation, we will attempt to find someone to take your slot (based on our waiting list).

Accessibility

Conference is via webinar. For live options, there will be handicap accessibility.

Course level

Introductory

Level of clinician 

Introductory

Accessibility

If you require ADA accommodations, please contact our office 30 days or more before the event. We cannot ensure accommodations without adequate prior notification

The Grievance Policy for trainings provided by NEFESH INTERNATIONAL is available here. Please Note: Licensing Boards change regulations often, and while we attempt to stay abreast of their most recent changes, if you have questions or concerns about this course meeting your specific board’s approval, we recommend you contact your board directly to obtain a ruling.

CE Information

Continuing Education Credit is granted through Nefesh International for the following professions: Psychologists, Social workers, Mental Health Counselors, and LMFTs. It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state.NEFESH International, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0116.NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0046NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Mental Health Counselor #MHC-0082NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0048.This program is co-sponsored by NEFESH International and Neuhoff Psychological Consulting . NEFESH International is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. NEFESH International, maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

References

Abramowitz, J.S., Deacon, B. J., & Whiteside, S. P. (2019). Exposure therapy for anxiety: Principles and practice (2nd ed). New York: Guilford Press.

Craske, M. G., Treanor, M., Conway, C. C., Zbozinek, T., & Vervliet, B. (2014). Maximizing exposure therapy: an inhibitory learning approach. Behaviour research and therapy58, 10-23.

Jacoby, R. J., & Abramowitz, J. S. (2016). Inhibitory learning approaches to exposure therapy: A critical review and translation to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Clinical psychology review49, 28-40.

Satisfactory Completion:

Participants must have paid the tuition fee, signed in or logged in and out each day, attended the entire webinar, and completed an evaluation to receive a certificate (for pre-recorded program, a post-test with a passing grade of 80% is required.) Failure to sign/log in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available. Certificates are available electronically after satisfactory course completion. A link will be provided for those who have completed the training.

 

Optimizing Exposure Therapy for Anxiety and OCD Through Inhibitory Learning

Schedule

July 20, 2023

9:00-10:30 – Understanding clinical anxiety and exposure therapy (overview of the nature of anxiety and anxiety disorders, fear conditioning/extinction, and the use of exposure therapy for reducing fear.

 

10:30-10:45 – Morning break

 

10:45-12:00 – Strategies for optimizing inhibitory learning during exposure: (a) expectancy tracking: how to frame exposure to disconfirm fear-based expectations, (b) how to introduce variability into exposure, (c) how to combine multiple fear cues, (d) how to use affect labeling

 

12:00-1:00 – Lunch break

 

1:00-2:30 -- Strategies for optimizing inhibitory learning during exposure (continued): (e) attentional focus, (f) how to carefully reinstate safety learning; response prevention and the pros and cons of judiciously using safety behaviors; troubleshooting

 

2:30-2:45 – Afternoon break

 

2:45-4:30 – Applying inhibitory learning with complex cases, diverse clients, and case discussions.

 

Optimizing Exposure Therapy for Anxiety and OCD Through Inhibitory Learning

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