September 29 8:40am - 12:00pm

Invited Faculty

Gen Z & Millennials: Identity, Image and Addictions
Denver, CO

Mastering the Anxiety Game: Teaching Clients to Welcome their Fears

All the anxiety disorders as well as OCD commonly begin in adolescence through young adulthood. Therapists are supposed to make our younger clients safe and secure, creating a cozy haven from a cruel world, right? Well, when it comes to treating anxiety, there’s growing evidence that the quickest, most effective approach involves instructing them to ramp up their fears while telling themselves how much they welcome the experience. Therapists can emphasize a simple, active paradoxical self-help strategy that is a more aggressive move towards uncertainty, encouraging clients to seek out and want to experience anxiety and doubt.  The four components are: “Step back” — the ability to gain perspective in the moment of distress; “Want it” — the intention to access an emotional state counter to fear; “Step forward” — moving toward the threat while adding this new point of view; and “Be cunning” — paradoxical tactics in the moment of doubt and distress.

The Art of Persuasion: Changing the Mind on OCD

Millennials with OCD get caught up in a mental game they’re guaranteed to lose. Constantly seeking absolute certainty, predictability, and the avoidance of all anxiety, they become ever more intent upon perfecting the rituals they think will protect them, which only increases their anxiety and compulsive behavior. How do you move someone toward anxious uncertainty when their heart, mind and soul are committed to finding comfort? Participants will learn a persuasive strategy—built out of whole cloth within the first session—that will frame the entire treatment protocol. Our goal is to help them voluntarily seek out and embrace uncertainty and anxiety as their ticket out of suffering. These self-help oriented skills can be applied to the treatment of washers and cleaners, checkers, repeaters, hoarders, and cognitive-ritualizers.

The Institute for the Advancement of Behavioral Healthcare
Ellen Kelley 216.373.1223