Dr Caroline Donovan, PH.D., BA

Anxiety across the lifespan:

Assessment and CBT Treatment Methods


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What is this course about?

Anxiety is something experienced by everyone. However, for many, anxiety is highly distressing and interferes greatly with their everyday functioning. Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent across the lifespan, and is one of the most common mental health concerns afflicting pre-schoolers, school-age children, adolescents, adults and older -adults. Clients can present with a variety of anxiety disorders, which manifest very differently depending on individual characteristics of the client and the stage of life they are in.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the treatment of choice for anxiety disorders across the lifespan, according to the empirical literature. Although the theory behind the various CBT strategies remains the same across different ages, the implementation and application of these strategies differs dramatically.  Through presenting CBT techniques and strategies in developmentally and age appropriate ways is vital in providing the best possible therapeutic outcome for clients.

This workshop will cover in detail the various anxiety disorders and their CBT conceptualisations. As a result of this training, clinicians will have an enhanced ability to assess anxiety disorders and subsequently implement and monitor appropriate CBT strategies to clients of different ages and stages of life. There will be opportunity for skills practice, and the presenter will draw on her own research on novel CBT treatments for youth with anxiety disorders, to present the most up-to-date knowledge and treatment methods. An interactive format is encouraged, with questions and comments welcomed across the two days.

Learning objectives

  • Understand the anxiety disorders in terms of criteria and epidemiology
  • Understand the different presentation of anxiety disorders across the lifespan
  • Understand and apply the CBT conceptual models of anxiety disorders
  • Gain knowledge in appropriate assessment and monitoring methods for the anxiety disorders
  • Provide psychoeducation to clients about anxiety disorders in ways that are developmentally appropriate
  • Apply strategies aimed at emotion recognition and relaxation across the lifespan
  • Apply strategies aimed at cognitive restructuring, behavioural experiments and exposure across the lifespan
  • Gain knowledge in the treatment of GAD

Who should attend?

Psychologists, counsellors, social workers and other allied health professionals.

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