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Debra Alvis, Ph.D.
11 Hours 59 Minutes
- Audio and Video
Nov 21, 2019
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Debra Alvis, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and private practitioner with over 25 years of clinical experience in supporting clients’ recovery from shame, trauma, anxiety, depression and relational concerns. A seasoned international presenter and consultant, Dr. Alvis is a therapeutic yoga educator and retired as faculty from the University of Georgia where she developed and led the Mind/Body Program. The program included a clinician training program integrating contemplative approaches in psychotherapy. A thirty-five year personal contemplative practice, research experience, and a deep understanding of applied neuroscience, Polyvagal Theory, and compassion resiliency further enrich her presentations. She draws upon this unique background to provide effective and easily applicable skills designed for immediate integration into clinician’s practices.
Financial: Debra Alvis is in private practice. Dr. Alvis receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Debra Alvis has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.
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- Establish how stories and metaphors can be used as psychoeducational tools to explain the physiology of anxiety, and how contemplative approaches impact the anxious brain and body.
- Articulate distinctions in differentiating among anxiety disorders and assessing physical symptomatology.
- Provide an explanation of how medication impacts neuroplasticity and determine when medication serves to enhance or derail anxiety treatment.
- Specify how individualized, awareness-based interventions can be used by clinicians to enhance client efforts towards change and reduce avoidance.
- Communicate how evidence-based contemplative approaches can address self-judgment, worry, and negative thinking that can exacerbate anxiety symptoms.
- Characterize how visual meditations can increase clients’ ability to focus attention and reduce rumination.
- Analyze the research on the impacts of meditative movement on anxiety symptomology.
- Establish how breathing practices can interrupt obsessive thinking, ritualized behaviours, and reassurance seeking.
- Specify how treatment plans that employ reframing techniques can interrupt anxiety-producing thoughts.
- Assess whether attachment style impacts treatment outcomes amongst clients undergoing treatment for social anxiety disorder.
- Communicate how script-based, brief deep relaxation exercises can be implemented to increase feelings of safety and enhance emotional regulation.
- Explore how journaling can be used as a clinical tool to shift clients away from anxious thoughts and toward action-oriented change.
The Neurophysiology of Anxiety
- Cognitive & amygdala pathways to anxiety
- Autonomic nervous system responses
- Polyvagal Theory
- Serotonin, dopamine and neurotransmitters
- The role of brain derived neurotropic factors
- The impacts of sleep and nutrition on the anxious brain
Assessment and Differential Diagnosis
- DSM-5 classification of anxiety Disorder
- Assessment from the whole person perspective
- Clinical approaches for ambiguous anxiety presentations
- Phobia vs. OCD
- Trauma, Axis II, or both?
- Distinguish anxiety from agitated depression
Biological Treatment of Anxiety: Impacts of Psychopharmacology & Nutraceuticals
- How medication impacts neuroplasticity
- Frequently prescribed medications
- Common side effects
- Evidence-based supplements
From Avoidance to Proactivity: Strategies to Engage and Sustain Client Motivation
- Illustrate neuroscience concepts with stories & metaphors
- Link contemplative practices to brain change
- Address impasses with awareness based interviewing
- Reframes – replacing old neural patterns
- Co-create meaningful, values based-goals
Motivational Interviewing for Anxiety Treatment: Mobilizing & Sustaining Change
- Elicit change talk
- Elaborate on change indicators
- Coalesce motivation for exposure treatment
- Renew motivation when fear arises
Techniques to Address the Cognitive Pathway to Anxiety
- Strategies to dismantle automatic thoughts, core beliefs
- How to unwind troublesome thinking patterns
- When life feels overwhelming – stemming the tide techniques
- Apply Chain Analysis – when and how
Relaxation Skills: Help Clients Develop an Anxiety Resistant Brain
- Wire in relaxed, alert mood with deep relaxation
- Letting go with moment to moment exercises
- Breath and movement strategies to deactivate panic
Antidotes to Shame, Guilt and Self-Judgement
- How shame and self-judgement exacerbate anxiety
- Tools to identify anxiety fuel
- Appropriate & inappropriate guilt
- Anxiety interventions for the shame prone client
- Ease shame intensity with body witnessing and observing skills
- Self-compassion inquiry – inviting in parts of the self
- Counteract anxiety with gratitude
- Untangle developmental roots
- Contemplative applications – the Polyvagal Theory
- Techniques to prime secure attachment
Movement and Visual Meditations for Anxiety Relief
- Visual meditations for specific clinical concerns
- Prepare with movement, imagery and sound
- Draw from inner resources
- Instil a new perspective with movement and writing
- Individualized follow-up assignments
Mindful Recovery Tools for GAD and Social Anxiety
- Three steps for moving from reactivity to responsiveness
- Interrupt the worry cycle: from the meditation cushion to daily life
- Mindful exploration – predictions vs. what happened
- Bring curiosity to perceptions
- Prime secure attachment for social anxiety
Meditation for OCD Management
- How clients can recognize excessiveness
- Titrate exposure with breathing practices
- Reduce repetition with mindful response prevention
- Overcome obsession with mantra & breath
Research and Limitations
- Social Workers
- Marriage and Family Therapists
- Case Managers
- Addiction Counselors
- Other Mental Health Professionals
Total Reviews: 28