AACBT National Tour – Melbourne: Clark – Anxiety and depression disorders
- David A Clark
The Problem with Acceptance: How to Treat Distressing Mental Intrusions as a Transdiagnostic Feature of Emotional Disorders
Presenter: Professor Emeritus David A Clark
Do you know what to do when anxious clients seem unable to adopt a nonjudgmental observant perspective?
In this workshop you’ll learn about specific strategies of mental control that can bring clients closer to acceptance of unwanted thoughts and feelings.
Over 50% of our mental activity involves spontaneous, undirected thought. Clinical researchers have identified a special type of emotion laden spontaneous thought called unwanted mental intrusions, which can take the form of obsessions, worry, rumination, traumatic intrusions and the like. Unwanted intrusions are unique in their spontaneity and uncontrollability. Since the launch of CBT for anxiety in the mid-1980’s acceptance of anxious thoughts and feelings has been a primary treatment goal. However, guiding patients to the point of acceptance can be difficult, in part because mental intrusions and their uncontrollability can interfere in this therapeutic process.
This workshop presents a modified form of CBT that specifically targets unwanted mental intrusions. After a brief discussion of theory and research on intrusive thinking, cognitive assessment and case formulation of intrusions are presented that guide treatment goal-setting and planning, and that address unique threats to the therapeutic relationship. This is followed by instruction in specific cognitive and behavioral intervention strategies that target distinct aspects of unwanted, repetitive intrusive thoughts such as faulty appraisals, dysfunctional control beliefs, and futile mental control.
Specific intervention strategies are presented that bolster the patient’s acceptance of and ability to manage unwanted thoughts and negative feelings. Much of this work is based on Professor Clark’s research and clinical experience treating obsessions and other types of repetitive negative thought.
Key Learning Objectives
- Increase knowledge and case conceptualization that incorporates intrusive thinking and dysfunctional mental control
- Gain competence in cognitive intervention strategies for distressing intrusive thoughts
- Learn about specific clinical strategies to help clients let go of control and accept unwanted spontaneous thoughts and feelings
Assumed Background Knowledge and Experience of Attendees
Intermediate: participants should have a working knowledge; e.g., treated a few cases
Implications / Applications of Learning for Clinical Practice
Brief summary of how the skills and knowledge to be acquired will facilitate and enhance clinical practice of participants.
The primary objective of standard and “third-wave” variants of CBT for anxiety is acceptance of unwanted thoughts and feelings. Letting go of control can be very difficult for individuals with intense and persistent anxiety. Workshop participants will learn about specific interventions that can help the anxious client achieve this end goal of CBT.
Duration & Format / Training Modalities
This workshop has 7 hours CPD, and includes morning & afternoon teas plus lunch.
The workshop will employ case examples, role plays, group exercises, and workshop demonstrations that emphasize skill acquisition and competence in advanced CBT.
References – readings
Clark, D. A. (2018). Controlling Your Mind: A Workbook for Depression, Anxiety and Obsessions. London: Robinson.
Winston, S. M., & Seif, M. N. (2017). Overcoming unwanted intrusive thoughts. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
Hayes, S. C., & Hofmann, S. G. (Eds.)(2018). Process-Based CBT: The Science and Core Clinical Competencies of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
Wegner, D. M. (2011). “Setting free the bears: Escape from thought suppression”. The American Psychologist, 66 (8), 671-680.
Registration at 8:30am for a 9:00am start.
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Early bird rates for FULL MEMBERS expires on 18 August 2019.
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