Rewire the Anxious Brain: Certificate Course in Applied Neuroscience for Treating Anxiety, Panic and Worry - Course on DVD

18.5 CPD Hours
Catherine Pittman, Ph.D.
PESI Publishing and Media 2018
ISBN 2467709192012

Details

Advances in neuroscience have provided a roadmap for the brain that shows us the key to working with anxious minds. But knowing how to interpret the complex map neuroscience provides has left many clinicians wondering… How do I unlock the complicated inner workings of the brain to guide my client sessions?

In this new, comprehensive certificate training, you'll see how neuroscience can inform why, how and what techniques can help your clients stop the symptoms of anxiety — even the tough to treat panic attacks, worry, rumination, nausea, and pounding hearts.

Now you can join Catherine Pittman, Ph.D., HSPP, for a comprehensive step-by-step clinical training on how you can revolutionize your anxiety treatment approach with the power of neuroplasticity.

More than just the neurobiological "whats and whys," you'll also learn the "hows" of actual treatment — so you'll know exactly how to empower your clients with strategies to resist anxiety-igniting cognitions.

You'll end this course with your Certificate in Applied Neuroscience for Treating Anxiety, Panic and Worry and be fully prepared to integrate brain-based strategies that motivate lasting change for calming the mind — even in your most anxious, worried, traumatized, or obsessive clients.

Bonus! Now you can become a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional. Complete this online certificate course to fulfill the educational requirements you need to advance your career. Learn more below…

Today's advances in neuroscience have provided us with more evidence-based explanations about the causes and treatment of anxiety-based disorders than any other clinical disorder you'll see in your practice.

Through 10 comprehensive modules, you'll learn through easy-to-understand language how you can apply neuroscience to your anxiety treatment plans to effectively and easily modify the processes in the brain that give rise to anxiety — so you can help your clients find deep, lasting relief from panic, worry, trauma, and obsessions.

Module 1
Using Neuroscience in the Treatment of Anxiety

How does Neuroscience inform the clinical treatment of anxiety? In Module one, you will explore the neurological processes behind anxiety. You'll also learn...

* How you can help your anxious clients understand their own symptoms, feelings, interpretations, beliefs
* What to do when treatment strategies for anxiety produce anxiety
* How to work within the goal of changing the brain rather than the goal of reducing anxiety
* How neuroplasticity makes the brain more resistant to anxiety
* Simple explanations you can share clients about how anxiety travels through their brain

Module 2
Working with the Amygdala

You'll learn how the amygdala fuels anxiety and how amygdala management can improve your client's level of functioning without the use of medication.

* Why amygdala management is essential for all Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, OCD, Depression
* The amygdala's role in the stress/fear/anxiety response and formation of emotional memories
* How to train the brain to stop responding to negative anxiety “triggers”
* The Vagus nerve's role in recovery from the activation of the sympathetic nervous system
* Interventions that reduce anxiety "fuel" produced in the amygdala
* Using exposure: safely activating the fear circuitry created in the amygdala to generate new connections

Module 3
Managing the Cortex

The brain's cortex plays an "anxiety igniting" role in many anxiety disorders, including: GAD, SAD, OCD, PTSD and also depression, eating disorders and substance abuse. In Module 3, you'll learn tools and strategies for recognizing and managing anxiety driven by the cortex. You'll also learn...

* How the cortex constructs reality
* How to resist the effects of anticipation and the healthy (adaptive) use of worry
* “Survival of the busiest” principle — strengthen or weaken specific circuitry
* How to recognize and modify the impact of uncertainty
* Left hemisphere techniques: How to use cognitive defusion, coping thoughts, and fighting anticipation
* Right hemisphere techniques: How to use imagery and music

Module 4
Medications in the Treatment of Anxiety

Even when you don't prescribe medications, it's important to understand how medication impacts your treatment plan. In this module, you'll learn how your partnership with prescribers can improve overall client education on how medication affects clients and their therapeutic goals.

* The myth of the chemical imbalance
* Tools for assessing medication use during the initial intake
* How SSRIs and SNRIs promote neuroplasticity
* The danger of sedating the brain with benzodiazepines
* And overview of buspirone, beta blockers and sedatives/hypnotics/z-drugs
* The effectiveness of CBT and meds

Module 5
Exposure Strategies for Teaching the Amygdala

Using exposure can help teach the brain new, positive ways to respond. In this module, you'll learn to safely and effectively use exposure strategies to create new emotional learning.

* Tools for helping clients learn to reduce avoidance and push through anxiety
* How to prepare clients for exposure: psychoeducation, breathing training, cognitive restructuring
* In vivo vs. imaginal exposure approaches
* Interoceptive triggers and methods for exposure
* Use of Subjective Units of Distress/Discomfort Scale (SUDS)
* Concerns associated with safety signals, medications, distraction
* How to troubleshoot problems

Module 6
Mindfulness in the Anxious Brain

Our clients with anxiety or depression may be so tuned into worry or rumination that they aren't aware of their experiences. When we introduce Mindfulness to the anxious brain, we provide an evidence-based avenue for changing the brain to be more resistant to anxiety and its symptoms.

* Defining basic emotional reactions: Attachment, Aversion, Indifference
* How to practice self-acceptance and erase the detrimental effect of judgment
* Using mindfulness to explore thoughts, sensations, and emotional reactions
* How to use the power of intention to focus thoughts in new directions
* Tools for coping with common reactions to aversion

Module 7
Using Neuropsychologically Informed CBT Interventions

In this module, you'll work on increasing the effectiveness of CBT tools by using neurologically informed interventions. You'll learn exactly what to do to use this skills-based approach to help your clients practice new behaviors and strengthen new neural connections to ease their anxiety.

* Using CBT and neurological knowledge to strengthen client engagement
* Advantages of the strategic use of neuroscience in CBT
* Why focusing on logic and disputing has limits
* Using skills-based approaches in CBT to provide the brain experiences to learn

Module 8
Treating Comorbid Depression

With some estimates showing that 60% of those with anxiety will also have symptoms depression, you are likely treating individuals for both disorders. In this module, you'll explore the link between anxiety and depression and learn how you can more effectively improve both disorders through interventions that help make the brain more resistant to anxiety and depression.

* How the hippocampus impacts negative thinking
* Exercises to help clients focus on the positive
* Addressing worry, rumination, and common cognitive errors in depression
* Benefits of goal setting and behavioral activation
* Key role of social support and social interaction

Module 9
Cognitive Restructuring Interventions

When clients have obsessive, ruminative and worry-based thinking, clinicians can easily get caught up in the process. In module 9, we'll cover effective approaches for working with OCD and GAD that ensure we don't co-obsess.

* How to challenge distorted thoughts and unrealistic beliefs and images
* How to identify and stop anxiety-igniting thoughts common in OCD and GAD
* Strategies for helping clients embrace uncertainty
* Making OCD or worry the adversary: Don't be bullied!
* Why clients should schedule obsessions or worries to bring them under control

Module 10
Using Reconsolidation Approaches

Breakthrough research shows we can modify and erase old memories through reactivation – which can reduce anxiety symptoms quickly. In this final module, you'll explore step-by-step how to use therapeutic memory reconsolidation safely to improve anxiety treatment.

* Explaining implicit emotional learning and identifying examples
* How to assist the client to experience the memory structure in the present moment
* How to promote your client's experiential learning of emotional truth
* Steps for disconfirming the emotional memory with “mismatching” information that invalidates it.

COURSE OBJECTIVES AND OUTLINE

Objectives

1. Explain to clients the neurological processes underlying anxiety in a clearly understandable manner that enhances client motivation.
2. Incorporate personalized goals to increase client engagement and focus client efforts on making lasting changes in the brain.
3. Characterize the differences between amygdala-based and cortex-based anxiety symptoms in order to select the most effective treatment interventions.
4. Individualize practical and evidence-based methods to resist anxiety and improve symptom management in clients.
5. Teach strategies for calming the amygdala without use of medication to improve client level of functioning.
6. Recommend exposure-based strategies that change the amygdala responses to triggers to reduce anxiety symptoms.
7. Employ a variety of strategies to improve clinical outcomes utilizing evidence-based strategies that target cortex-based responding, including cognitive restructuring, psychoeducation, cognitive defusion, distraction, and mindfulness.
8. Differentiate symptom-producing cognitions characteristic of specific disorders, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as it relates to case conceptualization.
9. Relate the clinical implications of how SSRIs and SNRIs promote the process of treating anxiety.
10. Identify detrimental effects of benzodiazepines as it relates to anxiety treatment outcomes.
11. Differentiate between rebound anxiety and relapse symptoms to inform the clinician's choice of treatment interventions.
12. Breakdown the key elements of mindfulness practices in managing symptoms of anxiety.
13. Present client education exercises that can be utilized in session to train clients in the use of mindfulness techniques.
14. Recognize common reactions to aversion and utilize clinical strategies to replace them with mindfulness.
15. Reframe exposure as an opportunity to teach the amygdala new responses in order to improve client engagement and treatment compliance.
16. Utilize clinical strategies for exposure that reduce avoidance and train clients to push through anxiety.
17. Employ effective strategies for reducing anxiety symptoms utilizing imaginal and in vivo exposure, including use of SUDS and attention to interceptive triggers.
18. Provide clinical strategies for managing comorbid depression that reduce worry, rumination, and common cognitive errors while promoting positive thinking and social interaction.
19. Use cognitive restructuring and cognitive strategies for managing symptoms of OCD and GAD that focus on scheduling obsession/worries and promote client acceptance of uncertainty.
20. Implement interventions in a clinical setting that use a reconsolidation approach to reactivate a symptom-producing memory and disconfirm it.


Outline
Module 1: Using Neuroscience in the Treatment of Anxiety

Using Neuroscience in the Treatment of Anxiety

* Positives: We know more about anxiety-based disorders than any other disorders
* Science gives explanations, evidence, authority, destigmatizes difficulties
* Concerns: How to effectively explain neuroscience and answer questions
* Clients may feel a lack of responsibility
* Oversimplification is inevitable - The proper level of detail is essential

Enhancing the Engagement of Anxious or Avoidant Clients in Treatment

* Don't neglect the therapeutic relationship!
* Empathy before explanations
* Addressing the challenges of anxious, worried, obsessive, and avoidant clients
* Assist anxious clients in understanding their own symptoms, feelings, interpretations, beliefs
* Treatment strategies for anxiety are effortful and produce anxiety
* Use the goal of changing the brain rather than the goal of reducing anxiety
* Focus on client's personalized goals in guiding the process
* Agreement on goals between therapist and client is predictive of improvement
* Case Example

The Promise of Neuroplasticity

* Defining Neuroplasticity in everyday language
* Therapy is about creating a new self
* Focusing on neuroplasticity makes the brain more resistant to anxiety
* Clients are more willing to undergo anxiety when they expect it will create improved circuitry
* Explaining re-consolidation: the modification of emotional memories

Identifying Two Neural Pathways to Anxiety

* Amygdala – Bottom-up triggering of emotion, physicality of anxiety
* Cortex – Top-down emotion generation based in cognition
* Simplified techniques for explaining the two pathways and their differences to clients
* How anxiety is initiated in each pathway and how pathways influence each other
* Different pathways respond to different types of treatment

Module 2: Working with the Amygdala

Explaining the Amygdala's Role in Anxiety

* The protective, evolutionary role of the amygdala
* The amygdala and the stress/fear/anxiety response
* The role of the amygdala in forming emotional memories
* Explaining the Fight/Flight/Freeze response to clients
* Teaching the amygdala
* The language of the amygdala - communicating alarms and relying on pairings
* Why the amygdala needs experience to learn
* How “Triggers” are created in the amygdala

Managing the Amygdala

* Essential for all Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, OCD, Depression
* Symptomatic behavior is often a response to amygdala activation
* Interventions that impact the amygdala
* The Vagus nerve's role in recovery from the activation of the sympathetic nervous system
* Interventions that reduce activation in the amygdala over time
* Communicating with your client to enhance treatment compliance
* Exposure: activating the fear circuitry created in the amygdala to generate new connections
* Tips for effective exposure strategies
* Exposure with response prevention is essential when treating OCD

Limitations and Risks in Neuroscience-Informed Treatment of Anxiety

* The efficacy of evidence based treatments differ by individual and context
* Research is constantly evolving
* Using analogies and other psychoeducation communication
* Medication information and interaction with interventions
* More studies needed to support some observed clinical outcomes

Module 3: Managing the Cortex

Explaining the Cortex's Role in Anxiety

* How the cortex constructs reality for us
* Describing the cortex and its functions in understandable terms
* The fear/anxiety response comes from the amygdala, but the cortex can initiate the response
* Using the concept “Don't scare your amygdala”
* Understanding and resisting the detrimental effects of anticipation
* Teaching the appropriate use of worry to minimize its detrimental effects

Managing the Cortex

* Cortex management is essential for GAD, SAD, OCD, PTSD, and Depression
* Identifying specific cognitions, beliefs, attitudes, associated with specific anxiety disorders
* “Survival of the busiest” - understanding how to modify the cortex
* Changes in cortex responses can occur through education, logic, argument, and experience
* “You can't erase: You must replace.”
* Modifying interpretations and using coping thoughts to manage anxiety
* The appropriate use of distraction
* Right vs. left hemisphere interventions
* Cognitive Therapy - modifying the cognitions mediating emotional responses
* Cognitive fusion - recognizing the problem and how to use cognitive defusion
* CBT cognitive restructuring approaches for targeting cortex-based processes
* Mindfulness approaches to reducing anxiety, and their effect on the cortex
* A cognitive model for approaching OCD

Module 4: Medications in the Treatment of Anxiety

Medications Overview

* The role of therapists regarding medications
* Anxiety management, not anxiety elimination, is the goal
* Beneficial effects of Medications
* Assessing and addressing medication during the initial intake
* Respecting the relationship between the prescriber and client
* Educating clients about the role of medication in treating anxiety
* What are the approved Medications for treating anxiety?

Medications and Anxiety Treatments

* SSRIs and SNRIs
* Benzodiazepines
* The impact of benzodiazepines on therapeutic interventions
* The problem of rebound from benzodiazepine use
* Buspirone
* Beta blockers
* Sedatives/hypnotics/z-drugs
* Choosing the right medication for specific anxiety disorders
* Mechanisms of Action: How these drugs work
* Explaining the effects to clients
* Benefits, disadvantages, and risks of medications
* Factors that influence the usefulness of medications
* Monitoring therapeutic effects
* CBT vs. Medications: Comparing effectiveness and durability

Module 5: Exposure Strategies for Teaching the Amygdala

Teaching the Amygdala

* Exposure interventions allow new emotional learning
* Emotional learning is based on associations or pairings
* The amygdala is not always “correct” – it needs experience to learn new reactions
* Training clients in exposure strategies can change client relationship with anxiety
* Clients are motivated by idea that they are “teaching the amygdala”
* Learning to reduce avoidance and push through anxiety
* Preparation for exposure: psychoeducation, breathing training, cognitive restructuring

Exposure Strategies

* In vivo vs. imaginal exposure approaches
* Interoceptive triggers and methods for exposure
* Training client for independent exposures
* Use of the term “trigger” and providing examples for client
* Understanding the brain changes underlying successful exposure experiences
* Use of Subjective Units of Distress/Discomfort Scale (SUDS)
* Examining advantages of graphing SUDS ratings
* Concerns associated with safety signals, medications, distraction
* Tips for constructing hierarchies
* Therapist's role in exposure
* Troubleshooting problems
* Case Examples

Module 6: Mindfulness in the Anxious Brain

Introducing mindfulness to clients

* Defining basic emotional reactions: Attachment, Aversion, Indifference
* Key elements to mindfulness: Being aware, present, and focused
* The detrimental effect of judgment and how to practice self-acceptance
* Exploring thoughts, sensations, and emotional reactions
* Using breath in connecting to the present moment
* Learning how to savor the moment

Incorporating mindfulness as a tool in treatment

* The neuroscience of mindfulness: Examining the evidence
* Teaching clients to focus more deliberately
* Mindfulness as training to determine focus
* Using the power of intention to focus thoughts in new directions
* Coping with common reactions to aversion using mindfulness
* “Mind wandering” is not failed experience!
* The role of practice and evidence for brain change
* Helpful hints in mindfulness training

Mindfulness exercises for the anxious brain

* Focus on the breath
* Train the brain to focus
* Mindfulness of sound and thoughts
* Fingers Exercise
* GLAD technique to resist depressive thinking
* Becoming Embodied: The experience of the body

Module 7: Neuropsychologically Informed CBT

* CBT strategies used to effectively treat anxiety
* Advantages of the strategic use of neuroscience in CBT
* Focus on expectancy of client has benefits in CBT
* Evidence supports CBT and neurological knowledge can strengthen client engagement
* Not all assumptions of CBT are consistent with current neurological knowledge
* Focusing on logic and disputing has limits – some circuitry is not logical
* Emotional centers of the brain are not mediated by cognitive processes
* Skills based approaches in CBT provides the brain experiences to learn
* Neurology of anxiety supports many CBT tenets:
* Psychoeducation
* Focus on the present
* Exposure techniques
* Importance of going beyond talk to experience

Module 8: Treating Comorbid Depression

* The link between chronic anxiety and depression
* How the hippocampus impacts negative thinking
* Exercises to help clients focus on the positive
* Addressing worry, rumination, and common cognitive errors in depression
* Benefits of goal setting and behavioral activation
* Key role of social support and social interaction
* Benefits of adequate sleep and regular exercise
* Case Example

Module 9: Cognitive Restructuring Interventions for OCD and GAD

* Steps in cognitive restructuring:
* Guided discovery
* Exploring the relationship between thoughts and amygdala activation
* How to challenge distorted cognitions
* Tools for generating alternative perspectives
* Identify and stop anxiety-igniting thoughts common in OCD and GAD
* Strategies for embracing uncertainty
* Making OCD or worry the adversary: Don't be bullied!
* Scheduling obsessions or worries to bring them under control
* Strategies to avoid counter transference
* Mindfulness tools for OCD and GAD
* Myths about working with anxious thoughts


Module 10: Using Reconsolidation Approaches

* Explaining implicit emotional learning and identifying examples
* Reconsolidation: Deleting/modifying unwanted memories
* How to lay the groundwork for reconsolidation:
* Guided discovery
* Assisting the client to experience the memory structure in the present moment
* Promoting client's experiential learning of emotional truth
* Disconfirming the emotional memory with “mismatching” information that invalidates it
* Case Example

FREE Bonus items (A $99.97 value!)...

Digital Download | The Mindfulness Toolbox: 50 Practical Tips, Tools & Handouts for Anxiety, Depression, Stress & Pain
By: Donald Altman, M.A., LPC

The awareness boosting methods in this guidebook offer a means of reappraising and observing negative and anxious thoughts, habits, pain, and stress in fresh ways that produce new insight, positive change, and a sense of hope.

Featuring over 40 easy to use, reproducible handouts and expertly crafted, guided scripts — such as working with the breath, overcoming depression with here and now pleasantness, calming the anxious mind with sense grounding, expanding a client's strength narrative, the stress pause S-T-O-P technique, and meditations for peace, acceptance, and re-envisioning pain — this book is ideal for clinicians wanting to integrate mindfulness into their work.

Digital Download | The Anxiety, Worry & Depression Workbook: 65 Exercises, Worksheets & Tips to Improve Mood and Feel Better
By: Jennifer Abel, Ph.D.

This interactive workbook will help you tame anxiety, worry and depression. Backed with science, this easy-to-use guide is full of practical, proven worksheets, self-monitoring forms, exercises and scripts for you to start changing habits and the lives of your clients.

Bonus!
— Therapist Guide to help clients go deeper into the workbook
— Access to free mindfulness recordings

Catherine M. Pittman, Ph.D., HSPP, is a professor of Psychology at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN. Dr. Pittman is the author of the popular book Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry.

She has a background in cognitive behavioral therapy, neuropsychology, fear-conditioning research, and has been treating anxiety-based disorders in clinical practice for over 25 years.

Catherine's experience makes her uniquely qualified to provide a clear understanding of neuroscience and how that informs the selection and application of successful anxiety treatment strategies. She regularly presents workshops at national conferences and national webinars on anxiety treatment, and is an active member of the Public Education Committee of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.










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